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MusicKit licensing


From: Leigh Smith
Subject: MusicKit licensing
Date: Tue, 2 Mar 2004 14:44:18 -0500

Thanks to a forward from Yves, I understand there has been some discussion on the state of the MusicKit copyright on discuss-gnustep. Trying not drown myself in mailling lists, I have until now withheld from subscribing to discuss-gnustep, I guess I've been drawn into the vortex :-)

On Feb 19th I sent the following email to a MusicKit user:

You mentioned that the library has been used for some commercial projects. Are there any licensing gotchas (carry overs from NeXT days etc.) that I would need to be aware of if I was interested in using MusicKit in a commercial framework?


The codebase distributed as the MusicKit consists of multiple contributions. The SndKit, MKPerformSndMIDI and all changes to the MusicKit codebase beyond V4.2 are distributed under a BSD like license described at http://www.musickit.org/license.html. The final status of the MusicKit codebase _prior_ to V4.2 is currently being resolved between Apple, CCRMA and (to a lesser extent) the MusicKit project. Apple have been extremely helpful on this front, digging up 12 year old agreements, and responding to our feedback, but these things take time to finalise. I'm hoping to have this resolved very soon.

The commercial projects include Sequence which were distributed prior to the MusicKit project taking over the MK maintenance. Recent commercial projects that I know of have used portions of the codebase which are fully under the current license and do not use NeXT code, i.e the frameworks (SndKit, MKPerformSndMIDI) I mentioned above.

To this I would add that Apple is planning to convene a conference call this week including myself (as MusicKit project admin) and Julius O. Smith - one of the original people behind the MusicKit and still at CCRMA, in order to find a consensus. I have already put forward the position to Apple that it is important for independent software vendors to be able to use the MusicKit code in commercial projects and had proposed that Apple release the MusicKit under APSL 2.0. I should say that the nature of the discussions have to date been very positive and carried out with great support by Apple.

These issues are complex and at the moment I can not give a definitive statement as to where they stand. If developers have a short time schedule and want to release closed code using the MusicKit (distinct from the SndKit or MKPerformSndMIDI) framework, I would suggest they seek legal advice.

For the record, I made a point of adding Copyright NeXT statements to several source files that were in the original 4.2 distribution that had no attribution of copyright, assuming that indeed the code had originated from NeXT's release to CCRMA (circa 3.0 release) and stating copyright on all changes made to the code since that 4.2 release as by the MusicKit Project. That may indeed prove to have been an incorrect action on my part, however, these changes are in the CVS logs and can be deduced with a "find -exec diff" incantation if I need to correct spurious attributions. However in the majority of MusicKit framework source files, the Copyright NeXT statements did exist (in a variety of forms not all with the words "All Rights Reserved") and I have left them intact in all cases.


I am sorry to have to report this, but as it stands now I don't think
MusicKit can and ever will be an OpenSource/Free Software kit.

I don't know where this information to report comes from. As far as I know this is Dennis Leeuw's opinion only to state that the MusicKit never "can and ever will be OpenSource". There are many means for a suitable solution to be arrived at - we are following the first approach of polite discussion and consensus. I would appreciate receiving readers opinions as to what they require in terms of license to realise their goals, so that I can speak to Apple representing as many opinions as developers express to me. I never want to rule anything out, but I doubt the code would ever be released as GPL (distinct from LGPL), since this would restrict it's use from closed source commercial projects which would impact it's support (i.e I couldn't afford to work on it). IMHO there are too many frightening political situations in the real world to spend time getting political about music software.

Hi

As a MusikKit list reader, I think you would appreciate
becoming a GNUStep list reader for a few minutes ;-)

Début du message réexpédié :

De: address@hidden
Date: 1 mars 2004 19:42:22 GMT-05:00
À: address@hidden
Objet: Discuss-gnustep Digest, Vol 16, Issue 1
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Today's Topics:

   2. Re: Ocean and the search for a Music Framework
      (Lars Sonchocky-Helldorf)
   3. Re: Ocean and the search for a Music Framework (Jason Clouse)
   4. Re: Ocean and the search for a Music Framework (Dennis Leeuw)
   5. Re: Ocean and the search for a Music Framework
      (Lars Sonchocky-Helldorf)
   8. Ann: Ocean db-0.1.3 (Dennis Leeuw)
  10. Re: Ocean and the search for a Music Framework (Marco Scheurer)


----------------------------------------------------------------------

Message: 2
Date: Sun, 29 Feb 2004 19:16:08 +0100
From: Lars Sonchocky-Helldorf <address@hidden>
Subject: Re: Ocean and the search for a Music Framework
To: Dennis Leeuw <address@hidden>
Cc: GNUstep Discussion <address@hidden>
Message-ID: <address@hidden>
Content-Type: text/plain; charset=US-ASCII; format=flowed


Am Sonntag, 29.02.04 um 14:06 Uhr schrieb Dennis Leeuw:

Hi all,

As I noted before I wanted to support MusicKit as a part of Ocean.

Thanks to Jeff Teunissen I have decided to skip MusicKit due to the
risk of the copyrights within MusicKit. There are too many NeXT and
Apple copyrights to take the risk of inclusion.

What did Mr. Teunissen tell you? Where here
(http://musickit.sourceforge.net/license.html) do you read something
about a NeXT and Apple copyright?


I am sorry to have to report this, but as it stands now I don't think
MusicKit can and ever will be an OpenSource/Free Software kit.

I think to demand that all software that should be used with GNUstep
_must_ have the copyright assigned to RMS is a little over the top. BTW
german law explicitly forbids the assignment of the copyright to
somebody else.


Any one with good ideas for a Music Framework that can be used?

Greetings,

Dennis Leeuw

Lars




------------------------------

Message: 3
Date: Sun, 29 Feb 2004 15:12:36 -0500
From: Jason Clouse <address@hidden>
Subject: Re: Ocean and the search for a Music Framework
To: address@hidden
Message-ID: <address@hidden>
Content-Type: text/plain; charset="us-ascii"; format="flowed"

On 2004-02-29 14:06:47 +0100 Dennis Leeuw <address@hidden> wrote:
Any one with good ideas for a Music Framework that can be used?

The MusicKit design is inspired.  If you don't want to use it, I don't
think you should offer a music framework at all.  Anything else would
be garbage in comparison.




------------------------------

Message: 4
Date: Sun, 29 Feb 2004 21:44:14 +0100
From: Dennis Leeuw <address@hidden>
Subject: Re: Ocean and the search for a Music Framework
To: Lars Sonchocky-Helldorf <address@hidden>
Cc: GNUstep Discussion <address@hidden>
Message-ID: <address@hidden>
Content-Type: text/plain; charset=us-ascii; format=flowed

Lars Sonchocky-Helldorf wrote:

Am Sonntag, 29.02.04 um 14:06 Uhr schrieb Dennis Leeuw:

Hi all,

As I noted before I wanted to support MusicKit as a part of Ocean.

Thanks to Jeff Teunissen I have decided to skip MusicKit due to the
risk of the copyrights within MusicKit. There are too many NeXT and
Apple copyrights to take the risk of inclusion.


What did Mr. Teunissen tell you?

He just warned me.

  Where here
(http://musickit.sourceforge.net/license.html) do you read something
about a NeXT and Apple copyright?


Nope not an that page. But just do a grep -r NeXT * in the MusicKit
sources or Apple for that matter.


I am sorry to have to report this, but as it stands now I don't think
MusicKit can and ever will be an OpenSource/Free Software kit.


I think to demand that all software that should be used with GNUstep
_must_ have the copyright assigned to RMS is a little over the top. BTW
german law explicitly forbids the assignment of the copyright to
somebody else.

Nope no need for that. But a line like:
(c) NeXT all rights reserved
Is somewhat problematic for me. I am not a lawer, I don't have the
knowledge to investigate what it can mean to me now, nor in the future.
And it is in a lot of .h files... :(

If someone can garantee me that I won't get into trouble, that I can
treat it as Open Source... that I might think it over. But for now there
are too much things in there that I feel might me get into trouble.

Dennis Leeuw





------------------------------

Message: 5
Date: Mon, 1 Mar 2004 11:04:40 +0100
From: Lars Sonchocky-Helldorf
        <address@hidden>
Subject: Re: Ocean and the search for a Music Framework
To: Dennis Leeuw <address@hidden>
Cc: GNUstep Discussion <address@hidden>
Message-ID:
<address@hidden interone.de>
        
Content-Type: text/plain; charset="US-ASCII"

Dennis Leeuw <address@hidden> wrote on 29.02.2004 21:44:14:

Lars Sonchocky-Helldorf wrote:

Am Sonntag, 29.02.04 um 14:06 Uhr schrieb Dennis Leeuw:

Hi all,

As I noted before I wanted to support MusicKit as a part of Ocean.

Thanks to Jeff Teunissen I have decided to skip MusicKit due to the
risk of the copyrights within MusicKit. There are too many NeXT and
Apple copyrights to take the risk of inclusion.


What did Mr. Teunissen tell you?

He just warned me.

  Where here
(http://musickit.sourceforge.net/license.html) do you read something
about a NeXT and Apple copyright?


Nope not an that page. But just do a grep -r NeXT * in the MusicKit
sources or Apple for that matter.


I am sorry to have to report this, but as it stands now I don't think

MusicKit can and ever will be an OpenSource/Free Software kit.


I think to demand that all software that should be used with GNUstep
_must_ have the copyright assigned to RMS is a little over the top.
BTW
german law explicitly forbids the assignment of the copyright to
somebody else.

Nope no need for that. But a line like:
(c) NeXT all rights reserved
Is somewhat problematic for me. I am not a lawer, I don't have the
knowledge to investigate what it can mean to me now, nor in the future.
And it is in a lot of .h files... :(

If someone can garantee me that I won't get into trouble, that I can
treat it as Open Source... that I might think it over. But for now there

are too much things in there that I feel might me get into trouble.

What I would do here If I were you in that situation: Ask the developers of MusicKit (<address@hidden> and <address@hidden>).
They _should_ know what is possible and what not: no more guessing and
assuming necessary ...


Dennis Leeuw


greetings, Lars







------------------------------

Message: 8
Date: Mon, 01 Mar 2004 16:59:31 +0100
From: Dennis Leeuw <address@hidden>
Subject: Ann: Ocean db-0.1.3
To: GNUstep Discussion <address@hidden>
Message-ID: <address@hidden>
Content-Type: text/plain; charset=us-ascii; format=flowed

There is a new update for Ocean containing:
Gorm 0.6.0
ProjectCenter 0.3.6
Renaissance 0.8.0
StepTalk 0.8.1

Have fun,

Dennis




------------------------------

Message: 10
Date: Mon, 1 Mar 2004 17:33:02 +0100
From: Marco Scheurer <address@hidden>
Subject: Re: Ocean and the search for a Music Framework
To: Dennis Leeuw <address@hidden>
Cc: GNUstep Discussion <address@hidden>
Message-ID: <address@hidden>
Content-Type: text/plain; charset=US-ASCII; format=flowed


On Feb 29, 2004, at 9:44 PM, Dennis Leeuw wrote:
Nope not an that page. But just do a grep -r NeXT * in the MusicKit
sources or Apple for that matter.


I am sorry to have to report this, but as it stands now I don't
think MusicKit can and ever will be an OpenSource/Free Software kit.
I think to demand that all software that should be used with GNUstep
_must_ have the copyright assigned to RMS is a little over the top.
BTW german law explicitly forbids the assignment of the copyright to
somebody else.
Nope no need for that. But a line like:
(c) NeXT all rights reserved
Is somewhat problematic for me. I am not a lawer, I don't have the
knowledge to investigate what it can mean to me now, nor in the
future.
And it is in a lot of .h files... :(

I am not a lawyer either, but the fact that this source code is
copyrighted does not mean that it can not be used as you want. This
depends on the license under which it is distributed. If the license
says you can use it and distribute it, you're fine as long as you abide
to the terms of the license.

NeXT, as the copyright owner (or Apple as its successor) could decide
to distribute the same files under a different license, sell it, or
whatever, but that's not a problem for you: they will not come after
you or remove your rights to use it as long as you haven't failed to
obey the license.

As I understand it the MusicKit license is reasonable, not unlike the
Free BSD license. It does not have a publicity clause, merely an
encouragement to acknowledge the work of others, and an obligation not
to remove copyright notices (quite normal). It should be compatible
with the GPL.

The GPL does not require that you give your copyright to anybody.

marco

Marco Scheurer
Sen:te, Lausanne, Switzerland   http://www.sente.ch




------------------------------

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--
Leigh Smith
mailto:address@hidden
http://www.leighsmith.com





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