[linux-audio-dev] fst, VST 2.0, kontakt

Ryan Heise ryan at ryanheise.com
Sun Jul 2 03:47:04 UTC 2006

On Sun, Jul 02, 2006 at 12:43:06AM +0200, Fons Adriaensen wrote:
> On Sat, Jul 01, 2006 at 04:09:42PM -0400, Dave Robillard wrote:
> > Whether or not you agree with the licensing practise, calling it "open
> > source" is as misleading as calling MS shared source "open source".
> > Defend the license/exception if you want, but don't intentionally
> > mislead people about the licensing terms.
> If the source is available for everyone to read, then it is open
> according to the normal meaning of those words in English. What is
> misleading is to attach any other meaning to them. It's a typical
> marketeer's trick to redefine words or concepts that have a clear
> an established meaning, and IMHO that's a disgusting practice.

Hi, I'm new to this list so please be gentle :-)  (not you specifically,
but I am aware that I'm about to step into the middle of a debate that
has already become heated :-)

Here are my thoughts...

I think most concepts/products/software/phenomena etc. have names that
are derived from common English words that have a common meanings.

Like "LinuxSampler". This is a new term derived from existing words with
common meanings.

* However, note that while the intended meaning of "sampler" in this
context is common, it is not the only common meaning of "sampler".

- Out of respect to the person (or people) who coined the term
  "LinuxSampler", we recognise that as a new term, regardless of what
  other meanings the original words may have had.

- Out of respect to everyone else, I'm sure the person (or people) who
  coin a new term try to use a distinctive combination of words that is
  not already in common use.

New terms are almost always derived from existing words, and almost
always take on meanings of their own, and it is pretty much difficult to
find otherways of naming things, like inventing entirely new, and
therefore strange-sounding, words.

The term "open source" was a new term, coined in 1998, that was not
previously in wide usage, hence passed the test of not choosing a
combination of words that someone else had already found. Now that the
term has been coined and become widely adopted for its particular
meaning, we can respect it as a term in itself.

One way to disrespect the term is: after the new term has become
established with its new particular meaning, then claim it with
different meanings. I think it happens to be easier to defend the OSI's
term "open source" than it is to defend the FSF's term "free software",
although I respect both terms. The term "open source" prior to 1998 was
not in common use at all and only after OSI's "open source" term was
coined did it become widely used and understood. Also, grammatically,
"open source" might possibly be seen more clearly as a term, rather than
just two words with their original meaning, because it is missing the
hyphen, which would normally be there if they were just two ordinary
words in a sentence. "Free software", on the other hand, has no
grammatical hints to indicate that this is a special term, and it *is*
possible to use those two words in a sentence without indicating the
meaning assigned by the FSF.

However, as Lee pointed out, in Linux circles, the meaning of "free
software" should be clear, partly because Linux, and a very significant
portion of software that normally runs on it (and which Linux depends
on) are based on a license published by the FSF. In other words, Linux
has its roots in circles where the meaning of "free software" is
understood to be that initiated by RMS when he started the "free
software movement" (even though Linux itself doesn't necessarily belong
to that movement).

Probably more obvious is that Linuxsampler's license gives the FSF's
definition of "free software", and so that is the definition that should
be assumed in a thread about Linuxsampler :-)

> Besides that, DR is broadcasting plain lies. There is nothing in
> the Linuxsampler licence nor in that infamouse README that should
> impede you using it for an album or concert you sell commercially.

I am not a Lawyer, but adding exceptions to the GPL is a tricky business
since the way the exceptions interact with the rest of the license is
not always clear. If Bob is correct, Linuxsampler has already made an
error in forgetting (or maybe not?) to add the same exception to the
notices on individual files within the project.

Ryan Heise

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