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

Dave Robillard drobilla at
Tue Jul 4 17:49:41 UTC 2006

On Tue, 2006-07-04 at 09:32 +0100, Rui Nuno Capela wrote:
> On Mon, July 3, 2006 22:55, Dave Robillard wrote:
> > On Mon, 2006-07-03 at 08:33 -0400, Paul Davis wrote:
> >
> >> On Mon, 2006-07-03 at 02:26 +0700, Patrick Shirkey wrote:
> >>
> >>> If they really want to get people to give money then they should just
> >>>  make it so that you have to pay or contribute code/time for a while
> >>> to get access to the newest downloads from their site. Keep the stable
> >>>  version far enough behind the development version that people will
> >>> pay to get the newest code base.
> >>
> >> its really rather amusing to see people speculating on what the
> >> developers of LS could or could not do, when the actual relevant
> >> "encounter" with "commercial interests" has *already* happened. it did
> >> not go well. it can be tempting to imagine that we understand the
> >> motivations of commercial organizations and can therefore offer them
> >> appropriate carrots. don't be so confident of this. both the LS
> >> developers and myself are under the terms of an NDA, so it is not
> >> possible to discuss with any relevant detail precisely what happened.
> >> but it was nasty, it was unpleasant and as i've said before, it would
> >> be better for people to not make so many assumptions about their ability
> >> to guess at what might or might happen when a commercial company shows
> >> interest in a tool like LS.
> >
> > Everyone can make assumptions about what they can or can't do until the
> > cows come home, but it's irrelevant.  The point it the license needs
> > clarification.
> >
> > The disclaimer in the README is along the lines of what they intend to
> > say (judging by the previously pasted quotes).  The disclaimer on the
> > webpage clearly makes it illegal to use LS on a CD you intend to sell, or
> > in public concerts you sell tickets to (a goal that is specifically
> > mentioned on the About page I might add), so if that isn't the intention
> > it should be fixed.  There is no disclaimer on the source files at all, so
> > those are pure GPL with no commercial restrictions whatsoever.
> >
> > What IS the license to LinuxSampler?  Who knows.  They certainly havn't
> > told us.
> >
> We already know that the LS license is currently flawed. As Christian
> wrote explicitly, even thought the README file still has the infamous
> exception wording, *ALL* public releases of LinuxSampler until and
> including 0.3.3 *ARE* plain GPL. That last public release was more than
> one year ago. Since then, LinuxSampler code in CVS has changed in many
> pervasive ways, and AFAICT for the better, performance and feature-wise.

I think you're missing the point.  Current CVS LS *IS* effectively

If a company wanted to use recent CVS LS in a commercial product right
now, and did, there's no way you'd be able to do anything about it.
There's a bunch of files in CVS that say right in them they're GPLed,
and they point to a COPYING file which is the GPL, verbatim.  There's
not a lawyer in the world that would say a vague webpage disclaimer or
README file (neither of which you actually need to see to get at the
source code) overrides that.

>From the sounds of it whatever company caused this isn't very friendly..
would you put it past them?  You think you're covering your ass but
you're not wearing any pants ;)

> I strongly believe (although I'm also speculating here;) the next public
> release of LinuxSampler, whenever it will be ready, will come with a
> proper open-source license. And I pretty guess it will be pure GPL but I
> just cannot garantee that yet ;)



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