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Re: Firefox themes as Art files

From: Sam Geeraerts
Subject: Re: Firefox themes as Art files
Date: Sun, 19 Jul 2009 13:18:46 +0200
User-agent: Thunderbird (X11/20090711)

al3xu5 / dotcommon schreef:
Il giorno sabato 18/07/2009 12:57:05 CEST
Giuseppe Scrivano <address@hidden> ha scritto:

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

Considering that Firefox themes don't contain only images but for
example .css files too, is it a good idea to consider them "Art"

I personally completely disagree.

Free software in a non-free world means nothing.
Free software is just a part of a copylefted world.

Freedom not only means free software. Freedom involves knowledge,
science, culture, arts... all intellectual and creative works should be
free and benefif form all same four freedoms of free software.

The four freedoms apply specifically to functional software. You can't just carry them over to other kinds of works ...

Indeed, GNU and FSF support copyleft in gereral and in order to
copyleft all kinds of intellectual and creative works -not only
software-, they have free license also for works of practical use
besides software and documentation, including  a 'Free Art License'
specific for artistic works
[see: http://www.gnu.org/licenses/license-list.html#OtherLicenses
and also they list licenses for works of opinion and judgment, like the
'GNU Verbatim Copying License'
[see: http://www.gnu.org/licenses/license-list.html#OpinionLicenses]

... as you've shown here. But I agree that free licenses for artwork are a good thing.

Finally, css can not be consider art. First of all, ccs are essentialy CODE, no matter what it does or what
it is for.

Wether or not it's human readable code is irrelevant. SVG is also code, it describes an image and is most certainly artwork.

More, css defines the "artistic" layout? Well, also the <strong> or
<h1> tag or a C++ class to set background colors using C++ do
exactly the same: so also HTML and C++ code could be considered art and
no matter if it is non-free?

The HTML elements "strong" and "h1" describe the semantic structure of data (like most non-deprecated elements in modern HTML). Browsers generally render them as bold by default, but that is not required and can be changed with CSS. A C++ class to set background colors would be like a CSS interpreter: the color values would in general be separated from the code that sets them. Images can be described in C/C++ (I believe GIMP has such an export format) and that would be artwork. But it doesn't mean that all code that is in some way involved with graphics or visual style is artwork.

CSS describes the visual style of structured data. It is not sequence of detailed instructions and so should not be lumped together with actual computer programs.

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