[PD] Legal restrictions for apps

Miller Puckette msp at ucsd.edu
Fri Oct 4 19:44:12 CEST 2013

One (not so minor) note on this... "expr" is copyright IRCAM (hahrokh Yadegari
was working for IRCAM at the time) and is also included in Max, so it
might be sbject to agreements between IRCAM and Cycling '74. 

I was under the impression it was under GPL, not LGPL.  I just looked and
saw that, indeed, the LICENSE.txt file says LGPL and the expr source code
print out "GPL" on startup.  The reason I think it's actually GPL is that
that is how IRCAM released it -- as part of jMAX, years ago.  The current
code is based on that original code.  Although it was extensively reworked 
by Shahrokh, I presume the GPL terms under which he was working required him
to release the result under GPL too.

So for the moment at least, I'm afraid FUD rules.


On Sat, Oct 05, 2013 at 02:27:37AM +0900, i go bananas wrote:
> I am the one who originally pushed for expr license change, and contacted
> apple, and the original expr licensees, etc....
> here's what happened, in summary, from my foggy memory:
> i contacted the original author of expr, Mr Yadegari, and explained the
> situation that expr was in a strange limbo between vanilla pd and
> pd-extended.  It's included in vanilla, but there license is different, etc
> etc...
> When we looked into it, we found that the original license for expr was in
> fact LGPL, not GPL, as stated in the pd documentation.  (So, as Iohannas
> suggests, a bug report might be a good idea)
> When i asked about the possibility of changing to the pd style BSD license,
> Mr Yadegari was totally fine with that, and said that is what he had wished
> anyway.
> However, the expr license was now under control of the university, and i
> would have to contact the relevant people to ask about changing the license
> to BSD.
> In the meantime, i had called Apple, and asked about the legality of GPL,
> and they said GPL was not permitted, as you need to release the code with
> the app, and they don't have that facility built in to their app store.
>  Then when i asked about the possibility of LGPL, which doesn't need the
> source code included in the package, they sent me from person to person,
> and i never got a straight answer... basically they told me that if i
> wanted to use LGPL, i would have to hire a lawyer to speak with their
> lawyer.
> So....it seemed like changing the expr license to BSD would be the best
> option.
> I contacted another developer who Mr Yadegari referred me to, and we spoke
> about the possibility of changing the license.   He said no one had touched
> expr for years, but couldn't see any reason why not to change it.  He said
> he'd need to check with the relevant department at the university, and with
> the other developers who had taken on the caretaking of expr.
> And then, university summer holidays started, before i could go any
> further, and i never heard back again about the license.
> So, as far as i understand, the expr developers i spoke to all seemed fine
> with the idea of BSD, but we just never got as far as getting everyone
> together and making the change.
> On Sat, Oct 5, 2013 at 1:52 AM, IOhannes m zmölnig <zmoelnig at iem.at> wrote:
> > On 10/03/13 02:35, Dan Wilcox wrote:
> > > - I leave out [expr] & [expr~] for now. The license in the expr src
> > folder is LGPL,
> > > but the license in the source headers is GPL and the following is
> > printed to console
> > > when first loading the external: "expr, expr~, fexpr~ version 0.4
> > under GNU General Public
> >
> > there has been extensive discussion on this with the original authors
> > (*all* copyrightholders) of [expr] (most of it forwarded/CCed to this
> > list), and IIRC correctly the final result as that expr has been
> > re-licensed under the LGPL.
> > for me this means that the code *is* LGPL, even if on load the
> > splashscreen says that it is BSD4 or the microsoft EULA.
> >
> > but of course it is annoying to have contradictory license information
> > staring at your face (esp. when you have to argue with someone like
> > apple), so i suggest to fix the headers and the printout.
> >
> > please file a bug-report (eventually including a patch that does the
> > fixing)
> >
> > fgmasdr
> > IOhannes
> >
> >
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> >

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