Audacity and portaudio
I am the maintainer of audacity, which includes the PortAudio library.
Browsing the debian-legal archive, I came across the recent thread about
Audacity and the PortAudio license. (This apparently came up months
ago, but I wasn't made aware of it then.)
First - I updated audacity's debian/copyright a while ago to include
complete copyright and license information for PortAudio and other
included libraries. I've had the updated package ready to upload for
some time, but it's delayed while my sponsor lacks a network connection
(or until I can find another uploader).
Second - Discussion on the PortAudio mailing list indicates that:
1) The upstream maintainers believe that their addition to the expat
license is "a polite request, not a requirement."
2) Upstream is willing to revise the license to clarify this point,
but it will take time to get permission from all contributors.
Until upstream relicenses their code, Audacity depends on code under the
existing PortAudio license. If this license *requires* modifications to
be sent to the original developer, then it is both non-free and GPL-
incompatible. Audacity, which contains code under the GPL, would be
Personally I believe the PortAudio license is free and GPL-compatible.
Although the added clause appears in a list of "conditions", the
condition is only that a user who modifies the code "is requested" to
send the changes back, not that they *do* send the changes. I think
that, despite the slightly contorted phrasing, a strict reading of the
license matches the stated intent of its authors.
However, if debian-legal reaches the consensus that PortAudio is non-
free, please file a bug to remove Audacity from Debian until the license
is clarified; I will cooperate with the removal and (I hope) relicensing.
[Added myself to Mail-Followup-To because I am not subscribed to d-l.]