I hadn’t necessarily seen much elaboration on this subject, so I was hoping I could get some clarification from people who have a decent understanding of how this would work.
I’ve used some GIMP patterns in some images. For some time, I had wondered what the license of the default GIMP patterns were, so I looked into it. After some time of searching the Internet without getting a lot of helpful results, I decided to just look into the GIMP source code and see what the legal stuff in there said about it. According to the LICENSE file I read, all files except some are under the GPL. Since the pattern images didn’t seem to be listed as one of the exceptions, I had come to the conclusion that those are also under the GPL. I had sort of been wondering how the GPL license on the patterns would affect the license of images which used said patterns. One on hand, the patterns are similar to brushes in that usage of them in an image is not the same as distributing the brushes and patterns themselves, and generally speaking I think at least for standard GIMP brushes the license of the brush source would not really affect the license of the image, but on the other hand, the patterns are different from the brushes in that they revolve more around the usage of a detailed image, and displaying said detailed image in one’s own image would be using those details, regardless of whether or not they are distributing the source image. I had considered that, even if the GPL license of patterns did have an affect on user output using them, there would be some usages of GIMP patterns in images that might be able to qualify as fair use, but generally speaking I am not sure about how things would be affected in all situations.
So basically, my question is: If someone’s image made in GIMP makes use of default patterns, how would the license of the default patterns affect the license of the user’s image? IF someone used a GPL-licensed pattern in their image, would they have to license their image under the GPL as well?
This question could also be asked about certain default brushes in GIMP, such as the pepper, fire, and chalk brushes.