GPL Filigree


My filigree tile is not as succesful as the black linen wallpaper pattern extracted by mr. messina, but it is GPL. For the purposes of releasing a theme, that’s what’s more important. Granted, i could ask permission of mr. messina to relicense his work (although he’d need permission in turn from the wallpaper photographer. If we really wanted to see where the rabbithole goes, we might need the permission of the wallpaper designer. Although going that deep might call into question the doctrine of first sale. You’re not still surprised that i trusted my own hand here, are you?

I’m building my next redesign of archGFX as a sandbox based theme, which means i have no choice but to use a GPL-compatible license. hence the pontificating about wallpaper. It will look about like this, but it will build in a whole lot of CMS/tagging functio nality (among other things). The other works that i will have to replace before releasing the theme, are the silk icons. While I, the theme author, can satisfy mark’s attribution requirements in the theme, releasing the theme as GPL would mean that i would effectively re-license his icons as GPL. Then, anyone who wanted could come along and use his icons, out of my theme, without attribution.

If you’re wondering why so many other themes don’t waffle about this, that’s it. K2 relicensed the icons a long time ago. I could just use the icons out of the K2 theme, and my own ass would be covered. However, a) that would mean looking exactly like k2, and b) should mark ever go SCO on the kubrick guy, I might still not be covered (especially after posting this). Ironically, the habari version of K2, which is apache licensed, and requires attribution, would be acceptable to the original CC-license, but the apache license is not GPL compatible.

The old solution to this, proposed by wordpress developers, is to license the CSS and images seperately from the PHP templates. while that’s a nice ideal, i’m using a PHP stylesheet, so it’s not feasible in my case. The other problem is that, as i understand it (correct me if i’m wrong), GPL code cannot be distributed with non-GPL code without virally infecting the non-GPL code. so i’d need two seperate downloads: 1 for the GPL PHP templates, and 1 for the CC-by licensed CSS and icons.  plus instructions on how to properly mux the two before installing.

So my solution is this.  I’ve drawn my own GPL filigree, available as PDF and GIMP pattern, (because i agree with mr. stallman that proprietary tools should not be used to build open-source software (or in this case, templates)).    I’m going to use Drupal‘s GPL lullacons, but rename them to match the names of the silk icons.   Then i’ll package the original filigree and silk icons seperately.  thusly, the theme download will work out of the box, but users who want the better art can download and replace the stuff.   Having seperate instructions for them shouldn’t be too bad.  Anyone who’s scared by the instructions, can stick with the GPL graphics.