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Author Topic: Using Mandelbulber for a commercial iOS game  (Read 4170 times)
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amichail
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« on: April 03, 2012, 07:47:59 PM »

Are there any issues with using Mandelbulber to generate backgrounds for a commercial iOS game?

Are there any restrictions on its use?  Are there any issues with patents and/or copyright?  Would I need to acknowledge the use of this software somehow in the game and/or App Store app description?

Also, if I like an image generated by someone else and I generate a similar image, would there be any issues with respect to copyright and/or acknowledgement?
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David Makin
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« Reply #1 on: April 04, 2012, 05:41:42 PM »

Generally as far as fractal software is concerned the answer is no - *provided* that the images you are using are ones created from parameters that are yours i.e. you own the copyright of - if using parameters created by another fractal artist (from whatever source) then whether using that image directly or indeed anything derived from it (at least that is still recognisably derived from the original when rendered) then you need to ask permission from the original fractal artist.

The issue with copyrights with respect to Mandelbulber itself (or other fractal software) are related to use of the code rather than use of images created.

If generating a "similar image" to someone else's then if it's genuinely not derived from the parameters for the other image then legally I believe there's no issue - however under serious challenge this would have to be proved - of course if it actually is derived from someone's else's parameters then you would most definitely need permission to claim copyright of your version from the creator of the "original".
« Last Edit: April 04, 2012, 05:47:51 PM by David Makin » Logged

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taurus
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« Reply #2 on: April 04, 2012, 10:39:54 PM »

i'm not sure if you really mean "mandelbulber". often people confound this with mandelbulb in general or mandelbulb 3d.

about issues in program licenses i recommend to read judicial comments about the used license, but i guess david is right, that there schould be no major probs to encounter.

about images:
when you're able to create your images only by watching the results, the answer is yes, use it as you like. noone will hinder you in taking some inspiration.

when you're asking about the commercial use of shared parameters, the answer is no, even when published without a dedicated license, they are protected by copyright laws. besides that it's a matter of decency, to ask for permission when using the achievements of other people.

in the special case of my parameters, they are shared unter a cc license, that prohibits the the commercial use, so every further comment is not needed.
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amichail
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« Reply #3 on: April 05, 2012, 05:40:00 AM »

Generally as far as fractal software is concerned the answer is no - *provided* that the images you are using are ones created from parameters that are yours i.e. you own the copyright of - if using parameters created by another fractal artist (from whatever source) then whether using that image directly or indeed anything derived from it (at least that is still recognisably derived from the original when rendered) then you need to ask permission from the original fractal artist.
What about the parameters that come with Mandelbulber? Do I need permission to use any of those for commercial purposes?
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visual.bermarte
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« Reply #4 on: April 05, 2012, 09:54:50 AM »

 
Quote
What about the parameters that come with Mandelbulber? Do I need permission to use any of those for commercial purposes?
Well, usually it's not permitted but try to ask to the author.
« Last Edit: April 05, 2012, 10:07:34 AM by visual.bermarte » Logged
David Makin
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« Reply #5 on: April 06, 2012, 07:55:10 PM »

 Well, usually it's not permitted but try to ask to the author.

Exactly wink i.e. the same as with any parameters where you don't know if they're free from copyright or not - in this case try a pm to the author wink
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amichail
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« Reply #6 on: April 07, 2012, 05:48:34 AM »

Exactly wink i.e. the same as with any parameters where you don't know if they're free from copyright or not - in this case try a pm to the author wink
If I start with the default Mandelbulber image and then zoom in a bit, do I still need permission from the author of the default image parameters? Does it depend on how much I zoom in? How would I know what is acceptable?
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taurus
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« Reply #7 on: April 07, 2012, 06:39:37 AM »

If I start with the default Mandelbulber image and then zoom in a bit, do I still need permission from the author of the default image parameters? Does it depend on how much I zoom in? How would I know what is acceptable?

what do you want? that we give our blessing to your theft? all you're asking here is how to avoid asking the image creator. the starting parameters of mandelbulber are meant to give you a clou of what is what in this program and not to to give you copyright free imagery for your commercial project. if you want to use them, ask buddhi for permission. or at least name the names.
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hobold
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« Reply #8 on: April 07, 2012, 07:18:00 PM »

Amichail, you might want to contrast two simple questions:

1. What would you consider theft of your commercial iOS game, i.e. your effort and intellectual property?

2. What would Buddhi consider theft of his work on Mandelbulber, i.e. his effort and intellectual property?

This should lead you naturally to another question:

3. Why should Buddhi not be entitled to the same rights as you?


You see, Buddhi chose to release Mandelbulber under an open source license. But that does not mean he gave up his copyright. It simply means he granted the users (i.e. you among others) certain rights in exchange for certain obligations. You should honour his rights just as you expect your rights to be honoured.

(BTW, it's not the GPL that "taints" derived works. It's programmers who steal GPL'ed code that "taint" their derived work themselves by violating their obligations. If you use Mandelbulber without permission, you might end up having to open up your game in the "share alike" sense.)
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amichail
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« Reply #9 on: April 07, 2012, 10:08:36 PM »

Amichail, you might want to contrast two simple questions:

1. What would you consider theft of your commercial iOS game, i.e. your effort and intellectual property?

2. What would Buddhi consider theft of his work on Mandelbulber, i.e. his effort and intellectual property?

This should lead you naturally to another question:

3. Why should Buddhi not be entitled to the same rights as you?
If you use a word processor that comes with document templates, do you need permission to sell a novel that makes use of one of those templates?
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Xenos
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« Reply #10 on: April 08, 2012, 02:22:37 AM »

I strongly doubt a court would find that you've got copyright of the entire set of fractals that is possible to generate from your parameters. Even a couple of clicks would likely find a  new creation in the safe zone: "To be copyrightable, a derivative work must be different enough from the original to be regarded as a "new work" or must contain a substantial amount of new material. "

You're able to copyright images or videos, not an entire subset of a mathematical equation.
« Last Edit: April 08, 2012, 02:26:25 AM by Xenos » Logged
taurus
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« Reply #11 on: April 08, 2012, 10:22:06 AM »

I strongly doubt a court would find that you've got copyright of the entire set of fractals that is possible to generate from your parameters.

i don't know the exact translation but in copyright issues justice often classifies works about their "level of originality". i strongly doubt, that amichail's project would reach a protection deserving level of originality, when graphics are recognizable modifications of existing parameters. ok a hypothesis - i didn't see a result.


Quote
If you use a word processor that comes with document templates, do you need permission to sell a novel that makes use of one of those templates?

what you want is a free of charge illustration for your novel, not a template.
« Last Edit: April 08, 2012, 11:50:34 AM by taurus66 » Logged

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hobold
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« Reply #12 on: April 08, 2012, 12:11:20 PM »

If you use a word processor that comes with document templates, do you need permission to sell a novel that makes use of one of those templates?
Technically yes. But the maker of this word processor would typically grant an explicit license to their customers to freely use those templates. That is because the software vendor wants those templates to be a feature of their package.

However, when you asked if you could use slightly modified example images from Mandelbulber, the analogous word processor example would be more like this:

If you use a word processor that comes with example novels, do you need permission to print and sell (possibly slightly modified) copies of those novels?

And the answer is: it depends on the license that governs the use of the novels. By default, the copyright owner, who copied those novels to make them available to you, does not have to grant you the right to make copies yourself.


If you don't want to go hunting for fractal vistas yourself, talk to someone who does. Don't just take their work without even asking the author. I realize that you're probably neither rich, and nor a fortune teller who can accurately predict the possible revenue from the finished game. So you are very reluctant to invest considerable sums upfront. That's fine. There will be fractal artists out there who understand that. I am sure you can work out something that both parties can live with.

(It could well be that we're making much ado about nothing here. Maybe Buddhi would grant you the right to using some example images, just for the chance of exposing a larger audience to 3D fractals. The point is, without asking him directly, you will never know.)
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amichail
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« Reply #13 on: April 08, 2012, 03:30:36 PM »

However, when you asked if you could use slightly modified example images from Mandelbulber, the analogous word processor example would be more like this:

If you use a word processor that comes with example novels, do you need permission to print and sell (possibly slightly modified) copies of those novels?
An image obtained by zooming can look very different from the original even though most of the parameters might still be the same.

Is copyright here based on a comparison of the images or on the comparison of the parameters used to generate them?

Also, should one include values hardcoded in the program as parameters as well? Or are parameters only those that can be changed by the user?

When using a compiler, should one consider the default compile settings as parameters subject to copyright?
« Last Edit: April 08, 2012, 03:35:32 PM by amichail » Logged
hobold
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« Reply #14 on: April 08, 2012, 04:26:12 PM »

Is copyright here based on a comparison of the images or on the comparison of the parameters used to generate them?

Also, should one include values hardcoded in the program as parameters as well? Or are parameters only those that can be changed by the user?
Unfortunately there is no rigorous algorithm to decide that. Works that have even only a slight component of art in addition to the craft are open to interpretation. Fractal imagery may arise from strict algorithms, but there is definitely art involved in the many choices that the person is making who ultimately guides the computer to a final image.

In extreme cases, a judge will make the decision of what is and what isn't similar enough to be legally treated as a copy (or plagiarism).

Quote
When using a compiler, should one consider the default compile settings as parameters subject to copyright?
Compilers are usually counted as a purely technical detail. The idea is that all the creative achievement is in the source code. The compiler carries out a purely mechanical process that requires no creativity and does not add anything essential. (This may not be the whole truth, but it is the usual legal view.)

In any case, the copyright always extends to both the parameters (the "source code") and the images defined by those parameters (the "compiled executable"). Since the compiler doesn't add anything essential, it does not influence copyright.
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