The General Asset License (GAL) was created with the intention of promoting freedom and providing an open framework for the distribution of digital assets. The GAL gives everyone the freedom to use assets unconditionally in their work, while guaranteeing that the assets themselves and any improvements made to them will always be available with the same freedom.
The available versions of the GAL can be found below:
For the purposes of the GAL, assets are understood to be snippets of work that would generally be combined to form a final work. Examples of this would be 3D models, rigs, materials, textures, sound snippets, etc.
With the increasing popularity of open source, a vast number of software licenses has been written, however, when it comes to non-software digital works, the choice is far more limited. While the various Creative Commons licenses cover most licensing needs for digital works, they do not offer a license specifically tailored to digital assets, as opposed to final works. There is increasing demand for and availability of digital assets, shared or sold with the intent of being used within larger works, and so far, the authors of the GAL have found there to be no satisfactory license for such purposes, and thus have decided to compose the GAL.
The GAL contains a "Use" clause that is clearly distinguished from the "Distribution" clause, allowing different conditions to be specified for use and for redistribution, a very important distinction when it comes to digital assets.
The GAL intends to guarantee the continued openness of digital assets, while simultaneously giving complete freedom to anyone using such assets within their work, to distribute and license their work in whatever way they see fit.
The GAL is intended for anyone distributing digital assets meant for use in larger works. The GAL was written specifically with the licensing needs of 3D assets in mind, but can more generally be applied to other digital assets, such as textures, sound snippets, etc.
The GAL is not a suitable license for final pieces of work, or software. If you wish to distribute your film, game, artwork, or other such work under an open license, it would be more appropriate to use, for example, one of the Creative Commons licenses, or in the case of software, one of the many open source software licenses.
CC-BY-SA is a very useful license in many circumstances, but can be inconvenient or impractical in some cases, especially for digital assets intended for use in larger projects. The requirement to license the larger project under the same terms as the assets is often impractical or even impossible, which can discourage the use of the assets. The GAL resolves this issue by allowing the use of the assets without putting any restriction on the license terms of the larger project.
CC-BY and CC0 are great when you wish to give ultimate freedom regarding the use of your assets, and these licenses do not suffer from the restrictions in CC-BY-SA which could discourage the use of the assets. These licenses, however, allow anyone to redistribute the assets or improved versions of the assets under any other license, and with any further restrictions, thus undermining the open nature of the way the assets were originally distributed. The GAL solves this issue by requiring that the assets always be distributed under the GAL, thus guaranteeing that any improved versions will always remain open.
The GAL can be applied to a work by simply including the license notice found in Exhibit A of the license. More information on applying the license can be found in the Applying the General Asset License section within the license document.
Yes. While the GAL generally imposes no conditions for "use" (as defined in the license), the GAL contains an optional clause requiring anyone using the work, to credit the author (note that this optional clause is the only condition the GAL imposes on use). If you wish to enable this clause, simply include the notice found in Exhibit B of the license together with the license notice itself. More information on applying the license can be found in the Applying the General Asset License section within the license document.
I am not a lawyer. The General Asset License is simply my attempt to fulfill what I find to be the licensing needs of an evergrowing niche. I have undertaken this after having used and studied a considerable number of existing popular open software and media licenses, and as an active member of the open source software community.
Copyright © 2019 Luca Rood. All rights reserved.