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Re: Freepats

Brian May wrote:

>     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?
Probably; it would be the preferred form for modification, right?

> 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.
Then for the new, *derived* .wav file, the .wav would be the preferred form
for modification, and so the .wav would be the source code.
No actual GPL problem there.  :-)

>     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.
You have copyright to the document.  Not to the fonts, even if the document
depends on them.  In this case, the document, in rendered form, might be a
derived work of the font...  except that apparently bitmapped fonts are
uncopyrightable in the US.  :-)

> 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.
Look up "derived works" or "derivative works".  :-)

> I would hope the same applies
>     Brian> with music generated with FreePat files.
You will want to grant explicit permission, just in case the music *is*
considered a derived work.  (It may or may not be.)

>     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.
Yes, that sounds reasonable.

> If the
>     Brian> GPL doesn't do this, maybe the LGPL will do so?
No.  What you want to write is the following.  First put in the copyright
statement and the standard GPL licensing statement.  Then write something
like this:

In addition to the rights granted in the GPL, <copyright holder> grants you
unlimited permission to use <this work> (and any derivative works of <this
work>, to the extent to which they are covered by <this work>'s copyright)
to create sound recordings, and grants you the unlimited right to use,
copy, modify, distribute, and otherwise deal in such recordings as if they
were not derivative works of <this work>, even if they are.

The statement above says, approximately, "Use this soundfont (or a
derivative soundfont) to create sound recordings, and I won't consider them
derivative works, even if they are according to the law."
Perhaps a better wordsmith can make it even better, but I think I've got it
technically correct.  You may want to restrict "sound recordings" to
something more restrictive.  You may want to say "to create sound
recordings by using the soundfont in the normal manner", which would also
be more restrictive.

Then you probably want to add a note next to the license like this:

If you make a derivative soundfont, you don't have to grant this extra
permission for your work.  However, I suggest that you do, as it guarantees
that people can use your soundfont without having to distribute their music
under the GPL.

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

There are none so blind as those who will not see.

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