# Does using Creative Common data in a GPL game mean the code must be CC-BY-SA?

Let's assume we have a game where the code is GPL-licensed, and all the resources (like music, textures, etc.) are licensed under the CC-BY-SA license.

Now, the first issue would be that the GPL is not compatible with the CC-BY-SA, but since it only applies when actually linking code, it's okay in this case. Am I right?

The real problem is that, arguably, the game is "built upon" (to use the same terms as the license) the music, textures, etc. So wouldn't the CC license require the code to be released under the CC-BY-SA as well?

• Do you know of a game licensed like this, that perhaps we could investigate and/or ask? I just checked on the first game like this that came to mind (PlaneShift) and it has a proprietary license on its art. – Ricket Oct 30 '11 at 18:26
• Well, the most recent example I saw is GeneticInvasion (projects.haxx.es/p/genetic-invasion), the code is GPLv3 but they use CC-BY-SA music. Another one would be Stepmania-SSC (the code is MIT licensed) and they bundle CC-BY-NC-SA (even worse!) default songs, so the 2nd question still applies. – Artefact2 Oct 30 '11 at 19:55

I am not a Lawyer, but with respect to CC-BY-SA content virally affecting the code:

The CC-BY-SA legal code specifically says

This Section 4(a) applies to the Work as incorporated in a Collection, but this does not require the Collection apart from the Work itself to be made subject to the terms of this License.

And from their definition of Collection (emphasis mine):

"Collection" means a collection of literary or artistic works, such as [...], by reason of the selection and arrangement of their contents, constitute intellectual creations, in which the Work is included in its entirety in unmodified form along with one or more other contributions, each constituting separate and independent works in themselves, which together are assembled into a collective whole. A work that constitutes a Collection will not be considered an Adaptation (as defined below) for the purposes of this License.

So it seems like a game would be considered a Collection rather than an Adaptation, and as specifically stated in their legal code, would not need to be made subject to the terms of CC-BY-SA.

NOTE: I am not a lawyer

Code and artistic assets are completely capable of being distributed under two separate licenses. In fact, the people over at Creative Commons recommend not using their licenses for code because other licenses cover that domain more completely (such as the GPL).