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Free Art License

On-line version:

Free Art license

[ Copyleft Attitude ] Version 1.1


With this Free Art license, you are given the right to freely copy, distribute and transform the artworks in the respect of the rights of the author.

Far from ignoring the rights of the author, this license recognizes them and protects them. It reformulates their principle while making it possible for the public to make a creative use of the works of art. Whereas the use that is being made of the right to litterary and artistic property resulted in a restriction of the public’s access to the
works of art, the goal of the Free Art license is to support it.
The intention is to open the access and to authorize the use of the resources of an artwork by the greatest number of people. To make it available in order to multiply the pleasures, to create new conditions of creation to amplify the possibilities of creation. In the respect of the authors with the recognition and the defense of their moral rights.

Indeed, with the arrival of digital creation, the invention of the Internet and of free software, a new approach of creation and of production appeared. It is also the amplification of what has been tested by many contemporary artists.
Knowledge and creation are resources which must remain free to be still truly knowledge and creation. I.e. to remain a fundamental quest which is not directly related to a concrete application. Creating is discovering the unknown, it is inventing reality without any preoccupation about realism.

Thus, the object of art is not equivalent to the artistic object, finite and defined as such. This is the essential goal of this Free Art license: promoting and protecting artistic practices freed from the rules of the market


- Artwork:

- It is a common artwork which includes the initial artwork as well as all posterior contributions (conse-quent originals and copies). It is created at the initiative of the initial author who, by this license, defines the conditions according to which the contributions are made.

- Initial artwork:
- It is the artwork created by the initiator of the common artwork, which copies will be modified by whoever wishes. .

- Consequent artworks:
- These are the proposals of the authors who contribute to the formation of the common artwork by making use of the reproduction rights, of distribution and of modification that the license confers to them.

- Original (source or re-
source of work)):
- Dated specimen of the artwork, of its definition, of its partition or of its program which the author present like the reference for all further updatings, interpretations, copies or reproductions.

- Copy:
- Any conforming reproduction of an original as defined by this license.

- Author of the initial artwork:
- It is the person who created the artwork at the origin of the tree structure of this modified artwork. By this license, the author determines the conditions under which this work is done.

- Any person who contributes to the creation of the artwork. He is the author of an original work resulting from the modification of a copy of the initial artwork or the modification of a copy of a consequent artwork.


The object of this license is to define the conditions according to which you can enjoy this work freely.


This artwork is subject to copyright, and the author, by this license, specifies the extent to wich you can copy it, distribute it and modify it:


You have the right to copy this artwork for a personal use, for your friends, or for any other person and employing whatever technique.


You can freely distribute the copies of these artworks, modified or not, whatever the support, whatever the place, for a fee or for free
if you observe all the following conditions:

- attach this license to the copies, in its entirety, or indicate precisely where the license can be found,

- specify to the recipient the name of the author of the originals,

- specify to the recipient where he will be able to access the originals (initial and/or consequent). The author of the original will be able,

if he wishes to, to give you the right to diffuse the original under the same conditions as the copies.


You have the right to modify the copies of the originals (initial and consequent), which can be partial or not, in the respect of the conditions set in article 2.2 in the event of distribution (or representation) of the modified copy.

The author of the original will be able,if he wishes to, to give you the right to modify the original under the same conditions as the copies.


All the elements of this artwork must remain free, this is why you are not allowed to integrate the originals in another work which would not be subject to this license.


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 artwork, you only agree to give to others the same rights on your contribution as those which were granted to you by this license.


This license takes effect as of your acceptance of its provisions. The fact of copying, of distributing, or of modifying the artwork constitutes a tacit agreement. The duration of this license is the duration of the author’s rights attached to the artwork. If you do not respect the terms of this license, you automatically lose the rights that it confers to you. If the legal status to which you are subject does not make it possible for you to respect the terms of this license, you cannot make use of the rights which it confers.


This license could be modified regularly, for its improvement, by its authors (the actors of the movement copyleft_attitude) by way of new numbered versions.
You have always the choice between being satisfied with the provisions contained in the version under which the copy was communicated to you or else, to use the provisions of one of the subsequent versions.


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 initial work.


This license is subject to the French law.


- How to use the Free Art license?

To benefit from the Free Art license,
it is enough to specify the following on your artwork:

- [some lines to indicate the name of the artwork and to give a possible idea of what it is.]

- [some lines to give, if necessary, a description of the modified artwork and the name of the author.]

- Copyright ©

- [the date]

- [name of the author] (if it is the case, specify the names of the previous authors)

- Copyleft: this artwork 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 as well as on other sites.

- Why use the Free Art license?

1/ to give access to your artwork to the greatest number of people.

2/ to let it be freely distributed.

3/ to allow it to evolve by allowing its transformation by others.

4/ to be able yourself to use the resources of an artwork when it is under Free Art license: to copy, distribute it freely or transform it.

5/ This is not all.

Because the use of the Free Art license is also a good way to take liberties with the system of goods generated by the dominant economy. The Free Art license offers an interesting legal framework to prevent any abusive appropriation. It is not possible any more to seize your work to short-circuit its creation and to make an exclusive profit from it. It is not allowed to take advantage of the collective work being done, not allowed to monopolize the resources of moving creation for the only benefit of some.
The Free license Art fights for an economy suitable for art, based on sharing, ex-change and the merry work. 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 Licenseto eliminate the copyright or the author’s rights. Quite the opposite, it is about reformulating its relevance by taking into account the contemporary environment. It is about allowing the right to freedom of movement, to free copy and to free transformation of artworks. Allowing the right to the freedom of work for art and artists.

1/ each time you want to use or enable this right, use the Free Art license.

2/ each time you want to create artworks so that they evolve and are freely copied, freely distributable and freely transformable:
use the Free Art license.

3/ A each time you want to have the possibility of copying, of distributing or of transforming a work: check that it is under Free Art
license. If it is not, you are likely to be outlaw. .

- To which types of artworks can the Free Art license be applied?

This license can be applied to digital artworks as well as to non digital ones. It was born out of the observation of the world of the free software and the Internet, but its applicability is not limited to the digital supports. You can put a painting, a novel, a sculpture, a drawing, a music, a poem, an installation, a video, a film, a cooking recipy, a CD-Rom, a Web site, a performance, in short all creations which can be claimed of a certain art.

- This license has a history: it was born at the meeting " Copyleft Attitude " which took place at "Accès Local" and "Public" in Paris at the beginning of the year 2000. For the first time, it gathered together software specialists and actors of free software with contemporary artists and people from the art world.

Translation : Antoine Schmitt

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Constant Verlag is a repository of texts from the depth of the Constant Archives. Some of those texts were already available on line, others just saved on one of our harddrives; some written in French, others in English or Dutch; recent or as early as 1997. As most texts have been published under open content licenses, you are invited to use, copy, modify and redistribute the material.

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