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Re: [fluid-dev] Another application using FluidSynth announced

From: David Henningsson
Subject: Re: [fluid-dev] Another application using FluidSynth announced
Date: Wed, 14 Sep 2011 05:47:59 +0200
User-agent: Mozilla/5.0 (X11; Linux x86_64; rv:7.0) Gecko/20110906 Thunderbird/7.0

On 09/13/2011 11:14 PM, Pedro Lopez-Cabanillas wrote:
On Tuesday 13 September 2011, you wrote:
it just takes one of all copyright
holders to raise a complaint to bring the app down. That includes all
copyright holders in the past which we know nothing about.

This actually comes down to another question. Does the project need to
protect itself from that scenario? If so, we need to relicense
FluidSynth, e g under BSD or under GPL with Classpath exception. That is
done by asking the contributors we can get hold of to relicense, and
rewriting the code for people that refuse or that we can't get in
contact with.

So which is worse? Relicensing and rewriting parts of FluidSynth, or
denying FluidSynth for iPhone/iPad users?

I should perhaps rephrase this as "App Store users" rather than "iPhone/iPad users". There's still Cydia. Not available to everyone perhaps, but that's Apple's fault.

If you ask me, I will personally not commit to doing the job of
contacting copyright holders and ripping out code that does not fulfil
the new decided license. I will, however, prefer to relicense my own
contributions if the option is to have my own code ripped out.

However should I ever feel forced to do such a choice, that would also demotivate me and is likely to decrease my willingness to contribute further to this project.

OTOH, there might be companies, with manpower, that might start to contribute to FluidSynth if it was possible to distribute it through the App Store.

Just my last opinion about this matter. I find it disgusting the attitude of
Rusty Russell regarding the Wesnoth game. I can understand his disagreement
against selling the game in the App Store, but what bugs me a lot is the
arrogance of thinking that his license interpretation is the only valid
against the rest of the project. And he even recognizes, and even is proud,
that his attitude is pure selfishness.

I wouldn't be so certain that he was the only one. Maybe he was just the only one who dared to voice that opinion, whereas the others feared exclusion and therefore remained silent. I don't know much about the Wesnoth community, but something must have gone wrong if this was discussed after the port was completed rather than before.

The FSF has problems with the App Store [1], people on this mailinglist have problems with it.

And looks like there may be a similar risk over FluidSynth as well. I would
prefer to have sorted this matter now.

Sorry, but that's impossible without contacting all Copyright holders of FluidSynth, asking them to relicense their contributions.

So, anybody wants his code to be
removed, if FluidSynth is used in applications published in the Apple store?

I've been listening to both sides of the argument here. And I've made up my mind.

It's obvious to me that we have two paths here, the App Store path that requires relicensing and possibly removal of some contributions, and the non App Store path (continuing with LGPL) that puts App Store applications at risk. There is no middle ground.

Should the project choose the App Store path, I'll relicense my code, but you'll have to continue without me. Should the project choose the non App Store path, I'll continue being a part of this project, however that is still not a guarantee from my side of a specific amount of time commitment to the project in the future.

// David

[1] http://www.fsf.org/blogs/licensing/more-about-the-app-store-gpl-enforcement - this is GPL but as I understand it the same would apply to LGPL, as the same section is there

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