Free Culture, Licenses, and Endorsements
What license is Lunatics released under?
Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike, version 3.0 (unported). This applies to the episode videos, featurettes, and most of the gallery images and music available from this site. A few items may be under less liberal licenses due to restrictions placed on them by their copyright holders (some may be under "Non-Commercial" licenses, for example). If no other attribution notice is provided, you may use "Lunatics | lunatics.tv" as the attributed author (please make the link clickable if you are using the material on the web).
What's a "free license"?
A free license is one which allows anyone in the public to do most of the things with a work that the author can do without legal repercussions: specifically one must be able to copy the work freely, make derivative works, share those derivative works freely, and use the work for any purpose, including "commercial" uses. Some requirements are considered okay, though, such as requiring that the author be properly attributed or that derivative works are also released under the same free license. A somewhat more formal answer is available from FreedomDefined.org.
What's a "copyleft"?
Copyleft is the particular clause in some free licenses that insists that derivative works are released under the same license. It's also frequently called a "ShareAlike" clause, as in the case of the Creative Commons licenses.
Why do you sell still "licenses" then?
The "license" we are selling is the use of the "Creator Endorsed" trademark. In other words, we are really selling "endorsements". What we're really doing is making an arrangement for the profit-sharing which the Creator Endorsed mark indicates is happening. The trademark serves as a certification to the customer that a significant fraction of the money they pay is going to the artists who produced the work, and that the particular product is approved by the artists (e.g. for quality, authenticity, and/or accuracy).
What's "Creator Endorsed"?
Creator Endorsed" is a way of identifying ancillary merchandise, copies of a work, or other products which are approved specifically by the creators. In most cases this is because those sales directly benefit the creators financially through some form of profit-sharing. It plays the same role as official licensing does for proprietary works, but without making most types of copying illegal. It is also the name of the particular trademark symbol provided by Question Copyright for this use.
How is the "Creator Endorsed" mark enforced?
Well, we're hoping that most people will comply voluntarily, but strictly speaking, use of the CE mark without our endorsement is a violation of the trademark usage terms as published by Question Copyright. Officially the lawsuit would occur through Question Copyright's authority on our behalf (or vice-versa?). Since the presumed intent of such use is to fool people into buying products on a false pretense (i.e. that money is being shared with the creators), such an incident is possibly also criminal fraud (details may depend on the jurisdiction). Such use is probably also a violation of the "Attribution" clause of the Creative Commons license. So there are really three distinct ways in which abuse of the mark can be legally prosecuted: trademark infringement, copyright infringement, and criminal fraud. Hopefully this is just an academic question.
What's up with the "Creator Endorsed" online videos then?
This is an even more experimental idea. Those releases will be paid for with sponsorship advertising, and the CE mark stays with the official copies, which include the advertising. You can remove the advertising, of course, but you are obligated to remove the CE mark as well (the CE titlecard is at the beginning of the video -- you can't miss it). It stands to reason that if you have the tools to remove the ads, you will also have the tools to remove the CE mark, so this shouldn't be any hardship. We've created an alternate mark you can use on fan-remixes if you like.