[needs-packaging] linuxsampler

Bug #252330 reported by Stéphane Magnenat on 2008-07-27
This bug affects 1 person
Affects Status Importance Assigned to Milestone
linuxsampler (Ubuntu)
Nominated for Dapper by Matthew Flaschen

Bug Description

The LinuxSampler project was founded with the goal to produce a free, open source pure software audio sampler with professional grade features, comparable to both hardware and commercial Windows/Mac software samplers and to introduce new features not yet available by any other sampler in the world.

URL: http://www.linuxsampler.org/
License: GPL with a non commercial provision

Linux sampler, an open source but non-dfsg compliant (its GPL is extended with a non commercial provision), was once in Ubuntu but has been removed since (see bug 84451). However, this package is very useful for musician and thus should be included in Ubuntu, let it be in multiverse. The packaging has already been done before so that is probably not a big deal.

Thank you, have a nice day

Hew (hew) wrote :

I have edited the report to comply with https://wiki.ubuntu.com/UbuntuDevelopment/NewPackages . Please take a look at the qsampler package (and gigedit) which seems to be an official linuxsampler frontend already in Ubuntu. Does this satisfy your requirements, or is packaging of linuxsampler itself still required? Thanks in advance.

description: updated

Thank you for editing my post. I did not found the guidelines previously, probably I failed to look properly.

The problem with the current front-end package is that it is useless without the sampler engine itself. But the sampler engine .deb from the linuxsampler web site uses a library versioning that is incompatible with Ubuntu debs (maybe some Ubuntu/Debian difference?). I was able to use the upstream debs here, but this install is ugly because Ubuntu would like to upgrade some linuxsampler provided library, which would break the sampler engine dependencies.

Thank you.

Hew (hew) wrote :

You're right, qsampler is broken without the linuxsampler package (bug #36326). I can't see a reason why this shouldn't belong in multiverse.

Emmet Hikory (persia) wrote :

The licensing of linuxsampler remains the same as that described in bug #84451. The problem is not that it is non-free (as there is a wide variety of non-free software in multiverse), but that the license is considered to be self-contradictory. It both claims to be GPL (and is largely based on GPL code) which includes the provision that one may run the program, while also restricting use for commercial purposes. As such, it becomes undistributable. If linuxsampler were to change to a different license upstream that restricted use for non-commercial purposes, it would certainly be eligible for inclusion in multiverse. Alternately, if it were to change to be GPL, it would be eligible for inclusion in universe.

Just for clarification, as of this writing, the distributed linuxsampler is under GPL 2.0 + "commercial exception". The commercial exception reads "LinuxSampler is licensed under the GNU GPL with the exception that USAGE of the source code, libraries and applications FOR COMMERCIAL HARDWARE OR SOFTWARE PRODUCTS IS NOT ALLOWED without prior written permission by the LinuxSampler authors.". The relevant section of the GPL (2.0) is section 6, which includes in part "You may not impose any further restrictions on the recipients' exercise of the rights granted herein. You are not responsible for enforcing compliance by third parties to this License.". This is generally interpreted as not permitting the imposition of additional restrictions such as the commercial exception.

So maybe you could post a bug in linuxsampler tracker. It is sad that we cannot include such an open source software while we include a lot of proprietary ones, that might also have inconsistancies in licensing, but that we do not see.

Emmet Hikory (persia) wrote :

The licensing issues are well known upstream, and have been discussed multiple times on the mailing lists (I'd point you at the archives, but sourceforge doesn't maintain stable URLs for mailing list messages: search the archives for 2005 (and early 2006)). At one point it was thought that the restriction was added to CVS after the 0.3.3 release, although it was later discovered it had been there all along (according to the current FAQ on the linuxsampler homepage).

Some participants in past threads have noted that such a license makes it not meet the standards of either the Open Source Iniitiative or the Free Software Foundation. Although the source code is available, it may not be entirely correct to call it either "open source" or "free software", depending on your interpretation.

One interpretation of the license restrictions allows upstream to distribute linuxsampler (although no other party). Using this interpretation, upstream has begun to provide binary packages for a variety of distributions. It may be possible to ask that they include Ubuntu in their list of supported installation targets (currently that includes Debian, Gentoo, SuSE, WIndows, and Mac).

I see. Although I'm not a layer, and that this might change from country to country, my feeling would be that the "good will" interpretation of their addition would be an override of the incompatible GPL section (but of course the license would not be GPL then). Moreover, it might not follow the standard definitions, it does follow the spirit. Anyway, I will post a bug upstream as you suggest.

Thank you.

Motin (motin) wrote :

This seems to be an appropriate place to post instructions on how to install linuxsampler using the packages from the official site:

1. Download the latest liblinuxsampler and linuxsampler .deb files from http://download.linuxsampler.org/packages/debian/
2. Save the edit-deb-control.sh script from http://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?p=5585977#post5585977 and make it executable
3. Run "./edit-deb-control.sh ~/path/to/liblinuxsampler_*_i386.deb"
4. Change "libgig" to "libgig6", save and exit gedit
5. Install the modified liblinuxsampler package
6. Install the linuxsampler package

Now you should be able to use the qsampler or jsampler front-ends to control the linuxsampler server!

raboof (arnouten) wrote :

Easier than using ./edit-deb-control.sh, you can do a 'dpkg -i --force-depends liblinuxsampler_0.5.1-1_i386.deb'

About the licensing issues: obviously software under the 'GPL 2.0 + "commercial exception"' is incompatible with the GPL (but not the LGPL). They seem to claim that since linuxsampler depends only on libgig, and as libgig is their own code, they can distribute linuxsampler linked to libgig.

If indeed linuxsampler only links to LGPL libraries and libgig, afaics the only thing we'd need to be able to distribute linuxsampler in multiverse is a version of libgig under the 'GPL 2.0 + "commercial exception"' license. I'd expect that shouldn't be a problem if we ask nicely. Am I missing something here?

raboof (arnouten) wrote :

Hm, after looking a bit more closely, it seems liblinuxsampler links to libartsc, and the latter is GPL.

Looks like either libartsc needs to be released under the LGPL, linuxsampler should be released under the GPL, or libartsc should be removed from linuxsampler.

raboof (arnouten) wrote :

Never mind that last remark: libartsc is actually LGPL, even though the copyright file of the ubuntu and debian packages suggest otherwise.

So it looks to me like all we'd need is a version of libgig under the 'GPL 2.0 + "commercial exception"'-license to be able to distribute LS in multiverse.

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