License of generated models from modified MakeHuman

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Re: License of generated models from modified MakeHuman

Postby wolgade » Sun Oct 29, 2017 12:16 pm

blindsaypatten wrote:This discussion does appear to be fruitless.

Yes, it is for various reasons. First of all, a license change isn't easy. Every contributor to MH has to agree with it. Some contributors are no longer part of MH. Might be difficult to even contact them. Just remember: The domain makehuman.org is still not controlled by any active member of the makehuman team. Joel wants to change this, but it's obviously not so easy. Now you can guess how much fun it will be to discuss a license change. Another reason: What makes you so sure, that a changed license doesn't contain other weaknesses than the actual one. There's no such thing as a crystal clear license that covers anything anyone could think of. If there were, a lot of lawyers would be out of business.
blindsaypatten wrote: I am merely trying to tell you that the current license is not as clear as you think it is,

The MH team is aware of this fact. A while back we had a discussion about MHX2. MHX2 is not part of official MH, Following the license terms, an MHX2 export doesn't give you the CC0 exception. This was never intended. Those devs who commented on this fact made perfectly clear, that they have no intention to go after people for using MHX2. I trust them. They use MHX2 themselves.
blindsaypatten wrote:My first point is that the idea that an asset can be CC0 if exported by an unmodified version of MH but AGPL if exported from a modified version of MH, is legally incorrect. Once CC0 is applied to a work you can no longer use copyright to enforce any other license on any copy of it. So, all that including the language about unmodified official versions does in confuse matters.

This might be true. Consequence would be that any exportable asset is governed by CC0. Bad luck for MH, not a problem for the user. On the other hand, is this important in any real life scenario? The main problem with the license is that it tries to provide absolute freedom for artists, on the other hand wants to protect the assets against people who just want to rip off MH. That doesn't work. Not for legal, but practical reasons. There's no way to tell whether I just copied an asset (AGPL) or used an export (CC0). If someone comes along and rips off MH, there's no way to prove that he acted in an illegal way. Every image, every target and, of course, the base mesh can be exported in a way that gives the CC0 exception. A bad guy would tell the judge that he acted exactly this way. No way to prove the contrary.

I can't think of any license that could solve this problem without limiting artists. In real life, AGPL is quite pointless for assets.
blindsaypatten wrote:Does "grants the option to use CC0" mean that MH will apply the CC0, or that the user will apply CC0? Which one makes a big difference. If MH applies the CC0 then all copies of the asset are covered and MH no longer has any copyright rights over the assets or any copies thereof. If you read it as "grants the option for the user to use CC0" then the user uses the option they have given up any copyright rights to the export but MH's copyright rights remain unaffected.

Sorry, but the second scenario doesn't make any sense. Not even in the world of lawyers. If MH retained rights I simply couldn't CC0 it. This is like selling a borrowed car. I simply don't have the right to sublicense stuff that is affected by third party rights.

If MH grants me a limited license and other hand the right to sublicense under CC0, it gets completely absurd. I would immediately benefit from the CC0 license I just granted.

blindsaypatten wrote:While I think it would be to MH's benefit to have clear license terms it is clear to me that there is no interest in fixing the license so that's about all that needs to be said here.

There is interest, but as said above, it's not easy to do.

BTW:
RobBaer wrote:Lindsay . [ a "he" I think]

Sorry, if I got this wrong. I wasn't aware of the fact that Lindsay is also a male name.
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Re: License of generated models from modified MakeHuman

Postby blindsaypatten » Sun Oct 29, 2017 3:35 pm

wolgade wrote:
blindsaypatten wrote:Does "grants the option to use CC0" mean that MH will apply the CC0, or that the user will apply CC0? Which one makes a big difference. If MH applies the CC0 then all copies of the asset are covered and MH no longer has any copyright rights over the assets or any copies thereof. If you read it as "grants the option for the user to use CC0" then the user uses the option they have given up any copyright rights to the export but MH's copyright rights remain unaffected.

Sorry, but the second scenario doesn't make any sense. Not even in the world of lawyers. If MH retained rights I simply couldn't CC0 it. This is like selling a borrowed car. I simply don't have the right to sublicense stuff that is affected by third party rights.

If MH grants me a limited license and other hand the right to sublicense under CC0, it gets completely absurd. I would immediately benefit from the CC0 license I just granted.

The problem here is that CC0 is being discussed as if it were a license again. If you understand CC0 as a surrender of your own copyright rights to a work that doesn't affect the copyright rights of anyone else to the same work, then it makes perfect legal sense. If you have a work that includes work that belongs to a third party there is no reason you can't give up your copyright rights on the work, you just can't give up someone else's rights. So there is no contradiction to the user applying CC0 to the export while MH maintains its rights to the assets included in the export. The unfortunate part is that the user hasn't achieved any benefit from the application of CC0, they have just given up any rights they may have had.

To illustrate the extreme case, I could CC0 MakeHuman. Since I have no copyright rights to MakeHuman, doing so would have no effect on anyone's rights. People may not realize that CC0 doesn't even assert that the "Affirmer" has any copyright rights to the work. That's how far CC0 is from being a license. If you were in a situation where there was a third party that was merely worried that you might have some copyright rights, even though you know, or don't consider yourself to have any rights, you could use CC0 to remove any doubts. CC0 just crosses out your own name from the list of people who might have copyright rights to a work, nothing more.

wolgade wrote:BTW:
RobBaer wrote:Lindsay . [ a "he" I think]

Sorry, if I got this wrong. I wasn't aware of the fact that Lindsay is also a male name.

I am in fact male, but I didn't take any offence and no apology is needed. Thank you for your contribution to this discussion.
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Re: License of generated models from modified MakeHuman

Postby wolgade » Mon Oct 30, 2017 6:44 pm

This will be my final post in this thread. I'm not a lawyer and don't want to be one. We both live under different jurisdications and might judge the situation from this personal point of view.

For me CC0 in fact is a license. I live in Germany. In Germany we have something called "Urheberrecht" which could be translated as "creators right". This differs fundamentaly from copyright in the USA. While copyright deals with so called "intellectual property" just as a tradeable good, Germany's "creators-right" goes further. It states an unbreakable tie between author and work. Rights resulting from this tie can't be traded, transferred or sold. Copyright, being a part, but just a part of the creators-right can be transferred. As a consequence "ghostwriting" can't legally exist.

Whenever I published an asset under CC0, it never came to my mind to adandon authorship, because this can't be done in my country. When I publish something under CC0 I exercise my creators-right. That's the opposite of throwing it away, which can't be done, anyway.

blindsaypatten wrote: If you understand CC0 as a surrender of your own copyright rights to a work that doesn't affect the copyright rights of anyone else to the same work, then it makes perfect legal sense.

blindsaypatten wrote:To illustrate the extreme case, I could CC0 MakeHuman.

For me this is still selling a car I don't own. Giving the car to someone else for free doesn't change the fact that it's not my car. But this is my biased view. The funny world of lawyers exists in every country, but probably differently coloured.

Let's get back to MH:
I agree with you that the license doesn't work as intended. You claim legal reasons, I think that it can't be enforced. I agree with you that the license causes confusion. That's bad.

My personal approach is simple: I simply don't care whether MHX2 export or a plugin could take away the CC0 exception. No one will sue me for doing so. No one will take legal action against you for modifying or improving code or anything else that could be considered as the action of a "good guy". This is not a legal advice how to deal with license terms, but sometimes you have to ignore stuff that's in the way.
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Re: License of generated models from modified MakeHuman

Postby blindsaypatten » Tue Oct 31, 2017 3:02 am

Purely for the sake of any readers who may have an interest in the subject:

I was wrong. CC0 relies on the the fallback license in a number of significant jurisdictions, including Germany. I found a quite good discussion, by a German intellectual property lawyer, of CC0 under German law:
https://www.rd-alliance.org/sites/defau ... reuzer.pdf

But I was right that it essentially makes no difference, under German law CC0 creates a "public license" which applies to the work not to a particular copy of the work. So it is still legally fruitless to try to apply CC0 to one copy and AGPL to another copy.

According to the paper applying CC0 to a work you don't have rights to has no legal effect. But even though CC0 specifically disclaims that it makes any statement about who has what rights to the work, to be safe, an individual who applied CC0 to someone else's work should also explain that the CC0 was meaningless and that users need a license from the actual rights holders. Just as someone who promises to not take any legal action if someone drives away in a given car should be careful to also point out that they don't own the car and can't speak for the person who does. ;)
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