[License-discuss] MakeHuman, CC0 and AGPL

Lindsay Patten blindsaypatten at gmail.com
Wed Oct 25 13:30:29 UTC 2017


I'm hoping I can get a better understanding of the licenses associated 
with MakeHuman.

MakeHuman is a program that allows you to generate 3D human characters, 
adjusting numerous parameters such as height, weight, gender, race, 
facial and body details, clothing, etc. etc.  The program is licensed 
with the AGPL.  It creates exports consisting of 3D meshes, material 
descriptions, and texture images.  The exports are licensed AGPL as 
well, but if they are produced using an unmodified official version of 
the program the user is granted the option to apply CC0 instead.

    As a special and limited exception, the copyright holders of the
    MakeHuman assets grants the option to use CC0 1.0 Universal as
    published by the Creative Commons, either version 1.0 of the
    License, or (at your option) any later version, as a license for the
    MakeHuman characters exported under the conditions that a) The
    assets were bundled in an export that was made using the file export
    functionality inside an OFFICIAL and UNMODIFIED version of MakeHuman
    and/or b) the asset solely consists of a 2D binary image in PNG, BMP
    or JPG format.

My understanding of CC0 is that it is a declaration that you have placed 
the work in the public domain, with a fallback license in case the law 
in a particular jurisdiction doesn't permit that.  If the user takes the 
CC0 option, what is the status of the individual assets that are bundled 
into the export?  Are they in the public domain or still copyrighted by 
the MakeHuman authors?

What I find confusing is whether CC0 is a license that can be applied to 
a particular copy of a work, or if using CC0 means the work itself, not 
just a particular copy of it, is placed in the public domain.  I'm also 
unsure about licensing a bundle of assets.

The complete license is at http://www.makehuman.org/license.php and 
there is an explanation of it at 

I am interested in understanding the implications of the current 
license, and also in knowing if there is a better way to license 
MakeHuman that prevents MakeHuman non-code assets from being used in 
closed source software, while still allowing unencumbered use of the 
exported character.

I should say that the vast majority of MakeHuman users do not 
redistribute the exported character data, they use it to create images 
or video, which MakeHuman makes no claim on.  The only time there are 
issues is if the generated character is used in a larger work, such as a 
game, 3D artwork, or VR experience.


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