LinuxSampler license, was Re: [linux-audio-dev] fst, VST 2.0, kontakt

Paul Davis paul at
Mon Jul 3 21:55:11 UTC 2006

On Mon, 2006-07-03 at 23:31 +0200, Lars Luthman wrote:
> On Tue, 2006-07-04 at 03:51 +0700, Patrick Shirkey wrote:
> > It's still entirely legal for others to speculate though... If we ask 
> > questions and you don't answer then maybe that's legal too...
> > 
> > It seems to me that some company tried to use the work done by the LS 
> > team without giving anything/much in return. The strange appearance of 
> > the modification to the GPL in the LS README seems like a direct 
> > response to the situation that occured when things didn't work out for 
> > the LS team with regards to this mystery company.
> That does not explain why the authors signed an NDA. I think it is more
> likely that the "mystery company" had a (possibly vague and unlikely to
> hold up in court, but what free software author could afford to take it
> to court anyway) patent on some technique used by LinuxSampler, and
> threatened them with a lawsuit if the authors didn't make sure that
> LinuxSampler couldn't be used by some commercial competitor to the
> mystery company, and promised not to mention anything about the whole

both guesses are wrong. i think it will be precise enough to say that a
company expressed what appeared to be a serious interest in leveraging
the existence of LS for its own plans. relationships changed between the
various parties, and the LS developers were left in a situation where
work they had already done might be used in ways they did not consent
to. Meanwhile, the company felt that it was the LS developers who had
failed to follow through on the agreement. i don't think its feasible to
be more precise than this. 

the core point of the story is that you cannot stop other organizations
from making use of your GPL-licensed work even if you have entered into
some different kind of arrangement with them. for some people, this
represents a serious issue.


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