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Re: [fluid-dev] Soundfont licensing

From: josh
Subject: Re: [fluid-dev] Soundfont licensing
Date: Tue, 01 Sep 2009 02:32:42 -0700
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Quoting "S. Christian Collins" <address@hidden>:

That's the hard part.  Most of these samples (including the ones
originally shipped with Creative sound cards) provide no information on
copyright.  I've already checked the sample history to the best of my
ability, and I can find no indication that any of the samples in
GeneralUser are being used illegally.  Now if I were to sell them, I'd
imagine it would be a different story.  All that being said, most of
the samples in GeneralUser are either original or heavily modified, and
those that aren't original are usually buried under original
programming where they are no longer recognizable.

In United States law there is "fair use", which might cover this case. Though its hard to know these days how a law will actually get interpreted. There are many songs out there that have audio clips from movies for example, which seems to be legal, so long as the clips are under a certain duration (I think it was like 5 seconds or something) and doesn't contain over a certain amount of the work as a whole. I imagine most clips in a SoundFont file are under 5 seconds long (or whatever that magic number happens to be). I doubt there would be any repercussions anyways, even if there was some sort of issue, not that licenses should be ignored of course.

David Henningsson wrote:
Last, some personal thoughts. Releasing some work under a "free" license
means passing through a mental barrier, at least for me. It means giving
up some rights that you have, and that is sometimes a difficult thing to
do. And things can go wrong and your work can take turns you did not
want to in the first place. But there are also chances, that your work
will become something greater and better than you could ever do
yourself. Often I'm willing to take that chance. Are you?

You know what?  I am willing to take that chance.  Ultimately, I want
the work I've done to have as much impact as it possibly can, and I
think that if it can be used alongside FluidSynth to make people's
lives easier, then I'm all for it.  I will look into the different
license recommendations I've received and re-release GeneralUser GS
under the new license.

Thank you for your help :)

Sounds great.  Cheers!


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