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Re: Distribution of media content together with GPLv2 code in one package?

On Tue, Apr 20, 2010 at 12:34:29PM +1000, Ben Finney wrote:
> It might help to realise that there are multiple “works” to which
> copyright applies:
> * The digitally-encoded audio recorded from sounds performed at a
>   particular time.
> * The words, presumably written down in some form.
> * The musical arrangement, possibly also written down in some form.
> * Likely many other copyrighted works involved in the production of some
>   audio.
> Any of these can become software, in that they can be encoded as digital
> information. As such, they are something that could be stored in a
> computer and distributed with a copyright license, at which point it
> becomes interesting to ask about the DFSG-conformance of each of those
> works.
> That license may or may not allow modification, derived works,
> redistribution under the same license terms, and so on. There can also,
> of course, be entirely different license terms for each of the above
> works.
> If I understand Francesco right, he is pointing out that the work most
> likely to be distributed is the very first one mentioned above: the
> digitally-encoded audio.

Sure, but once another of these is considered "source form" for the
digitally-encoded audio, their license terms suddenly become relevant too. The
big question is WHETHER these shall be considered source.

> That work can be modified by editing the digital audio data in an appropriate
> program, which thus creates a derived work of the existing digital audio.


> Re-creating the audio recording from scratch, as Rudolf describes, would
> be a new copyright work, and I agree that it's disingenuous to describe
> this as “editing”. It would be a derived work of the copyrighted words,
> musical arrangement, etc.; but it is less clear what its copyright
> relationship to the previous digital audio data would be.

In case of the voice synthesis application, is it recreating or editing when
you re-render the voice using different words, and then perform editing on the
resulting file (typically: reverb, EQ, dynamics compression)? The direct output
of the voice synthesis application is not automatically transformable to the
final result.

> > Just like taking a second photograph of a given subject is not
> > "modifying" the photograph, but recreating it from scratch in a
> > different way.
> The potentially confusing aspect here is that, unlike photography,
> re-creating an audio recording will often be based on some other
> copyright work: the scripted words, the arranged musical notes, etc. But
> I think you're right to say that these are *not* the “source form” of
> the digital audio; the digital audio itself is the source form of that
> software work.

By that interpretation, to provide "source" for a finished piece of music needs
to only include the music track in a "good quality editable" form (in doubt,
this is FLAC/WAV) - basically, whatever the producer would ALSO use to continue
working on THAT part, ignoring the path to it.

But, this would include none of the words, the musical notes (i.e. project file
of the music application creating the input for the final mastering process),
the instrument samples, etc., but ONLY digital audio which e.g. can be used as
a basis for remixes.

Rudolf Polzer

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