Muse unsettle audacity developers with new license planning

Muse unsettle audacity developers with new license planning

After the American Muse Group has taken over the development of Audacity, the developers seem to step by a fat bowl. First, the audio editor should send telemetry data – albeit after a consent by the user. However, this plan rummaged under the users in such a rough resistance that the Audacity developers finally reduced to apologize and strokes the function. Meanwhile, a planned licensing change for a further violent discussion ensures. It is less concerned with the license itself than a concomitant maaking.

Currently, Audacity is subject to the Source Open GNU General Public License (short GPL). Instead of the second version used so far, the third catch of GPL should be used. This loves libraries and techniques that are not compatible with the old GPLV2. As an example, the developers call the widespread plugin interface VST3. In addition, the music replacement program Musescore developed by the Muse Group uses the GPLV3. Through a licensing change, the two applications could share simple program code.

Forced approval?

The Audacity developers also liked the audio editor next to Windows, MacOS and Linux also provide on other platforms. However, this was more difficult or preventing the GPL in some cases. As an example, the developers Apple’s App Store, whose conditions are at least hindering the publication of GPLV3 apps. This got in the past, among other things, the media player VLC to traces, which flew even briefly from the App Store. The NextCloud developers also experienced the license of their iOS app for a corresponding PAS.

In order to be unavailable to the audio editor about such sources, the Muse Group wants to offer him under further licenses if necessary. However, this only succeeds if all involved developers agree to this project. If you might contribute to a contribution to Audacity, therefore, must sign a so-called Contributor License Agreement (CLA). He allows the Muse Group to use the associated code anywhere else. If you deny the signature, you can not give any code to AUDACITY anymore. The complete wording of the CLA has published the Audacity team on Github together with a fairly long explanation.

Suspected commercialization

In the community, the CLA stabs partially pretty violent criticism. Among other things, the programmer Hector Martin suggests that the company is a commercial catch of audacity tarpaulin. However, the Muse team emphasizes in his contribution to Github that Audacity remains free-to-freely reliable. In addition, no functions have been integrated, which had to unlock users against a list. Only planned are "Various Cloud Services", which should co-financize the development of audacity. In addition, the MUSE team was briefly introduced numerous changes. Without the CLA, the developers could not use this code free in other MUSE projects. The users counter that the GPL allow the code exchange and the integration of the cloud services. A CLA is therefore completely unnecessary.

Contributor License Agreements are often used for open source software. In some cases, however, they ensure that developers turn away from the appropriate project. In the past, this got about Ubuntu developers Canonical to traces, whose appropriate projects ultimately progressively progressed as competitive projects without CLA forced. However, experience with such a Agreement has already collected the Muse Group with his note set program museScore. In addition, according to the Muse team, the majority of the existing developers of Audacity signed the CLA. Unlike the telemetry data, the company was therefore allowed to hold on to the planned CLA.

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