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Subject: Re: Creative Commons licensing on themes

Re: Creative Commons licensing on themes

From: Thor Lewis <>
Date: Sat, 9 May 2009 12:44:56 -0700

Thanks for your comments Paul!

> 1) Contributing a theme to the theme site is very much like contributing
> code to Rockbox. Rockbox requires you allow people to share your code under
> a specific license, the theme site is the same, it just has a license
> appropriate for documents rather than code.

I understand your point, the trouble is, I'm sure a lot more artists
would submit if they knew they could do so without their artwork being
modified. Allowing different licenses would not only cut down on the
amount of copies, but also protect the artists from their work being
used commercially, outside of Rockbox.

> 2) Having a single license means contributors can't easily accidentally get
> it wrong about what their rights are regarding posted themes. Instead of
> having to check each theme to see which license it's under before learning
> from it, or adapting it to other players, or so on, they can simply know
> that any theme posted to the theme site has the exact same terms allowed for
> their use.

My hope would be, that if a designer was going to put in the effort to
create a quality theme, taking a few extra minutes to understand the
differences between the CC licenses wouldn't be that big a deal,
especially if they are taking collateral from another artist's

The same could be said for a developer contributing code to Rockbox.
You would hope they wouldn't be copying code from another source, but
if they did, they would demonstrate due diligence by checking if it
was ok to do so first.

> 3) Modification means that if the WPS syntax ever changes again, if an
> author has gone missing someone else already has explicit permission to fix
> their themes. Without a license that allows modification, if the WPS syntax
> changes a theme is simply unusable unless the original author is around to
> perform the modification.

This could be easily fixed with a comment in the WPS from the
designer, stating the license is a CC-BY-NC-ND (or whatever CC license
the designer chooses), but the WPS can be fully modified to fix
version bugs, as long as it looks the same.

#Licenced CC-BY-NC-ND 3.0
#Comment: If the theme doesn't work with future Rockbox versions,
# and you can't reach me by email (, feel free to
# modify to get it to work on Rockbox, as long as it looks the same.
# Also, feel free to modify on your own device for learning purposes.

Is this something we could implement? I would be happy to work on it
with someone from the team to finesse further.

Received on 2009-05-09

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