I know this is an old post, but because the issue remains an ongoing and important one, I think it requires further attention as I do not believe it has been adequately addressed in the previous posts. I offer my opinion with a disclaimer: if you act upon my input, you take the consequences and full responsibility for your actions in your own hands and upon your own head. My opinion is no more or less valid than anyone else's, although I genuinely believe that history will bear me out as having been correct on this. I intend nothing but respect toward the previous poster's on this topic, but I have to speak my mind for the good of the community, both here on this forum and in the greater forum of public opinion on the relevant issues.
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.This was a completely unnecessary and spurious response to an issue that has not been properly established before the courts as to whether parameters can indeed be copyrighted. The OP is simply seeking here a valid response on the issue of copyright protection. Accusing him of being a thief in no way promotes or protects the interests of the community of hobbyests, artists, and professionals who use the software being discussed. Completely over-the-top responses like this harm the credibility of this community and cost the developers precious good will.
Amichail, you might want to contrast two simple questions:I think this confuses the actual issue with another issue. Parameters and software copyright are not necessarily one and the same. The parameters themselves are, after all, only parameters in a math formula. As such, I see no reason that copyright could ever be extendable to them. Granted, we live in an era in which somehow Americans (and a good many Westerners) believe that every idea should somehow remain in the ownership of the person who conceived it, but discovery of a fact does not grant ownership or copyright to that fact. Fractals are factual data that have been discovered, and only the expression of those facts may be copyrighted. But I will return to this momentarily.
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.)
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. "This has been the most sensible response to the issue at question in the OP.
You're able to copyright images or videos, not an entire subset of a mathematical equation.
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.No. You are misapplying the copyright for an image and thinking it creates some sort of umbrella of protection for an entire set of images that have not been generated as yet by anyone simply because they exist as a subset of parameters to a mathematical formula. Your analogy is false and illogical.
what you want is a free of charge illustration for your novel, not a template.
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.Although this is a less emotionally charged response than the others, it still follows after the fallacy that somehow the discovery of a set of parameters to a given mathematical formula grant copyright to the entire subset of every image possibly generated for that fractal expression ad infinitum. Some courts might support the assertion, but I have to believe that justice would eventually prevail and strike down any such foolish nonsense for the sake of the greater good. Yes, the greater good. Copyright protection works both ways, or should when the system isn't dysfunctioning.
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.)
In part you are correct, but you have missed the mark. I offer you a better analogy regarding these parameters. We've all heard of Cinderella. Let's say that her story hasn't yet been written, but I write the first synopsis of the tale. By your reasoning, I should get copyright to all possible expressions of Cinderella because I have captured all that is necessary to reproduce that exact story. But you may say that I simplify the matter too greatly because I am not accounting for artistic expression and variations in culture, language, and individual sensibilities. I say in reply that you are making that very same error. You cannot protect a set of parameters. You can only protect the expression itself. Disney does not get rights to every iteration of The Little Mermaid, just as the hypothetical author would not get the rights to every tale from rags to riches. Otherwise you are claiming that the images generated by the parameters afford no possibility of artistic expression or values judgment, and if this is so then the images themselves would not be copyrightable. Surely, you are not making such a claim.
As long as Mandelbulber is just a tool, then the works created with it are the intellectual property of the artist. The programmer of Mandelbulber has no rights to such original works. The mathematical idea for a particular type of fractal can indeed not be protected by copyright law.
The parameters for a specific fractal image, in my opinion, can be copyrighted. That's because they are often all that's required to create perfect copies of the image. In some sense, the parameters are a heavily compressed representation of said image.
So, to sum up: pictures rendered with Mandelbulber are not derived from Mandelbulber in the legal sense. But pictures rendered from example parameters are
derived from those examples. Presumably, the parameter files are covered by the same GNU Public License that governs that program's source code (I have not checked if the examples come with a separate license, so you better make sure).
The GPL is very specific about the user's rights and obligations of derivative works. If you re-render example images with just a few tweaks to the existing parameter files, then your parameter files are clearly derivative works. Thus the GPL extends to your parameter files, and you have to make them freely available to the public.
There is a grey area when you keep making more and more changes as you tweak parameters and explore the fractal. Eventually you may have moved so far from the parameters you started from, that nothing essential remains. Then these parameters will be viewed as your own original work. The GPL will not gradually slither across the whole chain of small tweaks; it will only look at the milestones that you actually release. So the gap between the original example file and your heavily modified end point of a long journey could easily be too wide for the GPL to cross.
There is no well-defined point at which the more and more modified file switches from being mostly a derived work towards being mostly your original work. As far as I can tell, that changes from jury to jury, from judge to judge.
And one final note of caution: I am not a legal authority. If you rely on me, abandon all hope.
I am merely applying common sense to prior examples.
Discovery of a fact cannot be copyrighted. Formulae cannot be copyrighted, just as recipes cannot be copyrighted. Let's look at the .gov post concerning this topic in general: "What does copyright protect? Copyright, a form of intellectual property law, protects original works of authorship including literary, dramatic, musical, and artistic works, such as poetry, novels, movies, songs, computer software, and architecture. Copyright does not protect facts, ideas, systems, or methods of operation, although it may protect the way these things are expressed. ... How do I protect my recipe?
A mere listing of ingredients is not protected under copyright law. However, where a recipe or formula is accompanied by substantial literary expression in the form of an explanation or directions, or when there is a collection of recipes as in a cookbook, there may be a basis for copyright protection. Note that if you have secret ingredients to a recipe that you do not wish to be revealed, you should not submit your recipe for registration, because applications and deposit copies are public records." In other words, if you don't want others to use your parameters, don't publish them. I do not claim that the exact image parameters aren't protected de facto, only that parameters for a given mathematical expression are not protected. For all of these reasons, as soon as the OP changes the camera inputs sufficiently the expression is no longer a derivative work, and the new image generated should belong solely to the OP.