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Sunday, July 31, 2016 - 03:52

Stepping back from the GPL and legal stuff for a moment...

I think it would be great if the OGA community were to encourage contributors to release their source files either on the OGA website or elsewhere, no matter what the license they choose is.

Without the source files, certain types of modification are exclusive to the original creator, instead of being able to be done by anyone with the requisite tools and skills. This really restricts the creativity of people doing remixes, reworking, parody, game development etc. Even something simple like moving elements of a scene around is much harder.

I've personally taken over development of a few abandoned "open source" games and been prevented from tweaking artwork because the source for that artwork was never released and is now losts to the mists of time. In one case the author wanted the game renamed for me to continue working on it, but had lost the source for the main menu image, which included pre-rendered text from a non-free font with the name of the game, along with a pre-rendered 3D object. Due to the font glow and semi-transparent 3D object plus layer mixing, it is pretty much impossible to remove the name from the image. So I got de-motivated and shelved that project for now.

So, I would encourage creative folks to think about releasing source files and more importantly to think about what source is for them and what is the best way to enable themselves and others to make all kinds of future modifications to their works.

I also think that collaborative creation of artwork would be an interesting project, but something like that can only happen if people are willing and able to share their source files. I expect that the downsides of sharing source can be dealt with. Probably that is a topic for another thread though.

I would also like to applaud the Blender community for producing freely licensed movies and releasing both the source code for Blender and the source files they used to create their movies.

Disclaimer: I am a Debian member and contributor.

Edit: woops! Hadn't read to the end of the thread. Thanks a lot for adding that p0ss!