I don't think the philosophical problems you mention are that difficult in practice--
On Oct 30, 2011 Aymeric wrote:
> It is true that some licenses like the one you mention, require
> the source of the file....But what sources are we
> talking about?....What about the original photo?
> Should it be provided as a separate file, which resolution is enough?
> ...Not quite as simple as source code.
Perhaps not quite as simple, because different media require different sources. But for artists familiar with born-digital media, the standards are pretty much common sense: whatever you need to remix the work in that medium.
Image: MTAA, "Simple Net Art Diagram"
It's an animated GIF, so MTAA gave away the Illustrator file. (Note that this was in 1997, before the Open Art License, so they just used a Creative Commons license...which unfortunately has no View Source provision.)
Song: Trent Reznor, "The Hand That Feeds"
Reznor gave away Garageband and other formats. Yes, there was some compression, but you could still make a song as high-res as the original.
Animation: Creative Commons, "Get Creative"
CC gave away the Flash source file (fla), which is exactly what you need to remix the original.
> Of course nothing could prevent the author(s) of the license you use to
> redefine "sources"...
In fact, given that the Open Art License requires sharealike ("copyleft"), whatever sources the original author releases are by definition the kinds of sources that derivative works must expose too.
> That sounds like a never ending job to me if you need to take into
> account the meaning of "sources" in every single existing and future
> techniques, practices, frameworks and methods in the different artistic
While the standard for open-sourced rich media isn't quite as easy as "whatever code I need to compile this into an executable," if you step back to see the principle at work it's quite similar to code. If I release a Mac application under the GPL, I'm responsible for exposing the .m and .h files, but not for supplying previous versions, or the Xcode development environment or OS X itself.
The principle, as I see it, is simply to provide all the parts, in editable form, required to make the work *within its original context*.
Still Water--what networks need to thrive.