picking a license for a generative design/branding project

Johannes Buchner buchner.johannes at gmx.at
Mon Sep 14 23:12:52 UTC 2009

On Mon, 14 Sep 2009 18:40:12 +0100
Karsten Schmidt <info at postspectacular.com> wrote:

> 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.
Yes, because GPL is a free software license and what you want to
produce (given your limitations) is not free software. I'll leave it to
others to advise you about Apache 2, adding a clause to a BSD
license, ... 
You might have to ask yourself first if you are looking for a viral
software licence.


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