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

Garett Shulman shulmang at colorado.edu
Fri Dec 15 13:24:51 EST 2006

Lars Luthman wrote:
> On Fri, 2006-12-15 at 11:07 -0700, Garett Shulman wrote:
>> 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.
> I don't mean that they are violating any license themselves, they are of
> course allowed to do whatever they want with the code that they wrote. I
> mean that the current license (GPL + inconsistent add-on) can be
> interpreted as saying that no one is allowed to distribute LinuxSampler
> at all except the people that already have that right without any
> licensing (the authors).
Oh... I see. Hm... That's interesting.

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