[GRASS-PSC] Fwd: [GRASS-web] authorization reproduction

Hamish hamish_b at yahoo.com
Sat Oct 26 21:31:43 PDT 2013

MarkusN wrote:
> The statement in the letter is:
> "I wish integrate screenshots of results obtained with Grass Gis software."
> If he refers to *his own* screenshots, then there is obviously no need
> to obtain any permission.

That's what it sounds like to me too. The author is the creator, not the
manufacturer of the tool the author used.

As long as the screenshots do not include GRASS artwork or e.g. GUI layout,
and is only his own "pixels" then he doesn't need our permission.
If it does include those things I guess we'd need to see what he is
talking about before commenting on it.

For the record, term (0.) of the GPLv2 covers this:

                    GNU GENERAL PUBLIC LICENSE

  0. This License applies to any program or other work which contains
a notice placed by the copyright holder saying it may be distributed
under the terms of this General Public License.  The "Program", below,
refers to any such program or work, and a "work based on the Program"
means either the Program or any derivative work under copyright law:
that is to say, a work containing the Program or a portion of it,
either verbatim or with modifications and/or translated into another
language.  (Hereinafter, translation is included without limitation in
the term "modification".)  Each licensee is addressed as "you".

Activities other than copying, distribution and modification are not
covered by this License; they are outside its scope.  The act of
running the Program is not restricted, and the output from the Program
is covered only if its contents constitute a work based on the
Program (independent of having been made by running the Program).
Whether that is true depends on what the Program does.

A personal cropped screenshot would not contain the GRASS "program or portion
of it", and specifically "the output from the Program is covered only
if its contents constitute a work based on the Program (independent of
having been made by running the Program)."

[See the Bison license for a case where the program output is itself +
includes code & so a case which needs a special exemption.]

> If he refers to screenshots from the Web site:
> ... then I would say that we should apply a CC license for the
> screenshots

I'm not sure why a book on plant biodiversity would want to provide
screenshots of the GRASS GUI or one of our provided screenshot images.
(if so, which ones?) So I wouldn't worry too much about GPL vs. CC vs.
GNU FDL (wiki) vs. CERL public domain licenses + trademark issues
unless we actually have to. It's an endless discussion easily bypassed
since most of the original authors are still around to relicense as CC
or whatever as needed.

> (GPL is for software...).

it may not be ideal for artwork, but FWIW the artwork is still protected
by it under "... or other work". Of course the copyright holder can
dual-license as CC or whatever as they like.

Of course in the interest of reproducible results it is always helpful
to the reader for the author to state what software (+ version) was
used to produce those results, but that's another matter.


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