Free Art License

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Free Art License
(Licence Art Libre)
Free Art License logo
Free Art License logo
Latest version1.3
PublisherCopyleft Attitude
Published8 April 2007[1]
SPDX identifierLAL-1.2, LAL-1.3
FSF approvedYes[2]
GPL compatibleNo[2] (for possible exception see Clarifying compatibility below)

The Free Art License (FAL) (French: Licence Art Libre (LAL)) is a copyleft license that grants the right to freely copy, distribute, and transform creative works.[how?]


The license was written in July 2000, with contributions from the mailing list and, in particular, with French lawyers Mélanie Clément-Fontaine and David Geraud, and French artists Isabelle Vodjdani and Antoine Moreau. It followed meetings held by Copyleft Attitude Antoine Moreau, with the artists gathered around the magazine Allotopie: Francis Deck, Antonio Gallego, Roberto Martinez, and Emma Gall. They took place at "Accès Local" in January 2000 and "Public" in March 2000, two places of contemporary art in Paris.[3]

In 2003, Moreau organized a session at the EOF[expand acronym] space which brought together hundreds of authors to achieve exposure according to the principles of copyleft with this condition: "Free Admission if free work".[4] In 2005, he wrote a memoir edited by Liliane Terrier entitled in French: Le copyleft appliqué à la création artistique. Le collectif Copyleft Attitude et la Licence Art Libre (Copyleft applied to artistic creation. The Copyleft Attitude collective and the Free Art License).[5]

In 2007, version 1.3 of the Free Art License was amended to provide greater legal certainty and optimum compatibility with other copyleft licenses.[6]


The license was inspired by FLOSS licenses and issues related but not exclusive to digital arts:[7]

It was born out of the observation of the world of free software and the Internet, but its applicability is not limited to digital support.

It is recommended by the Free Software Foundation in the following terms: "We don't take the position that artistic or entertainment works must be free, but if you want to make one free, we recommend the Free Art License."[8]

Version 1.1 was adopted by art organizations like Constant (Brussels) and was translated into English by artist and technologist Antoine Schmitt.[7] The Open Definition website of the Open Knowledge Foundation lists FAL 1.2 and 1.3 as one of the licenses conformant with the principles outlined in the Open Definition.[9]

Compatibility with CC BY-SA 4.0[edit]

The Free Art License is equivalent to the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike (CC BY-SA) license.[10]

On October 21, 2014, after public discussions, the Copyleft Attitude collective announced that the Free Art License is now legally compatible with the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International (CC BY-SA 4.0) license.[11] The Creative Commons organization warmly welcomed this decision as it had defended this compatibility since the beginning.[12]

Clarifying compatibility[edit]

CC BY-SA 4.0 has been declared compatible with the Free Art license 1.3; and with the GPLv3,[13] but that doesn't mean that any Free Art License version is compatible with any GPL version. However, the GPL is a software licence, while the others are not (though can be used for), and what the "GPL-incompatibility" means is that the Free Art License isn't compatible when used for source code (or derived binary code). Since the FSF doesn't promotes the Free Art License (while explititly mentioning it PGL-incompatible), it likely means any Free Art License can actually be used with GPL software (under the "mere aggregation" consideration), i.e. GPL code (not just version 3) could display such art, or e.g. play sound or video covered by it.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ LAL 1.3, copy in Internet Archive (in French)
  2. ^ a b c "Various Licenses and Comments about Them". Free Software Foundation. 26 June 2018. Retrieved 2 August 2018.
  3. ^ The first meetings of Copyleft Attitude, copy in Internet Archive (in French)
  4. ^ Copyleft Session :: eof Archived 2011-08-11 at the Wayback Machine
  5. ^ Le copyleft appliqué à la création artistique. Le collectif Copyleft Attitude et la Licence Art Libre
  6. ^ Article introducing FAL 1.3 by Antoine Moreau
  7. ^ a b "Free Art License". 2009-07-22. Archived from the original on 22 July 2009. Retrieved 2022-03-19.
  8. ^ "Licenses - GNU Project - Free Software Foundation". Retrieved 2023-12-04.
  9. ^ "licenses/fal - Open Knowledge Definition - Defining the Open in Open Data, Open Content and Open Information". 2009-07-01. Archived from the original on 1 July 2009. Retrieved 2022-03-19.
  10. ^ "Creative Commons — Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International — CC BY-SA 4.0". Retrieved 2022-03-19.
  11. ^ "Compatibilité Creative Commons BY+SA & Licence Art Libre | Copyleft Attitude". Retrieved 2022-03-19.
  12. ^ "Big win for an interoperable commons: BY-SA and FAL now compatible". Creative Commons. 2014-10-21. Retrieved 2022-03-19.
  13. ^ "Compatible Licenses". Creative Commons. Retrieved 2023-12-04.

External links[edit]