Re: distorting Linuxsampler, was Re: [linux-audio-user] linuxsampler distortion?

From: Mark Knecht <markknecht@email-addr-hidden>
Date: Fri Apr 14 2006 - 16:33:54 EEST

Hi Dave,

On 4/14/06, Dave Phillips <dlphillips@email-addr-hidden> wrote:
> Mark Knecht wrote:
> >When people use the Open Source community to develop an application,
> >but then take it private in an apparentl attempt to use it for their
> >personal financial benefit, we get things like this happening. It's
> >not that it isn't available. I suppose it is. I just use GigaStudio
> >and Acid Pro for my sampling and loop playing needs and left LS
> >behind.
> >
> >
> I'm not making much sense of this rationale, Mark. In the first place I
> haven't yet seen proof that LS is being developed for someone's personal
> financial benefit or that it's been "taken private". I just now
> downloaded the latest CVS sources, no problem.

By 'taken private' I did not mean people couldn't download it, even
though there was a period of time where the LS server didn't allow it.
By 'taken private' I meant that the license was changed to inhibit
fair & open competition by multiple for-profit vendors who might like
to use LS in a product that produced revenue because to even try to do
it they had to get the developers permission, which can be withheld.
My view is multiple vendors using LS in commercial products is a good
thing for the LS community overall. They would be doing fixes and
adding features that would be fed back into the Open Source code and
benefiting users of that code.

> However, I do agree that the authors' stipulation re: commercial work is
> in opposition to the GPL. I've heard RMS address this issue a few times,
> he's been clear about it: The GPL doesn't interfere with deployment,
> period. If someone wants to use LS in a commercial venture, they can do
> so *as long as* they abide by all other terms of the license.

Right. But the license, as it was modified, prohibits exactly that
from happening without the permission of the authors. The Debian guys
dropped, at one time, LS from their releases simply because the text
of the GPL was changed. It didn't seem to matter what he change was
since the GPL says no one can change it except for the people who
wrote it. (I.e - not the LS developers)

> Or am I missing something else ?

I don't think so.

> And of course, with GS and AP we can have no such moral, ethical, or
> ideological concerns because we accept from the point of purchase that
> we can know absolutely *nothing* regarding their code base, whether
> they've lifted code from anywhere, or even whether they use their
> profits from our purchases to fund oppressive regimes. We just want the
> tool, we want no involvement with it beyond its use. Which is good,
> because most manufacturers seem to want little more from their customers
> than the money anyway.

When I first started using, and more importantly supporting the
development of Linux application I felt much the same way. Over time I
developed some of my own thoughts around the idea that very few Open
Source apps, while good apps, ever make it to the level that a
commercial app does in terms of features and support. My thought, as a
non-programmer, was that if I did whatever little bit I could to help
the Open Source app become better, and the app eventually became good
enough for a for-profit company to pick up and start running with it,
then maybe I'd finally get the features that the for-no-profit Open
Source development team never had the interest or manpower to
implement. The change that the guys made to the LS license created
barriers to this.

> It starts to sound like prostitution, doesn't it ? ;-)

You said it not me, but if it feels good what harm is caused? ;-)

> >All of this is supposition and patently unfair, I'm sure, but the
> >developers wouldn't explain their actions in an open forum so that
> >we'd understand it so we were (I was) left with no option but to
> >guess.
> >
> >
> You stated specifically in an earlier message that the authors switched
> the license to a "non-Open Source" license. What license is that ? The
> only license I see advertised on the LS Web site is the GPL. Please
> elucidate. :)

Please read the license. At one time they changed the text. It says
GPL in the title but it was modified in this one area to prohibit
commercial use without the developer's permission. As I've also said,
I haven't touched the program for probably 8-12 months so what you
download today could be different, either fixed and better or worse.
>From the start of the FAQ page on the website it appears they
haven't changed and are modifying GPL, which itself is not allowed by

Can I use LinuxSampler in commercial hardware or software products?

You are NOT ALLOWED to use LinuxSampler source code, libraries or
applications in COMMERCIAL hardware or software products without prior
written authorization by the authors. See here

Pure GPL wouldn't prohibit this, therefore it follows that LS is not
using pure GPL.

> I'll write to Christian about this issue. I'd like to include LS in the
> book project, and I've planned to profile it in my column for LJ, so I
> want clarity re: the license. Of one thing I'm certain: The GPL does not
> internally restrict deployment, and the LS authors would be prudent to
> remove the stipulation.
> Btw, the stipulation itself, however commendably motivated, flies in the
> face of the GPL's intention to protect the rights of the *user*. This
> alone should be reason enough to remove it.
> Just my dos pesos.

and my Dos Equis,

XX (aka Mark)
> Best,
> dp
Received on Fri Apr 14 20:15:04 2006

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