picking a license for a generative design/branding project

Karsten Schmidt info at postspectacular.com
Mon Sep 14 17:40:12 UTC 2009

Hello everyone,

we've just finished a design project which we'd like to publish as
open source. The project's output is a generative & interactive
identity for an international motion graphics/arts festival and we
would like to enable interested people to "remix" and expand on the
existing outputs, whilst retaining some control and ownership of the
original idea and realization. The software in question has been used
to generate all festival branding assets from posters, trailers,
t-shirts motives and an interactive installation.

The app itself[1] is built in Java, mainly using two LGPL licensed
frameworks[2][3] - so I'm currently favouring a GPL approach (IIRC
LGPL libs can be included in a GPLed product), however am aware that
using this license we won't be able to add any further restrictions to
the generated outputs. Furthermore, since these outputs are in a
design context & we're very aware of the copycat behaviours present in
the graphic design/advertising camp, we'd really like to add a
non-commercial usage/share-alike restriction, pretty much what
CC-NC-SA specifies (also being aware of the fairly fuzzy implications
of the NC definition in CC licenses).

To confuse matters more, Google Code allows project owners to attach a
separate content license, however for GPL I've been advised that this
is actually illegal/non-compatible.

So my hope here is that someone can shed some lights/share some
pointers to counter proposals for a suitable license (possibly a dual
licensing setup) for this project & situation. I think the current
stack of (popular) open source licenses might not be fully suited to
the hybrid nature of generative design projects and is hard to satisfy
the different prevalent business models/tactics in both the software &
more design world.

Any help with this is highly appreciated!

[1] http://vimeo.com/6312503
[2] http://processing.org
[3] http://toxiclibs.org

Thanks & best,
Karsten Schmidt

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