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Re: Firefox themes as Art files - ADDENDUM

From: al3xu5 / dotcommon
Subject: Re: Firefox themes as Art files - ADDENDUM
Date: Sun, 19 Jul 2009 12:55:36 +0200

Il giorno domenica 19/07/2009 01:33:20 CEST
Giuseppe Scrivano <address@hidden> ha scritto:

> al3xu5 / dotcommon <address@hidden> writes:
> > This is in addiction to my previous email.
> >
> > The GNU/FSF Guidelines for Free System Distributions 
> > http://www.gnu.org/distros/free-system-distribution-guidelines.html
> > state:
> >
> > "Non-functional Data
> > Data that has an aesthetic purpose, rather than a functional one,
> > may be included in a free system distribution *as long as its
> > license gives you permission to copy and redistribute*, both for
> > commercial and non-commercial purposes. For example, there are some
> > game engines that have been released under the GNU GPL, and have
> > accompanying game information—a world map, game graphics, and so
> > on—*released under such a verbatim distribution license*. This kind
> > of data can be part of a free system distribution."
> It is saying that themes, if they are considered to have only an
> aesthetic purpose can be included in a free software as GNU IceCat.
> Firefox themes give you the permission to copy and redistribute them.

right... but the guidelines says that data with aesthetic purpose may
be included in a free system distribution *as long as its license gives
you permission to copy and redistribute* and also suggest to releas
aesthetic data *under such a verbatim distribution license* ...

anyway, I was referring to this statement in the first mail of
this thread:

"after a discussion we had on IRC (I catch this occasion to announce the
#icecat channel on the freenode.net network), it seems that themes
could be considered "Arts" and it is not a problem if they are

and my criticism was in particular about this: 
"it is not a problem if they are *non-free*"

I do not see problems if themes, images, css and more are released with
a truly free license

GNU/FSF have a 'Free Art License' specific for artistic works
which have all fredoms: such a license, for example, would be perfect
for aesthetic data

> What you posted enforces my doubt, themes must be considered software
> or not?

themes are images and css, now:

- images are not software

- css ARE CODE, and may contain not only 'artistic' directives for the
  page layout but also, for example, code to display floating menus, or
  code to hide/unhide some parts of the page, or code to manage
  printing... how can you decide if the css code in a theme is just art
  or not?

- a standalone theme do not work: it works only when you load it to
  become an extension of the browser, a functional part of the
  software... so themes MUST be consider software

- if we do not consider to be free all the artwork included in a
  software, then the same shuold be done for all logos, icons, colours,
  buttons, etc.???

> Our goal is to protect users freedom; to do so, there is need to have
> clear ideas, and I admit that now I don't have completely clear ideas
> on themes.

why just protect users freedom? would not be better trying to expand
users freedom?

and why just do it regarding software code?

> They looks like half way between software and artwork.

I do not think so: themes do nothing if standalone. they work only if
loaded into the browser to become a functional (not only aesthetic)
piece of it

> Surely we can't advise non-free software but at the same time we can't
> be blind and say no to everything.  If the FSF says that aesthetic
> data can be included, until it can be freely copied and distributed
> then I assume there are good reasons to say so.  If themes can be
> considered aesthetic data only then I don't see good reasons to don't
> advise them.

me too if they are released with a truly free licence!

but surely NOT if they are *non-free*!!!

> Are there good examples of themes that can't be considered only
> artwork?

as you can understand from what I have previous said, I do not think
this is the point...

let me add another observation:
suppose I am a visually handicapped and daltonian person 
suppose there is is a theme good for me: it has large icons and some
functionalities (included by the css theme) that works well to me
now suppose I nedd to change the icons colours (i ma daltonian) to be
able to see them well... BUT i can not do this becouse the theme
is released with a license wich do not permit any artwork

how can this a way to protect users freedom?


al3xu5 / dotcommon

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