Below is an explanantion from the artelibre.org site with the english translation of the artelibre license and some reasons to use and support the free art movement. The leading licesnce in the software industry is the GNU license.
- Why use the Free Art license?
1 / to give the greatest number of people access to
2 / to allow it to be freely distributed.
3 / to allow it to evolve by authorising its
transformation by others.
4 / to be able, yourself, to use the resources of a
work when it is under Free Art license: to copy, distribute or
transform it freely.
5 / This is not all: because the use of the Free Art
License is also a good way to take liberties with the
marketing system generated by the dominant economy. The Free
Art License offers a useful legal protocol to prevent abusive
appropriation. It will no longer be possible for someone to
appropriate your work, short-circuiting the creative process
to make personal profit from it. Helping yourself to a
collective work in progress will be forbidden, as will
monopolising the resources of an evolving creation for the
benefit of a few.
The Free Art License advocates an economy appropriate for
art, based on sharing, exchange and joyful giving. What counts
in art is also and mostly what is not counted.
- When to use the Free Art License ?
It is not the goal of the Free Art License to eliminate
copyright or author's rights. Quite the opposite, it is about
reformulating the relevance of these rights while taking
today's environment into account. It is about the right to
freedom of movement, to free copying and to free
transformation of works of art. The right to work in freedom
for art and artists.
1 / Each time you want to use or put this right into
practice, use the Free Art License.
2 / Each time you want to create works which can
evolve and be freely copied, freely distributed and freely
transformed: use the Free Art License.
3 / Each time you want to have the possibility of
copying, distributing or transforming a work: check that it is
under Free Art License. If it is not, you are liable to be
breaking the law.
- To which types of art can the Free Art License be
This license can be applied to digital as well as to
non-digital art. It was born out of observation of the world
of free software and the Internet, but its applicability is
not limited to the digital media. You can put a painting, a
novel, a sculpture, a drawing, a piece of music, a poem, an
installation, a video, a film, a recipe, a CD-rom, a Web site,
or a performance under the Free Art License, in short any
creation which has some claim to be a work of art.
With this Free Art License, you are authorised to copy,
distribute and freely transform the work of art while
respecting the rights of the originator.
Far from ignoring the author's rights, this license
recognises them and protects them. It reformulates their
principle while making it possible for the public to make
creative use of the works of art. Whereas current literary and
artistic property rights result in restriction of the public's
access to works of art, the goal of the Free Art License is to
encourage such access.
The intention is to make work accessible and to authorise
the use of its resources by the greatest number of people: to
use it in order to increase its use, to create new conditions
for creation in order to multiply the possibilities of
creation, while respecting the originators in according them
recognition and defending their moral rights.
In fact, with the arrival of the digital age, the invention
of the Internet and free software, a new approach to creation
and production has made its appearance. It also encourages a
continuation of the process of experimentation undertaken by
many contemporary artists.
Knowledge and creativity are resources which, to be true to
themselves, must remain free, i.e. remain a fundamental search
which is not directly related to a concrete application.
Creating means discovering the unknown, means inventing a
reality without any heed to realism. Thus, the object(ive) of
art is not equivalent to the finished and defined art
This is the basic aim of this Free Art License: to
promote and protect artistic practice freed from the rules of
the market economy.
The work of art:
A communal work which includes
the initial oeuvre as well as all subsequent contributions
(subsequent originals and copies). It is created at the
initiative of the original artist who, by this license,
defines the conditions according to which the contributions
The original work of art:
This is the oeuvre
created by the initiator of the communal work, of which copies
will be modified by whosoever wishes.
These are the additions put
forward by the artists who contribute to the formation of the
work by taking advantage of the right to reproduction,
distribution and modification that this license confers on
The Original (the work's source or resource):
dated example of the work, of its definition, of its partition
or of its program which the originator provides as the
reference for all future updatings, interpretations, copies or
Any reproduction of an original as defined
by this license.
Creator of the initial work of art:
This is the
person who created the work which is at the heart of the
ramifications of this modified work of art. By this license,
the author determines the conditions under which these
modifications are made.
Any person who contributes to the
creation of the work of art. He is the creator of an original
art object resulting from the modification of a copy of the
initial oeuvre or the modification of a copy of a subsequent
work of art.
The aim of this license is to define the conditions
according to which you can use this work freely.
2. EXTENT OF THE USAGE
This work of art is subject to copyright, and the author,
by this license, specifies the extent to which you can copy,
distribute and modify it.
2.1 FREEDOM TO COPY (OR OF
You have the right to copy this work of art for your
personal use, for your friends or for any other person, by
employing whatever technique you choose.
2.2 FREEDOM TO DISTRIBUTE, TO
INTERPRET (OR OF REPRESENTATION)
You can freely distribute the copies of these works,
modified or not, whatever their medium, wherever you wish, for
a fee or for free, if you observe all the following
- attach this license, in its entirety, to the
copies or indicate precisely where the license can be
- specify to the recipient the name of the author of
- specify to the recipient where he will be
able to access the originals (initial and subsequent). The
author of the original may, if he wishes, give you the right
to broadcast/distribute the original under the same conditions
as the copies.
2.3 FREEDOM TO MODIFY
You have the right to modify the copies of the originals
(initial and subsequent), partially or otherwise, respecting
the conditions set out in article 2.2 , in the event of
distribution (or representation) of the modified copy. The
author of the original may, if he wishes, give you the right
to modify the original under the same conditions as the
3. INCORPORATION OF ARTWORK
All the elements of this work of art must remain free,
which is why you are not allowed to integrate the originals
into another work which would not be subject to this license.
4. YOUR AUTHOR'S RIGHTS
The object of this license is not to deny your author's
rights on your contribution. By choosing to contribute to the
evolution of this work of art, you only agree to give to
others the same rights with regard to your contribution as
those which were granted to you by this license.
5. DURATION OF THE LICENCE
This license takes effect as of your acceptance of its
provisions. The fact of copying, distributing, or of modifying
the work constitutes a tacit agreement. This license will
remain in force for as long as the copyright which is attached
to the work of art. If you do not respect the terms of this
license, you automatically lose the rights that it confers. If
the legal status to which you are subject makes it impossible
for you to respect the terms of this license, you may not make
use of the rights which it confers.
6. VARIOUS VERSIONS OF THE LICENCE
This license may undergo periodic modifications to
incorporate improvements by its authors (instigators of the
"copyleft attitude" movement) by way of new, numbered
You will have the choice of accepting the provisions
contained in the version under which the copy was communicated
to you, or alternatively, to use the provisions of one of the
Sub-licenses are not authorized by the present license. Any
person who wishes to make use of the rights that it confers
will be directly bound to the author of the original work.
8. THE LAW APPLICABLE TO THIS CONTRACT
This license is subject to French law.
DIRECTIONS FOR USE:
- How to use the Free Art license?
To benefit from the Free Art License, it is enough to
specify the following on your work of art:
[- A few lines to indicate the name of the work and to give
an idea of what it is.]
[- A few lines to describe, if
necessary, the modified work of art and give the name of the
Copyright © [the date] [name of the
creator] (if appropriate, specify the names of the previous
Copyleft: this work of art is free, you can
redistribute it and/or modify it according to terms of the
Free Art license.
You will find a specimen of this license
on the site Copyleft Attitude http://copyleft.tsx.org/
as well as on other sites.
Translation : Antoine Schmitt,