A question about copyright and license for textures and brushes

Hello dear community

I have a question regarding licenses and copyright, which also kind of affects all of us who download resources.

If I have downloaded some textures and brushes that are under Attribution-NonCommercial 3.0 Unported Licence, Creative Commons — Attribution-NonCommercial 3.0 Unported — CC BY-NC 3.0 (CC BY-NC 3.0).

What exactly does that mean for me? In my opinion i’m allowed to re-publish and distribute the brushes and textures or parts of it, but I have to name the author, the license and I am not allowed to sell the textures and brushes. And I am not allowed to do is to resell the textures and brushes, not even parts of them or changes. And also not to pushlish without attribution. Is this correct?

How is it if I use these textures and brushes to create my painting that contains these textures for the canvas and was painted with the brushes? Does that mean that I am not allowed to sell my work? And then do I have to name the author of the textures and brushes?

And how is it for reference photos?

I somehow do not understand exactly where the conditions begin and where they end.

Since it is a question of law, please write in your answer if it is your opinion or you really know it.

I have of course read through the description on the CC license page. However, these questions have arisen.

Thank you in advance for your competent help.

I am not a lawyer.

I was going to answer your questions, to the best of my ability and knowledge of this subject.

However, I read this:
What are ported and unported Licence (CC) | OER Africa

Then I read this and tried to understand it:
NonCommercial interpretation - Creative Commons

Now, I realise that I don’t understand anything about any of it.

1 Like

everything is correct except the last part, you can resell changes. But you gotta make it clear that it is an adaptation and which parts.

The use of the brushes under this license for commercial use in itself isn’t allowed. There is a bit of a gray area if you make a work that isn’t intended to be sold, but someone offers to buy it since it wouldn’t be primarily intended for monetary gains.

If you plan on selling the stuff, contact the creator and see if they are willing to offer it under a different license or if there is any licensing cost for commercial use.

1 Like

Thanks for the reply. Than the license also applies for stuff that is made with the resources? That is heavy. Than i also have to give attribution by any resources that has CC-BY if i only want to publish a painting? I could imagine that very much of all arts here are created with a bursh pack downloaded. And some brushpacks also hosted in krita server is with CC-BY and not only CC-0.

Lets say i publish a painting on this forum and i used Ramon Miranda’s RM_Sketch Bundle. It is CC-BY-SA. Than i have to give attribution to him that i used his brushes and textures for my painting? I mean i have no problem to give him attribution. He does amazing work for the community. But i only like to know if this is correct in general.

I thought the license is only for the resource itself and not for the creation with this resouces as a tool.

Like: If you buy a ruler and this ruler has a copyright, then the line you draw with this ruler is also not affected by this copyright of the ruler.

But i don’t know it exaclty about this specific topic with textures and bruhes, and i like to know it :sweat_smile:

If you “feed” Google with the respective license, and then follow the link to the Creativecommons.org page, you will come to a page that puts the meanings of the variants of this license in general understandable words for “normal citizens” or NOT LAWYERS.
For example:



I like this page because it is the declaration of the Creative Commons organization itself, and in case there is a version adapted to your country, it is also indicated with a country flag and a country abbreviation. Maybe this will help you a bit?


1 Like

It does not, I read it and my question is not answered.

But thank you for posting the links.

I want to know it the license affect only the material or also the creation with this material.

To create a new thing with this resources as a tool is not share and not adapt. It is a own thing. Than it doesn’t apply to a work that i create with the licensed resources in my opinion. But i am not sure.

The answer to that would depend on the geographic you are in. I mean technically, one can claim that the artistic picture of the brush is copyrighted as an artistic work. And you posting that picture would be under the copyright. The license does give some freedom to how you can attribute, so you can add it to the meta data for example.

That said, even though the license covers transformations of the work, many places have laws in place that give some wiggle room if it is transformative enough. Then there are loopholes, for example in the US with things like fonts, you can only copyright the software that generates the font, not the font picture itself. So one could trace a font and get away with it.

So it would boil down to if the license is specifically only towards the generating of the brush and not the art itself, and the jurisdiction.

1 Like

Then all artists here that published a work on the forum without giving attribution if they used a bundle with brush or texture with CC-BY did a thing against the law, or better against the CC-BY License?

All artists here that used PESIS Watercolour, Rads Brush packs, RM_Sketch Bundle and doesn’t give attribution? In Theory? I mean not about the country law and the loopholes, only about the CC License.

And wojtrib’s brushpack bundles are under the GPL-3 license. Then i need to add the whole license text to my work? Cause GPL-3 needs to ship the whole license in everything that is under the GPL-3 License. By the way he also doesn’t ship the license as a textfile with it. Is his bundle than also against the licence? @wojtryb

GPL-3.0 always requires attribution composed at the minimum of a copyright statement, a notice and the GPL license text.

Also my work? Do i have to ship the whole GPL license text now if i create a image with a brushpack under GPL-3 license?

I think we are jumping the gun here. Generally what would be licensed is the software with the brushes. But this is where things like jurisdiction can make a huge difference.

For example, take the reason why CC-0 was created. Because some jurisdictions did not acknowledge public domain. So claiming something as public domain would not pass in court there. Thus, CC-0 was made to imitate legally as possible public domain.

So unless specified what exactly is covered by the license. Then it is up in the air. It would depend on jurisdiction, if it goes to court they can look at “intention” and etc.

1 Like

Okay thank you. Do you have to do with such things professionally?

What do you recommend if I create a work that used bundles that have CC-BY CC-BY-SA or GPL-3? And what do you recommend with CC-BY-NC?
I think the copyright law is very strict in middle europe like germany, france, switzerland or spain.

I am not a lawyer, but I do deal with contracts quite a lot at work.

As for what I recommend, generally if you are doing things for personal use, I wouldn’t worry too much since in many places you gotta prove damages. No one is even gonna bother going after a single person, especially those who are making brushes here. (The cost would not be worth the gain)

Now if you plan to use things for commercial purposes, always clarify with the author.

Edit: Just wanted to show you an example of what a clarification would look like from an existing brush pack:

"This brushes are licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 to "David Revoy, www.davidrevoy.com". This attribution is necessary in case of redistributing the pack, commercializing it, or modifying the brushes files. This attribution is not necessary in case of usage (you can paint any artwork you want with it, you still own totally your artwork). This attribution is not necessary in case of doing screenshot/screenrecording of Krita while using the brushes."

1 Like

Thanks, that is exactly why my sample doesn’t contained his bundles :rofl:

Your recommendation looks good to me, thanks.

If you take the licenses very seriously, then a NC means that yes, you should mention the brush creator’s name and can’t sell the painting. The same goes for GPL then your painting becomes GPL.

However in most cases the unsaid part is “…if you redistribute AS BRUSHES OR PATTERNS” etc., and the painting is fully yours. Otherwise it’s quite ridiculous :wink: I’m pretty sure that’s what @RamonM 's bundle conditioms are and I would be surprised if @wojtryb demanded for you to license your paintings with GPL. You can either ask the creator, assume my interpretation is correct and risk that it’s not, or not use it. But I’m pretty sire even commercial brushes are totally fine to use on paintimgs even if you cant share them like with gpl and cc-by-nc brushes.

That’s also why Krita’s brushes are CC-0, because that way all the questions are unswered clearly.

1 Like

I agree with you. But then it is maybe better to add this specification that only redistribution brushtips and patterns is under license and the created work is fully yours. Like David does.

By the way i don’t want to sell my arts, at least the next few years. I am a beginner. I was only interested to know, and maybe someone here also see the topic and could use the info.

1 Like

I don’t think this is true, for example Krita is gpl but our painting don’t become GPL licensed. IN case of brushes bundles that are GPL licensed. I think any brushes that are made from the resources or brushes from that bundle become GPL since they are derivatives or use things from GPL licensed bundle.


Licenses are complicated and when people take licenses they don’t understand that things could happen that they don’t want to happen. In his example, he writes in the manual that he provides as a pdf in the zip file:
This brush pack is licenced under GPL v3 - feel free to use it any way you like, both for personal and commercial use.
And this is against the license of GPL-3 in a very clear case in my opinion. Even if he is the owner of the brush pack, he is not allowed to make the change with a GPL-3 published think to add permissions to use it commercial, is this correct? Cause he talk about the brushpack and not about the painting you create with it.
Maybe i am wrong. But at least you have to put in the GPL3 License Text if you reuse his brushes or parts and publish it. And he too.

I just want so say that some people uses licenses and they don’t know what this means for him and the users.

EDIT: Okay i really don’t know if you are allowed to sell stuff with GPL3 License, as long as the source code is free. And if GPL3 License is only for software and not usable for the brushpacks. Very complicated.

GDquests Bundle is also GPL3 and he sells his Bundle officialy.

You are allowed to sell code or anything which is licensed under GPL3 license. it is just that if you distribute or sell it to someone you have to give them source files too. If you made any changes you have to give the source files too. This is to keep someone from making changes and keep it away from the community. So in this case I don’t think there is anything stopping you from selling or making art with the brushes. You only have to give attribution and also release your brush pack source files. for anyone who requests it.

I repeat there is nothing in the GPL which forbids people selling stuff. Even krita which is GPL3 is sold on stores.

1 Like


I don’t think that is actually a consequence of the GPL3 (or similar) licences for works that are produced by using GPL3 (or similar) items to create a ‘original work’.
The licence itself is written to preserve the ‘freedom’ of the software, not the end result or output product of what you do with it.

e.g. If I use Libre Office (which is not GPL3 but is similar) to compose, write and lay out a book, the license terms do not apply to that book.
I can sell the book or otherwise distribute it and I don’t have to provide anyone with the Libre Office source code etc. and I don’t even have to say that I used Libre Office in creating the book.

The problem with the CC-NC license it that is actually says:
" You may not use the material for commercial purposes"

I believe this was wriitten to protect finished works, such as photos, music, etc from being sold on or incorporated by addition/modification into commercial products.

That wording (i.e. ‘use’) does not take into account what happens with ‘tools’ such as brushes/textures, where the use of the tool does not put the tool itself (in a recognisable or usable form) into the finished product.

The entire situation of interpretation in this area is a mess.