[Date Prev][Date Next] [Thread Prev][Thread Next] [Date Index] [Thread Index]

Re: Freepats

Sorry, it appears I stuffed up one of the email addresses, retry:

>>>>> "Brian" == Brian May <bam@snoopy.apana.org.au> writes:

    Brian> Hello, I have CCed this to debian-legal, as these are the
    Brian> people who deal with legal issues in Debian.

    Brian> I would refrain making any decisions until other
    Brian> debian-legal people get a chance to respond, and point out
    Brian> all the errors I have made. ;-)

    Brian> Background: See bug <URL:http://bugs.debian.org.au/239163>.

>>>>> "Mark" == Mark Constable <markc@renta.net> writes:

    Mark> Hi Brian, perhaps I should simply ask you directly for some
    Mark> guidance as how best to license and package FreePats. If you
    Mark> have a suggestion as the the most appropriate license and
    Mark> anything I can do to facilitate them getting into Debian
    Mark> then I'm more than happy to do whatever I can.

    Brian> Thank you. I would greatly appreciate it if FreePats could
    Brian> be included in Debian.

    Mark> I've been on holidays for the last month and only just
    Mark> noticed your posting on the Wiki... a recent timidity-talk
    Mark> posting (re)alerted me to the need to sort this out.

    Brian> News travels fast, I posted to the above bug report
    Brian> yesterday. ;-).

    Brian> The best license depends on your
    Brian> requirements. Unfortunately, this type of discussions can
    Brian> often end up in heated arguments, even when only
    Brian> considering DFSG (Debian) compatible licenses. To provide
    Brian> an unbiased opinion, first some issues regarding the file
    Brian> format may need clarification:

    Brian> Some background (my understanding only; I am very new to
    Brian> the world of MIDI and soundfonts), I am sure Mark will
    Brian> correct any mistakes:

    Brian> Q: What are FreePats?  A: A set of SoundFont files that are
    Brian> intended to be freely distributed.

    Brian> Q: What is a soundfont file?  A: A "image" that can be used
    Brian> to reconstruct notes made by musical instruments?  ie. a
    Brian> font file for music instead of writing. So, I would imagine
    Brian> anything that applies to standard font files also applies
    Brian> here.

    Brian> Q: How are soundfont files created?  A: I don't know. I
    Brian> suspect though, like a *.wav file, is no "source code" to
    Brian> generate a FreePat file? This perhaps makes it different
    Brian> from programs already in Debian.

    Brian> If so, then the soundfont file a bit like a shared and/or
    Brian> static library that can be used to generate music (eg. a
    Brian> midi file contains a reference to it and a wav file embeds
    Brian> it) to make a full tune.

    Brian> My unbiased 3 paragraph summary of DFSG licenses:

    Brian> The two major licenses that comply with the DFSG
    Brian> (Debian-Free-Software-Guidelines) seem to be the BSD style
    Brian> license and the GPL style license.

    Brian> The BSD style license generally are the most unrestrictive
    Brian> license around, eg. you can you BSD licensed files in
    Brian> proprietary projects. I believe the majority of the X fonts
    Brian> are BSD licensed.

    Brian> The GPL style license, as applied to this case, says if you
    Brian> make modifications or make "derivative works" of it, then
    Brian> the result must be licensed under the GPL (or similar
    Brian> license). I don't know if a wav file created from a FreePat
    Brian> file would be considered a "derivative work" or not. The
    Brian> GPL also says if you distribute it, then you must also
    Brian> distribute source code to (as appropriate to the file
    Brian> format). I believe the GS fonts are GPL.

    Brian> My biased opinions and questions for debian-legal:

    Brian> There are other issues with the GPL that might effect
    Brian> soundfont files, not sure. For instance, would the
    Brian> soundfont file be considered "source code" when making a
    Brian> *.wav file? What if the *.wav file has since been edited in
    Brian> a wav editor and cannot be automatically recreated? For
    Brian> these reasons, I don't think it should be a required that
    Brian> music files be GPL.

    Brian> Also just like I expect to be able to type and print a
    Brian> document up in a word processor, and do anything I want
    Brian> with that document, regardless of fonts used. In fact, this
    Brian> might be dodgy, but as far as I am concerned I
    Brian> automatically get exclusive copyright of such a document,
    Brian> as I consider it my own work. I would hope the same applies
    Brian> with music generated with FreePat files.

    Brian> Personally, my opinion (depending on the above) would be to
    Brian> use the GPL, so any modifications to the fonts themselves
    Brian> will remain GPL, but allow an exception (if required) so
    Brian> music created with the soundfont isn't restricted. If the
    Brian> GPL doesn't do this, maybe the LGPL will do so?

    Brian> This is all my uninformed opinion, now to pass it on to
    Brian> debian-legal...

    Brian> Opinions anyone?
Brian May <bam@snoopy.apana.org.au>

Reply to: