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

Garett Shulman shulmang at colorado.edu
Fri Dec 15 13:07:04 EST 2006

Lars Luthman wrote:
> 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.
Well... If LS links to GPL code that it's authors do not own the 
copyright to than this is true. However, as a copyright owner of code 
that does not link to any GPL code you are free to release software 
under absolutely whatever license you choose... including 'almost 
exactly GPL but with x, y, & z differences'. Trolltech licesenses their 
code under two different licenses, GPL, & a non-GPL license. But because 
they own the copyright to their code this is not a problem.

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