[PlanetCCRMA] Fwd: The New Csound LGPL License - At Last Free...

Kevin Conder kwconder@yahoo.com
Sat May 10 07:13:01 2003

Here's some exciting news... Csound is now Open Source!

---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: Sat, 10 May 2003 02:42:51 -0400
From: "Dr. Richard Boulanger" <csound@attbi.com>
To: "Dr. Richard Boulanger" <rboulanger@berklee.edu>
Subject: The New Csound LGPL License - At Last Free...

Dear Students, Colleagues, Friends,

On May 1, 2003 - the Licensing Office of MIT authorized me to notify
that they and Barry Vercoe had decided to change the Csound License and
make it "Open Source under the GNU-LGPL."  Below is a note that Barry
Vercoe asked me to forward you regarding this incredibly wonderful
decision.  After his note, I have included the email message that I
to the Csound List accounting the details of the meetings and emails
that led to this event.  Lastly, I have included the LGPL and FDL
licenses so that any and all of you who use Csound and make music with
Csound can now understand and appreciate all of your new freedoms!


Dear all

Each time I have developed a major system for Musical Sound Synthesis I
have tried to make the sources freely available to the musical
community. With MUSIC 360 in 1968 that meant running to the Post Office
every day to mail off a bulky 300 ft reel of 9-track digital tape, but
really did enjoy the many hundreds of pieces this caused during the
60's and 70's. With my MUSIC -11 for the ubiquitous and less costly
PDP-11, I chose to pass the maintenance and distribution task off to a
third party.  This was easier on me, and led to even more pieces in the
community during the late 70's and early 80's.

At the time I wrote Csound in 1985 the net had now made it possible for
would-be users to simply copy the sources from my MIT site, so I put my
time into writing a Makefile that would compile those sources along
the sound analysis programs and the Scot and Cscore utilities.  And
though this was initially Unix, I worked with others to port it to
machines as well. After I was awarded an NSF grant in 1986, it became
necessary to add a copyright and permission paragraph to the sources
the accompanying Manual.  The spirit of my contribution however
unchanged, that I wished all who would use it, extend it, and do
creative things with it be given ready access with minimal hassle.

Today the original wording of the permission no longer conveys that
spirit, and the dozens of developers to whom I paid tribute in my
Foreword to Rick Boulanger's The Csound Book have felt it a deterrent
making the best extensions they can.  So with the graceful consent of
MIT's Technology Licensing Office, I am declaring my part of Public
Csound to be Open Source, as defined by the LGPL standard.  This does
not compromise the work of others, nor does it make the whole of Public
Csound into Free Software. But it does create a more realistic basis
upon which others can build their own brand of Csound extensions, in
spirit of my efforts over the years.

I am indebted to John ffitch for having protected me from the enormous 
of daily maintenance in recent years.  His spirit is even greater than
mine, and I trust you will continue to accord him that recognition as
you go forward.


Barry Vercoe

kwconder at yahoo dot com

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