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Re: [GNU-linux-libre] [Freedom issue, originally posted on Parabola bug

From: Denis 'GNUtoo' Carikli
Subject: Re: [GNU-linux-libre] [Freedom issue, originally posted on Parabola bug tracker] Blender, SuperTuxKart and The Battle for Wesnoth.
Date: Mon, 21 Aug 2017 09:42:48 +0200

On Sun, 13 Aug 2017 16:07:54 +0000
<address@hidden> wrote:

> It looks like there are some freedom issues with Blender (logo),
> SuperTuxKart (mascots) and The Battle for Wesnoth (add-ons).
> First issue is Blender logo in blender package.
> The logo is non-free:
> They don't want this logo to be removed:

> Second issue is SuperTuxKart.
> Beastie and Suzanne mascots cannot be free because Beastie is
> non-free (
> and Blender logo (included with kart "Suzanne") is non-free.
> GitHub issue is here:
I fail to see see why the copyright over the official BSD daemon images
do affect other "implementations" and the implementations inside

SuperTuxKart mascotts probably have no trademarks issues either as
people will probably understand that SuperTuxKart is a game and will not
misleadingly believe it's an official FreeBSD operating system.

"auriamg" also states in the bugreport that this is not a legal issue.

In order to understand why this is not an issue, you probably need more
background on copyright and trademarks laws to see the point (Unless
I'm wrong and I either overlooked the issue or am the one that should
get more background on such laws).

I know that the SFLC did some guides on legal issues that affects free
software developers, but since I didn't read it, I don't know if it is
what will suits you best.

> Also they want to include Steam support which will destroy the
> freedom. They're rejected to cancel this project:
Here again I fail to see the issue for FSDG compliant distributions: As
long as SuperTux licenses stay the same and doesn't depends on steam,
it will continue to be usable with free software.

Steam is not software and probably implements DRM, and SuperTuxKart
also runs on Microsoft Windows. I don't know if supporting non-free
operating systems and gaming platforms is strategically beneficial or
not, but as long as it doesn't force any licensing changes on the
software, it has no impact on the software freedom as users are able
to play SuperTuxKart with free software.

Note that SuperTuxKart is indeed playable with 100% free software as,
for now, I can play it on Parabola with a Thinkpad X200 that runs a
100% free software version of coreboot.

> Third issue is The Battle for Wesnoth.
> They're changed licensing for addons, allowing any CC license:
> Add-ons can be
> downloaded using a downloader inside game. I think, there are two
> ways to download add-on. First is using add-on downloader and second
> is trying to join a game room (online play) with add-on. They're
> rejected to remove the downloader:
According to Julie Marchant, this is only for the images and sounds,
which, as I understand, counts as non-functional data, and is, therefor

To understand that, reading the free software distribution
guidelines(FSDG) is a good starting point. 

Then one might not agree with some non-requirements of the FSDG.

In my opinion, copyright restrictions on non-funcional works, such as
Art, acts as censorship, and Nina Paley made some presentation
explaining that point quite well. However removing the copyright
restrictions in the law would also make the GPL void, and remove the
requirements to redistribute the source code when the user asks for it.

I'm not sure that Wesnoth's decision goes in the right direction here,
but I also lack a lot of background on the project. Last time I heard
about it, the project was threatened by the lack of contributors time.

As I remember, several games do have cc-by-nc/cc-by-nd/cc-by-nc-nd
licenses for sounds/images/models and some are switching away from that

Also please try to be more constructive while interacting with such
upstream projects. A good idea would be to try to check with other
people before if the issues are founded or not.

Using this mailing list to do that would be way better than directly
reporting issues on upstream projects.

It could also help you understand better the issues and build a better

It is also very important for the free software community to keep good
relationships with such upstream projects, in order to have better
chances of avoiding freedom issues or getting them fixed.

A very effective way to prevent freedom issues is also to get involved
in such projects and to make significant/important contributions and to
get your voice heard (with good argumentation and rationale) when
problems arrise.

In many cases upstream projects also have freedom issues by using some
non-free dependncies due to the lack of time from the developers.
So in that case, it is possible to fix that by contributing changes
that make such project avoid the non-free software dependencies.


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