Should Qsampler be dropped from Ubuntu archives?

Yvan Vander Sanden yvan at
Wed Nov 28 13:32:52 GMT 2007

Luis de Bethencourt wrote:
> let me quote the important bit...
> "USAGE of the souce code, libraries and applications FOR COMMERCIAL
> enfasis in: source code, libraries and applications
> this isn't limiting the use of the source in commercial apps like QT
> does for example. It is limiting the applications too. Hence not only
> linuxsampler (usage as application), but even qsampler (usage as
> libraries) must be used with their consent everytime you boot.
> this is even more restrictive than some propietary software. I don't
> see adobe photoshop asking for permission of use to avoid their
> product used in "wrong images"

I see what you mean. However, I think this all comes down to the fact 
that the linuxsampler people don't formulate very well what they really 
want. 3 words in their limitation are ambiguous:

usage: Taken literally, this would mean that you cannot, for instance, 
make a commercial hardware sampler if the basic samples are made with 
linuxsampler. I think however that their intention is to prohibit the 
use of their source code in this hardware. Or in case of an application, 
that you cannot write a commercial GUI which is dependent on the 
linuxsampler library. This is no different from the gpl, except from the 
fact that the word commercial is confusing (see below)

for: given the confusion caused by 'usage', this should better be 
replaced by 'in'.

commercial: the gpl never uses the word commercial software, and for a 
good reason. A company could very well be able to release open-source or 
gpl-ed software. Most of them won't, but that does not make it 
impossible. IF a software company uses gpl software in their own 
software and release their product with a gpl-license, they will be able 
to do that. And they can still ask money for their software. The 
linux-sampler people appear not to allow that. But after reading the 
rest of the FAQ, i think they intend to restrict closed source software, 
not commercial software as such.

If this is the case, their license is indeed more free than the standard 
gpl. I'll gladly make use of Luis' teenage allegory again:

closed-source: Parents won't let the teenager go out with friends, ever.

gpl: Parents will let the teenager go out, but only if the friends can 
be trusted (open source programs). Other people (closed source programs) 
will not  be allowed to take the teenager with them.

linuxsampler: Parents will let the teenager go out, if the friends can 
be trusted (open source programs). Other people (closed source programs) 
may be able to take the teenager out, but this will have to be discussed 
first, and only possible with the parents' explicit permission.

(it's very tempting to write an example here about public domain, with 
lots of child abuse and such. But i will restrain from that because it's 
not really to the point.)



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