>>>>> "Brian" == Brian May <firstname.lastname@example.org> writes:
Brian> Sorry, it appears I stuffed up one of the email addresses,
Mark asked me to forward his response, which was accidently sent to
the wrong address I gave (I sent the initial message to
email@example.com, not firstname.lastname@example.org).
I have cited Mark's response, so there is no confusion who typed it.
Neither me or Mark are subscribed, please send CCs to both of us,
>>>>> "Mark" == Mark Constable <email@example.com> writes:
Mark> On Mon, 19 Apr 2004 05:03 pm, Brian May wrote:
>> Q: What are FreePats? A: A set of SoundFont files that are
>> intended to be freely distributed.
Mark> FreePats are more specifically based on Ultra Gravis Patches
Mark> which originally worked with their branded sound cards as
Mark> one instrument per file. SoundFonts generally refer to the
Mark> now Creative owned *.sf2 standard often distributed as many
Mark> instruments in a single file unit.
>> Q: What is a soundfont file? A: A "image" that can be used to
>> reconstruct notes made by musical instruments? ie. a font file
>> for music instead of writing. So, I would imagine anything that
>> applies to standard font files also applies here.
Mark> Digitized audio data that can be rendered, or "compiled",
Mark> into instrument voicing according to the notes usually
Mark> derived from a MIDI file. Perhaps think of MIDI data as
Mark> precompiled source code ready to compile the final audio
Mark> rendition. Writting the "source code" requires a sequencer
Mark> instead of some text editor. Sound fonts would be more akin
Mark> to specialized libraries needed to generate the final
Mark> "compiled" musical object.
>> Q: How are soundfont files created? A: I don't know. I suspect
>> though, like a *.wav file, is no "source code" to generate a
>> FreePat file? This perhaps makes it different from programs
>> already in Debian.
Mark> Yes, a single or mulitple wav files along with embedded
Mark> meta-info to self describe how the wav files are to be
Mark> interpreted such as loop points, attack, release, delay and
Mark> many other parameters.
>> If so, then the soundfont file a bit like a shared and/or
>> static library that can be used to generate music (eg. a midi
>> file contains a reference to it and a wav file embeds it) to
>> make a full tune.
Mark> Yes, I would agree that a sound font is like a "library" and
Mark> furthermore suggest that the "source code" is the hybrid
Mark> MIDI and sequencer project file information that determine
Mark> the notes to be rendered from the "libraries" of any
Mark> instrument voices referenced and available.
>> The BSD style license generally are the most unrestrictive
>> license around, eg. you can you BSD licensed files in
>> proprietary projects. I believe the majority of the X fonts are
>> BSD licensed.
Mark> A concern here is misuse of the FreePats material by
Mark> commercial interests who may then try to restrict reusage of
Mark> this material.
>> The GPL style license, as applied to this case, says if you
>> make modifications or make "derivative works" of it, then the
>> result must be licensed under the GPL (or similar license). I
>> don't know if a wav file created from a FreePat file would be
>> considered a "derivative work" or not. The GPL also says if you
>> distribute it, then you must also distribute source code to (as
>> appropriate to the file format). I believe the GS fonts are
Mark> Using "source code" notes to create a musical audio sequence
Mark> would not be a derivative in the same sense as modifying the
Mark> sound font to create a different instrument, or to
Mark> transcribe the raw wav and meta-info into another format,
Mark> that would be a derivative.
>> There are other issues with the GPL that might effect soundfont
>> files, not sure. For instance, would the soundfont file be
>> considered "source code" when making a *.wav file? What if the
>> *.wav file has since been edited in a wav editor and cannot be
>> automatically recreated? For these reasons, I don't think it
>> should be a required that music files be GPL.
Mark> As above, I don't think rendering a wav file from sound
Mark> fonts would be considered a derivative in the same sense
Mark> that re-engineering the sound font into yet another sound
Mark> font would indeed be a derivative.
>> Also just like I expect to be able to type and print a document
>> up in a word processor, and do anything I want with that
>> document, regardless of fonts used. In fact, this might be
>> dodgy, but as far as I am concerned I automatically get
>> exclusive copyright of such a document, as I consider it my own
>> work. I would hope the same applies with music generated with
>> FreePat files.
Mark> As in the content of a document would not be considered a
Mark> derivative of the any binary type face used in the process,
Mark> a musical composition would not be considered a derived work
Mark> of the sound font material.
>> Personally, my opinion (depending on the above) would be to use
>> the GPL, so any modifications to the fonts themselves will
>> remain GPL, but allow an exception (if required) so music
>> created with the soundfont isn't restricted. If the GPL doesn't
>> do this, maybe the LGPL will do so?
Mark> I also lean towards the GPL, if it fits.
Mark> A point about the confusion of the Creative Commons
Mark> reference on the web pages at http://freepats.opensrc.org is
Mark> that that license refers to the content of the pages on the
Mark> website itself. The FreePats sound fonts themseleves are not
Mark> yet under any license. Hopefully those with a keener view of
Mark> corner-case licensing issues can offer some clarity and help
Mark> us get this one right, and that the FreePats license can
Mark> then be clearly and unambiguously resolved.
Brian May <firstname.lastname@example.org>