[Linuxsampler-devel] [linux-audio-user] nice piano

Lars Luthman lars.luthman at gmail.com
Fri Dec 15 13:02:16 EST 2006

On Fri, 2006-12-15 at 17:40 +0000, James Stone wrote:
> > I hate to be a jerk and crap on someone's project, but this is a
> > clear violation of the GPL.  Here's some GPL FAQs that explain this:
> > 
> > https://www.fsf.org/licensing/licenses/gpl-faq.html#DoesTheGPLAllowMoney
> > https://www.fsf.org/licensing/licenses/gpl-faq.html#TOCDoesTheGPLAllowNDA
> > https://www.fsf.org/licensing/licenses/gpl-faq.html#TOCOrigBSD
> > 
> > Software freedom zero requires that a program be usable for any
> > purpose whatsoever with no restrictions or limitations.  Of course if
> > I produce a hardware device that uses a modified LinuxSampler, my
> > modifications are required to be free software.
> I agree it is a shame LS is not Free Software, but it is free as
> in beer, and open source, and is a really nice piece of
> programming.

I'm not so sure that it is open source as it stands now. Paragraph 7 of
the GPL says:

"If, as a consequence of a court judgment or allegation of patent
infringement or for any other reason (not limited to patent issues),
conditions are imposed on you (whether by court order, agreement or
otherwise) that contradict the conditions of this License, they do not
excuse you from the conditions of this License. If you cannot distribute
so as to satisfy simultaneously your obligations under this License and
any other pertinent obligations, then as a consequence you may not
distribute the Program at all."

So if you are not allowed to distribute LinuxSampler for commercial
purposes you are not allowed to distribute it at all. I'm sure this is
not what the LinuxSampler people intend, but as the license stands now
it is inconsistent and, according to paragraph 7 of the GPL, invalid -
which means that normal copyright law applies, without any extra
freedoms at all.

But you are right that this has been discussed to death several times
already, and if the LinuxSampler authors haven't fixed the license by
now they are probably not going to do it in the forseeable future
either. I withdraw from the discussion.

Lars Luthman - please encrypt any email sent to me if possible
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