Re: [linux-audio-user] Re: distorting Linuxsampler

From: Dave Phillips <dlphillips@email-addr-hidden>
Date: Thu Apr 20 2006 - 01:10:00 EEST

Patrick Shirkey wrote:

> Nick Copeland wrote:
>> What I want to say is the migration of Linux Sampler from GPL to any
>> other form of license is just a recognition of a massive shift in the
>> market, and perhaps something that GPL needs to come to terms with.
> It's a good point that you raise and I know Mark is well aware of this
> given his work history ;)

I'm looking at the sources for LS and the only license I see there is
the GPL, so AFAICT there's been no change in license. However, in the
README we find this gem :

"The LinuxSampler library (liblinuxsampler) and its applications are
distributed under the terms of the GNU General Public License (see
COPYING file), but with the EXCEPTION that they may NOT be used in
COMMERCIAL software or hardware products without prior written
authorization by the authors."

I read through their COPYING, it's the 1991 version of the license (v.2,
not 2.1). I can't find anything that expressly denies the authors their
right to make this exception, but it is contrary to the first of the
FSF's Four Freedoms:

    The freedom to run the program, for any purpose.

I suppose we can start splitting hairs over the essential differences
between using a program and running a program. Anyway, I think this is
where things get shaky between LS and the GPL.

> I think the people who wrote the GPL had a pretty fair idea of the
> multinational corporate environment when they wrote the License.

Maybe not.

> I find it strange that Mark is willing to use the other completely
> proprietry apps but not LS simply because they have a small clause in
> their license which demands commercial companies get their permission
> before embedding the code.

Well, it appears to violate the spirit if not the letter of the GPL.
Mark's central objection, IIRC, was that he didn't want to donate code
to a project that wasn't fully compliant with the GPL. I don't see this
as a conflict with his decision to use proprietary software, it's a
different contract.

> But it also seems strange that they haven't been taken to task for
> altering the GPL. That is definitely illegal AFAIK. Doesn't the BSD
> license cover their needs?

Again, they haven't altered the GPL. They've included a clause in the
README that is provocative to GPL hard-liners and is *possibly* illegal.

The sooner this issue is resolved, the better for everyone. Frank
Neumann needs some assistance with a file format problem in LS, but he
needs help from someone who already runs GigaSampler...


Received on Thu Apr 20 08:15:03 2006

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