by software artist Scott Draves. You may also follow me on google+ or twitter, buy art, or join me on facebook.

August 03, 2007

Sheep CC License Violation

Six months ago Ishwara posted a page of nice flame animations for VJs... They got a lot of praise, the page grew to 100 clips, and were listed by Resolume. I discovered them a couple days ago, and was dismayed to see designs that were perfectly familiar... a few minutes of searching proved beyond any doubt that each had been copied from the Electric Sheep server... without any hint the work wasn't 100% original.

While I was happy to see Ishwara make the sheep available to a wider audience (by using a different codec and making a web page of them), I was disappointed that the sheep weren't even mentioned. The sheep designs are distributed under a CreativeCommons license that requires attribution. Ishwara's page is clearly a violation of the license and of the trust of all the artists who contribute to the gene pool.

I pointed this out on the VJ Forum where Ishwara announced his page. He launched into a tirade against me and admits to copying the files but denies any responsibility to credit his sources. The argument starts on page 5 of the forum... warning: R rated for obscene language. You should see the private messages he sent me....

What's strange is that he apparently was a contributing designer and sheep enthusiast years ago, and has since then for unknown cause turned against me and now harbors a deep and personal grudge.

No idea where this is going -- tell me what you think...

side-by side comparison of just one:
The image on the left is from his site (the 12th one down from the top on the linked page), and on the right is the original on the sheepserver. The files match bit-for-bit.

Update August 8th: Alas, rather than comply, Ishwara has removed almost all the sheep content from his site (hence the side-by-side comparison above no longer works). He's also vandalized the comments on this blog entry, and continued his screed against me on the vjforum and by email.

Update August 20th: Ishwara said he would correct the site and then bring it back. But then the whole thing vanished, and an error message from his ISP took its place. Posted by spot at August 3, 2007 04:55 PM

everytime I see a CC or GPL violation, I ask me the same question: why? It's so easy to do things according to the licenses, like pasting a copyright notice or publishing the own code that was based on GPL software -- why don't people just do it? Posted by: pascal at August 3, 2007 05:31 PM
It really does seem quite pointless. Perhaps he wanted to get some glory for himself by failing to attribute the sheep. Posted by: turbogeek at August 4, 2007 05:23 AM
It was funny how defensive Ishwara got when he wasn't getting praised for "his" work. How hard is it to cite your sources? Posted by: cerealrat at August 4, 2007 07:57 AM
Logistically yes, its fair enough for sheep to want to be credited. Whilst it is certainly very clear that the files ishwara has posted are the same electric sheep files spot refers to, spot's approach was only ever going to get a defensive response. Surely if these people have an existing relationship, there is a more diplomatic approach to take about this - offline. I don't regard either's approach to be mature and the more they fight about it the more the situation escalates. Spot, ask nicely to be credited as the source. Ishwara, be gracious. We respect this FAR more than who is right or wrong. We respect sheep, creative commons, creative passion, good communication, and maturity. There are more than enough pixels to go around. Posted by: Lucy Paynter at August 4, 2007 05:03 PM
I've added an attribution thingy to my front page. Lucy is right. If you'd have just asked me first Scott, I'd have done what you asked, but for you to go about it in an open forum p***ed me off big style. Next time you want something from me, just ask Anyway, peace prevails (I hope) - I'm still hosting Shoop, so nothing's changed, apart from a hissy fit which I hope to leave behind us. I VJ with my own content, just over the years, many people have asked for sheep in a codec suitable for VJ softs, si I supplied that, out of my love for sheep and flames, only to get publicly scorned by the person I have given so much to in the past. Anyway, hope all is well now. Posted by: Steve at August 5, 2007 11:35 AM
BTW - did you ask me if you could use the image I made? Just kidding, hope the front page of my site clears all this up now. Seeing it on a forum when one gets home quite plastered is not good, so next time Scott, please just email me babes :-) Posted by: Steve at August 5, 2007 11:47 AM
Hmmm. OK. Images are gone. The thing I find hard to grasp is how a few years ago we were chatting about using Shoop to make DVD's to flog at festivals, and now you're whining about a few avi files for VJ people to use. There is no warning on the screensaver that you cannot convert mpeg2 files. There is also no warning to the designers that their flames become yours once uploaded. Surely, just the act of sharing in a DC++ hub is a violation - one which you condoned and said yes OK, for 198 flock - so make your mind up Need I remind you that I was sharing VJ Loops - for free - not some money grabbing idea that you have turned your sheep into. Posted by: Steve at August 10, 2007 02:19 PM
Steve, making and selling DVDs that are properly labeled doesn't violate the CC license. The Spotworks DVD is one such product. Making a web page of sheep without linking them to their sources (like you did) does violate the license. My position hasn't changed. Please read the terms ( carefully. Sharing the sheep files via DC++ like we did wasn't a violation as it was labeled. Flames do not become mine when uploaded. But when they are uploaded they are put under CC which gives me (and you and everyone) the right to make commercial use of them... as long as the source is attributed. Posted by: spot at August 10, 2007 11:07 PM
SHARE!!!!!!!!!!! it is art!!!! who cares... bummer I cant download the clips anymore.... heard they were pretty good electric sheep rocks!!!!! wooty Posted by: gap at September 15, 2007 03:36 PM
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