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[fluid-dev] Licenses compatibility

From: Pedro Lopez-Cabanillas
Subject: [fluid-dev] Licenses compatibility
Date: Thu, 8 Jan 2009 21:15:35 +0100
User-agent: KMail/1.9.6 (enterprise 20070904.708012)

Miguel Lobo wrote:
> > In case it helps here are source file of CoreMidi input for LinuxSampler:
> Those files are GPL-licensed, while fluidsynth is distributed under
> the LGPL.  Anyone thinking of using those files as inspiration for a
> fluidsynth driver should be very careful.

You are kidding, I suppose.

First, because it's C++ code and Fluidsynth is plain C. So in the first place, 
anyone would prefer to look to another project written in C, like PortMidi 
(http://portmedia.sourceforge.net/portmidi/) released under a BSD license. 
Second, because the LinuxSampler license has been polemic in the past, maybe 
inspiring your message. Third, because Stephane Letz is the author of the 
MidiShare driver for FluidSynth, and one of the authors of MidiShare itself. 
Maybe he also wants to trigger some fun, here.
If you like to be inspired by a chunk of C++, I would say that RtMIDI has 
CoreMIDI support and a BSD-like license 
(http://www.music.mcgill.ca/~gary/rtmidi/). It doesn't infect your eyes with 
viric licensing terms, even if you take a very intimate look to the 
sources ;-)

But seriously speaking again. When I release some program under the GPL, I 
don't forbide anyone to look to my sources for inspiration, even if the 
looker is not going to release his work under the same license. That would be 
against the the free software philosophy of sharing the knowledge. What you 
can't do is to take my whole GPL'd work and close it, or copy lage chunks of 
code into a proprietary product. 

Copy+Paste may violate the license terms. But reading GPL code for reference, 
inspiration or learning is using it in a legitimate way, IMHO.


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