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Stephan Sokolow

A member registered Jun 14, 2015 · View creator page →

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Just a reminder that the abbreviation for “Creative Commons Attribution” is “CC-BY”, not “CCA”.

Not critical to fix, since the Asset license metadata field is set properly, but it can be confusing.

I’m interested in adding this to my Libre Game Assets list.

Would you mind putting a formal license on it? The Free Software Foundation has a good explanation of why “informal licenses” are bad.

(For example, Germany errs on the side of protecting you from giving away too much when there’s ambiguity, to the point where things can get very surprising. This analysis of how far the CC0 has to go to achieve “like Public Domain” status in Germany has more detail on that.)

That is the downside of globalizing the amateur art world. The people who create for the joy of creating and/or getting attention turn it into a buyer’s marker within a generation or two.

Anyway, thanks for that. Now that everything is nice and clear, it being under CC-BY certainly means it’s suitable for my list of libre-licensed assets.

Here’s hoping it’ll add a donation or two to what you receive. (I certainly plan to donate something to each set of assets I use when I get back to working on my platformer project… given that the public domain tileset that inspired it isn’t set up to accept donations, I’m planning to CC0 the extension to it that I’ve drawn once the platformer comes out. I think I’ve at least doubled the number of available tiles.)

By your description, the price should have gone up to $5 as of Aug 09, 2018, but this is still free to download.

Was that an oversight?

Thanks. I’ve added it to the list.

(And sorry for taking so long to reply. doesn’t e-mail me about messages and the interval at which I check for replies manually is highly variable.)

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Ahh, so not relevant to me then.

Aside from the non-redistribution clause being counter to all three major definitions of Libre/Open content (FSF, OSI, DFSG), the requirement to prevent recipients from being able to extract them from the game is antithetical to the creation of open-source games.

(Not to mention, even for closed-source, commercial games, it makes me nervous, given that things like Unity Asset Explorer, UE Viewer, etc. exist, since it’s never clear how much of an effort I’d be required to make to discharge said legal obligation.)

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Would you mind specifying a specific CC-BY version to make sure the legalities of this pack are perfectly clear?

(If you don’t have a preference, the simplest solution would be to pick CC-BY 4.0 for the Asset License field in the More Information box.)

I ask because I’m interested in promoting it in my Libre Game Assets collection.

Would you mind setting a formal license in the “More Information” box?

There are good reasons to do this to protect the people who want to use your creations… especially for users in jurisdictions like Germany.

Would you mind setting a formal license in the “More Information” box?

There are good reasons to do this to protect the people who want to use your creations… especially for users in jurisdictions like Germany.

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Will do.

For now, I’m focusing on finding time to work on some neglected existing projects, preparing an initial release for a tool to streamline human-assisted OCRing of manga, and considering whether my plans for a tool to prepare tile atlases (as an assist for a platformer I want to code) should broaden into a free and open-source competitor to Pyxel Edit.

(But it definitely is an interesting UI design question… what controls would need to be exposed to an end-user to make it properly useful.)

Oh, I know. Even getting decent results would require different displacement functions for each sprite, because some would squash purely vertically while others have different degrees of horizontal lag to the squash and stretch.

I’m just saying I’m glad I’m too busy to get nerd-sniped from that, because it’d be unfair to you if I did produce something sufficiently okay-ish.

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World’s cutest roguelike… but thank goodness I have enough on my plate already.

By mentioning jelly, you got me wondering if I could satisfactorily generate the paid animated version from the free static version using some kind of 2D sine-wave-based pixel displacement function… and if I can, I’d be torn between being unfair to my blog subscribers and being unfair to egordorichev.

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Last I checked, they’re eligible for copyright directly in the U.K. and I still need to check what their status is here in Canada.

That aside, I’m already bending the rules as far as I’m willing to in allowing stuff on my list that says “public domain” when places like Germany don’t recognize that without a fallback like the CC0 offers.

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Wouldn’t those be points in favour of using FLAC?

  • If the Wave is mostly there for library/listening purposes, FLAC is better suited to archival (size and checksumming) and media players are much more likely to support it than game engines.
  • If Ogg is recommended for game engines, wouldn’t offering FLAC instead of Wave provide a subtle incentive to use Ogg instead of trying to bundle Wave files into your game?

No problem. The knowledge is going to be rattling around in my head either way, so I might as well share it with anyone who can benefit from it.

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I’m sorry to be the bearer of bad news, but the way you’re using the CC BY license is invalid, both by the license text and the Creative Commons trademark policy.

Because of the complexity of law, allowing people to arbitrarily slap new terms like “redistribute or resell [✘]” on CC licenses would destroy the utility of having a recognizable name, so licenses have to be kept as-is.

For the trademark policy, the terms “Creative Commons”, “CC”, “CC BY”, and that badge you’re using are trademarks that you’re only granted permission to use with the unmodified licenses without any additional restrictions imposed.

Here’s what it says in their trademark policy:

Modification of CC Licenses: To prevent confusion and maintain consistency, you are not allowed to use CREATIVE COMMONS, CC, the CC Logo, or any other Creative Commons trademarks with modified versions of any of our legal tools or Commons deeds, including modifications that do not modify the legal code directly but that further restrict or condition the rights granted by the particular legal tool. These modifications are often contained in a website’s terms of use, and where they are present you may not suggest that you are offering works under a Creative Commons legal tool. For the avoidance of doubt, you may not use any CC trademarks with unofficial language translations of CC licenses. See this page for more information.

As-is, they could sue you for trademark infringement and they’d win.

(You can’t even say “this license is derived from the CC BY” if you make a modified version. Same part of trademark law that prevents one toilet paper brand from mentioning their competitor’s name in their comparison commercials. You can’t use someone else’s trademark to promote a competing product.)

For the CC BY’s text, exclusion of bolted-on restrictions is accomplished by the following sections:

Section 2, Subsection 5

Downstream recipients.

a. Offer from the Licensor – Licensed Material. Every recipient of the Licensed Material automatically receives an offer from the Licensor to exercise the Licensed Rights under the terms and conditions of this Public License.

b. No downstream restrictions. You may not offer or impose any additional or different terms or conditions on, or apply any Effective Technological Measures to, the Licensed Material if doing so restricts exercise of the Licensed Rights by any recipient of the Licensed Material.

Section 3, Subsection 4

If You Share Adapted Material You produce, the Adapter’s License You apply must not prevent recipients of the Adapted Material from complying with this Public License.

Section 6, Part a

This Public License applies for the term of the Copyright and Similar Rights licensed here. However, if You fail to comply with this Public License, then Your rights under this Public License terminate automatically.

Section 7, Part b

Any arrangements, understandings, or agreements regarding the Licensed Material not stated herein are separate from and independent of the terms and conditions of this Public License.

Basically, either the recipient can ignore your additional restrictions (Section 7, Part b) or the CC BY terminates their license when they try to prevent one of their users from extracting your assets from the game and reusing them under the ordinary CC BY (the other quoted sections).

(I’m not a lawyer, but I’ve read about a lot of these sorts of situations over the years.)

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Unfortunately, the maintainers of all three major definitions of libre stuff (the Open Source Definition, the Debian Free Software Guidelines, and the Free Software Foundation’s Four Software Freedoms) have decided that “don’t resell as-is” disqualifies a license.

(I see that requirement on tons of assets here, and I just immediately close the tab.)

…and separating “as part of a game” from “as part of a compilation of assets” is a legal mess, so Creative Commons only offers that via the NonCommercial option, which people avoid because even that is a legal nightmare. (Can I be sued because I posted a CC BY-NC image on a blog with Google AdSense ads? Nobody knows for sure. The boundary between commercial and non-commercial use is decided by going to court over it.)

If you really want that, your only option is to specify a proprietary license… and going through the mailing lists for places like the OSI (who maintain the Open Source Definition) will give a ready sampler of why you want a proper lawyer to design a license.

The consensus behind that mindset is that:

  1. Places like Africa still need the ability to do the equivalent of selling shareware/freeware floppies for a nominal fee in the 1990s (eg. selling Wikipedia DVD sets for places without reliable Internet access) and trying to legally constrain how much is acceptable to charge is a legal mess.
  2. Bad actors are going to resell stuff if they think they can get away with it, regardless of your license.
  3. Outside of things like DVD sets for people without Internet, good-faith actors will be driven off by the license allowing buyers to then give away copies or upload them to the Internet Archive or whatever. (And the threat that PayPal might reverse the charges as fraudulent if they don’t make it clear to the buyer that the compilation is all free stuff you could download yourself.)
  4. If you need more assurance, a copyleft requirement like the ShareAlike clause in the CC BY-SA scares off abuse more strongly… and because of how copyright works, it only applies to “derivative works”, not “aggregation”.

Here’s a quick TL;DR of aggregation vs. derivative works:

  1. If someone combines your art into a single-PNG tile atlas, the whole atlas would be a derivative work.
  2. If someone bakes your art into a single-EXE game, the game would be a derivative work.
  3. If someone puts your art into a folder or Zip file as part of their game, and it’s easy for the player to replace your art with something else and have the game function identically aside from displaying different art, then it’s aggregation and you can combine GPL code and CC BY-SA art in the same game, despite the GPL and BY-SA having incompatible copyleft requirements.

Would you mind setting the “Asset license” field in the “More information” box, or adding a link to the page on the Creative Commons site?

There are multiple versions of the CC BY-SA license and that introduces a bit of ambiguity into what you mean.

I’m interested in adding this to my Libre Game Assets list.

Would you mind putting a formal license on it? The Free Software Foundation has a good explanation of why “informal licenses” are bad.

(For example, Germany errs on the side of protecting you from giving away too much when there’s ambiguity, to the point where things can get very surprising. This analysis of how far the CC0 has to go to achieve “like Public Domain” status in Germany has more detail on that.)

(I’m also interested in your handwritten font, if you’re willing to do the same for that.)

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If you’re offering Wave files because of the quality, have you considered offering FLAC instead?

  • On average, you’ll get at least 50% compression out of it
  • It’s the most popular compressed lossless format
  • The encoder bakes an MD5 hash of the original PCM audio into the FLAC file that allows a decoder (eg. flac -t) to verify that the encoded data produces output bit-for-bit identical with the original audio.
  • The flac encoder has a --verify option which will double-check the correctness of the MD5 hash as the output file is being generated by decompressing the freshly compressed data in parallel.

I’m interested in adding this to my Libre Game Assets list.

Would you mind putting a formal license on it? The Free Software Foundation has a good explanation of why “informal licenses” are bad.

(For example, Germany errs on the side of protecting you from giving away too much when there’s ambiguity, to the point where things can get very surprising. This analysis of how far the CC0 has to go to achieve “like Public Domain” status in Germany has more detail on that.)

Of the things that are offered by the “Asset license” selector for the “More Information” box, it looks like you’re probably informally describing what the CC BY 4.0 gives you.

Thanks. :)

I’ve added them all to my list.

Sorry to bug you after you already made an effort, but would you mind either linking to a specific version of the CC-BY-SA or setting the “Asset license” field in the “More Information” box?

You’re so close to getting it perfect that it seems a shame to leave that ambiguity.

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You always need a window. The trick is to make the window look like it’s nothing but the sprite. There are three parts to it:

  • Creating a window the same size as your sprite.
  • Asking the OS (Windows, macOS, Linux, etc.) to give you a window with no titlebar or borders. (Like things like WinAMP did.)
  • Setting the shape mask.

(The shape mask is like GIF transparency. It lets you specify that part of the window’s square should be excluded when drawing it or processing mouse input.)

It’s possible you might also be able to draw into another application’s window, but that sort of thing was generally Windows 3.1 or early X11 stuff and I don’t know if it still works on modern OSes.

I can’t say any more without knowing what language you’re asking about.

“Use them on your commercial projects” is pretty vague as a license statement. Did you intend this to be the same “CC0 except for the music” situation as Warped City or was something like CC-BY intended?

Assuming they’re in the same “CC0 except for the music” situation as Warped City, it’d also be a good idea to clarify the description for this, SunnyLand Forest, and SunnyLand Woods.

No problem. Thank you for putting up some stuff I can include in my Libre Game Assets list. :)

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The terms in the description (CC0) and the Asset license field in the More Information block (CC-BY 4.0) have fallen out of sync.

Would you mind fixing that?

The Snow Dream font is listed as “Free for Personal use only”, which would mean that anything that incorporates it would not be usable commercially unless you secured a separate license from the font’s creator and you wouldn’t be able to release anything containing it under a CC-BY 4.0 license.

Do you have more information?

Your description and your “More Information” metadata have fallen out of sync.

The description says CC0 but the metadata says CC-BY 4.0 International.

Would you mind fixing that?

Ahh. Probably a good idea to add a clarification in the description that it’s “CC0, except for the music which is…”.

Ahh. Probably a good idea to clarify that in the description. I can easily see someone assuming the “Music License” was an un-changed copy-paste from something that only contained music, and was intended to apply to the whole pack.

(While looking for more to add to my Libre Game Assets collection, I run across so many listings with goofs like that.)

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Your license terms are legally ambiguous. “Public domain” means that you give up all right to dictate terms like “but not resell the asset pack”.

(And, in some jurisdictions like Germany, you can’t put things into the public domain prematurely, so when that’s actually intended, you have to use the Creative Commons Zero (CC0) public domain dedication, which falls back to some legal hackery to grant an equivalent license. See this analysis for details.)

…and the “You can use this asset personally and commercially.” terms on your other free assets are legally problematic because some jurisdictions fall back to “All Rights Reserved” if the terms are judged too vague instead of attempting to follow the creator’s intent like in the U.S.

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By that “[CC 1.0]” in the title, did you mean “CC0 1.0”? (i.e. CC Zero v1.0)

“CC” just means “Creative Commons” and they have a bunch of different licenses. (I guessed CC0 because that’s the only one I can think of which is still at version 1.0.)

If so, would you mind setting the “Asset license” field in the More Information box to make that clear?

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Would you mind putting a proper license on this? The Free Software Foundation has a good explanation of why “informal licenses” are bad. (TL;DR: In some countries, the law might interpret a not-precise-enough license statement as invalid and, thus, “All Rights Reserved”.)

From your “Music License” description section, it sounds like what you want is a Creative Commons Attribution license (CC-BY).

Once that’s been taken care of, I’ll happily include it in my Libre Game Assets list. (Assuming I didn’t misinterpret your intention, of course.)

(I’d include everything of yours that’s under suitable terms, but I can’t figure out how to get a complete listing of everything you released, so I’ve only started to encounter your stuff on a case-by-case basis as it turns up in searches and “you might also like” listings… something I’ve been dragging my heels on until I can find time to write something which automates the process of searching Itch for listings that are tagged with or mention recognized libre licenses.)

Your description and your More Information block are confusing when taken together.

Your “Music License” section describes terms akin to the CC-BY 4.0, but the “More Information” box says it’s under CC0, which is a public domain dedication. (Basically saying “I irrevocably give up my right to set rules for the use of this”.)

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I want to second that.

As someone who normally writes time-saving utilities and PIM tools, not games, this is so good that it’s making me want to try my hand at a 3D game in Godot once my perfectionism has let go of what 2D tilesets like Cavernas and Kyst have inspired in it.

(Not sure how long that’ll be though. I’ve got more important demands on my time, so progress on the Cavernas platformer is very slow.)

No problem. I’ll also toss “16x16 RPG character sprite sheet” in Libre Game Assets while I’m at it.

Hey, that’s better than some of my projects, where I just can’t quite get over my sense of perfectionism enough to push them public before they’ve been refactored a bit.

The important thing is that people know they’re allowed to contribute, and have access to a proper form for editing.

I’m already behind on my own projects, so I’m not sure if I’ll ever find time to contribute to the code, but I can at least add it to my Libre Game Dev Tools collection to get it more attention.

No problem. It’s in the list now.