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ASWF TAC Meeting - July 28, 2021

Video Conference Link

Voting member attendance

  • Kimball Thurston - Chairperson, Weta Digital Limited
  • Bill Roberts, Adobe
  • Gordon Bradley, Autodesk
  • Tony Micilotta, DNEG
  • Bill Ballew, DreamWorks Animation
  • Christina Tempelaar-Lietz, Epic Games, Inc.
  • Brian Cipriano, Google & OpenCue Representative
  • Sean C McDuffee, Intel Corporation
  • Larry Gritz, Sony Pictures Imageworks
  • Jean-Francois Panisset, VES Technology Committee
  • Cory Omand, The Walt Disney Studios
  • Daniel Heckenberg - Animal Logic Pty Ltd / Industry Representative
  • Eric Enderton, NVIDIA
  • Sean Looper, Amazon Web Services
  • Michael Min, Netflix
  • Michael B. Johnson, Apple
  • Greg Denton, Microsoft
  • Sean O’Connell, Advanced Micro Devices
  • Mark Visser, Unity Technologies
  • Ken Museth, OpenVDB Representative
  • Michael Dolan, OpenColorIO Representative
  • Cary Phillips, OpenEXR Representative
  • Joshua Minor, OpenTimelineIO Representative
  • Chris Kulla, Open Shading Language Representative
  • Jonathan Stone, MaterialX Representative

Other Attendees

  • John Mertic, Linux Foundation
  • Andrew Grimberg, LF Release Engineering
  • JT Nelson, Pasadena Open Source consortium / SoCal Blender group
  • Rachel Rose, ILM / D&I WG
  • Sergio Rojas, Arena World
  • Matthew Low, DWA



  • Asset Working Group proposal to become an ASWF Project

    • Project Proposal - Asset Repo

    • TAC mailing list thread

    • Eric: What if assets are already licensed, if the standard license will be required, or a minimum standard? If we say “minimum license”, that’s easier for donors, but harder for consumers, for users they may need to go back to their legal department. But still, we want to be able to accept assets.

    • John: IP / copyright owners can make a donation under the project license (dual licensing), that works. Larry: that can work when coming from a studio, but for collections of assets from multiple contributors, can be difficult to relicense, contact everyone to agree.

    • Eric: even in a corporate setting, it can be difficult to get other licenses approved. Wave: another license should be more permissive (CC-0 for instance), and should be a known license. Internally at Apple, there’s a list of approved open source licenses. Joshua: should we have a list? Larry: probably don’t need to go that far, but maybe the wording needs to be clearer if it was at least possible that the project could accept a more permissive license. Wave: in order to be accepted into the repo, you will need to use the license, otherwise we can point you to other resources. Sean: ASWF asset repo is a minimum permissive, from a researcher point of view, it’s good to know what’s the “minimum permissibility”.

    • Eric: the asset repo TSC should make these decisions on a case by case basis, balance the factors, decide to host it, point to it, some kind of “film complexity” moniker. Gordon: where are we pushing the legal burden. John: the TSC can adopt a standard IP policy, and determine if they need to audit incoming licenses.

    • Michael: is it likely that if there’s a legal aspect to an asset that the company will even use the asset, or will they just make it on their own? Wave: this isn’t a backlot, they are assets purely for testing, demo and research. AL USD assets has lighting tied to their renderer, someone else could try adding other renderer / lighting engine. Sean: trying to get relevant assets from studios to researchers / developers so they can work on the latest assets that are relevant to the industry, and the license enables the release of assets without worrying that they are used for commercial production, doing so in a legal way that no one is exploiting the IP of the contributors. Kimball: want to enable hardware / software development, but how do we curate the assets, make sure they get “more complex” every year.

    • Wave: transition from WG to Project reflects that this is a non trivial activity, needs a more formal level of engagement.

    • Kimball: how much code do you imagine being in the repository? Would the Wiki be auto-built, would we need Apache 2.0 license for code infrastructure, or will it really just be text and assets? Wave: looking at the Moana example of a static set of web pages, wedge tests, but no “CI test suite when a new version of PBRT”.

    • Joshua: there may be code: shaders, build scripts… Wave: “those are in the tarball”. Joshua: we may still want to have guidance as to license for those.

    • Gordon: the value we offer here is a license that the parties around this problem agree to, get approval from legal team once, every company will still have to run this license by their legal team, but once this is cleared, it doesn’t need to be done again. Want to get critical mass of contribution under that license. Would be awkward if it became a barrier to contribution of great content, we strongly recommend that contributions be made under this license, but can still approve contributions under other specific licenses (there’s a cost to approving other licenses). We want to avoid a “zoo of licenses”, and it’s not trivial to determine “less” vs “more” permissive licenses.

    • Sean: can pick a few small number of licenses and clearly document those on the web pages.

    • Eric: there is value to a single license. Wave: one license, and a policy to possibly allow more permissive licenses? Gordon: a subtle change of a word can make all the difference to a legal interpretation. Eric: the TSC should have that distinction. Wave: took 6-9 months + many lawyer meetings + Governing Board meetings to get to the license we have, let’s not go back to the beginning.

    • John: the project itself should decide what it’s IP policy is. The project will probably want to lean on LF counsel for some of these decisions. Also consumers don’t use the whole repository, so the concern of having different licenses in the repository is less of an issue. But want to have a consistent downstream message about licensing, and not have to look up individual licensing terms for each asset. Wave: want to be equal on both sides, the producers and the consumers.

    • Eric: we should vote before we lose quorum. Bill: should define the life cycle of these assets, do they have an expiration date for instance. Sean: probably annual reviews. Statistics on downloads can help inform. Wave: can have open conversation about whether assets are still relevant. Gordon: there’s also value in seeing the evolution of assets over time: the current state of things can evolve over time, although there may be storage considerations / financial considerations.

    • JF propose, Wave second vote for adoption as incubation project. All ayes, no opposes or abstain, motion passes. Welcome to Asset Repo as an Incubation Stage ASWF project..