Ardour and Money, 2014 edition

(Support) #81
One of the conversations I have had(Well more than one) indicated that Ardour could become a platform specifically for people to base other DAWs off of. This create a world with open DAW sessions that others can open and modify as they wish without needing to 'convert' from one proprietary format to another...
That sounds like a great idea - but I guess what I was questioning was the addition of a binary blob to something like Ardour, when it constitutes an essential part of what differentiates the product from Ardour, not an optional part such as a plug-in, so for example, if a commercial DAW developer takes the Ardour code, adds proprietary DSP, without which their version of Ardour is (at best just Ardour, and at worst non-functional) that seems different to e.g. a commercial developer using Ardour as the base for a product which is then also released as GPL. @mathewjohnrussel: I suppose that's a question for developers of commercial applications built on Ardour to answer - but, in the case of adding e.g. a proprietary DSP as a binary shared library, then its not really modifying Ardour's code, so there's no specific obligation under the GPL I would assume (but I'm not an expert) but, in my mind it does raise questions, especially if the functionality is essential to what defines the product, (and that product is marketed as being 'open' ). The situation would be different for e.g. a plug-in which was based on a GPL version, and I would imagine in that case the changes should be committed back to the original code (hence my question about e.g. the GVerb+ which I believe is GPL? but I may be wrong)

(James Brierley) #82

@linuxdsp The GPL is known for being ‘open to interpretation’ to a certain extent on what exactly constitutes a derivative work. Recall Torvalds’ corollary from the Linux kernel source, for instance. Matthew, not all Android-related code is necessarily required to be covered by the GPL — there are quite a few proprietary driver modules on the average smartphone, for example, because they can reasonably be considered distinct from the rest of the kernel. Modifying the kernel scheduler would most likely require the source to be covered by the GPL when distributed, but a module that controlled some proprietary interface would not necessarily. See clause 2 of the GPL 2, which is about this sort of thing (although of course, as this whole discussion illustrates, there are a myriad ways of interpreting it).

It’s also up to authors if they want to make exceptions or license the code under different terms to particular people/entities, the GPL doesn’t really have any power over that. I don’t really know anything about Mixbus, I can’t say what particular case it would likely fall under.

(Support) #83

@James Brierly: This kind of brings me back around to the whole thing about funding projects and the GPL - while it may be that in the case(s) I’ve refered to, the commercial developers have reached an agreement with the (primary) developer of the project, and, in that sense might be considered to be “doing the right thing” - but nowhere in the general license would it preclude anyone else who didn’t want to strike such an agreement, from just using work which has been contributed (often by others too, who are not paid by the project) and using that in a commercial product, with for example the addition of some proprietary code?
In my mind this is different from e.g. an optional plug-in, or, even a proprietary driver - if it constitutes what primarily differentiates it from just the (free) code on which it is based.
Isn’t the philosophy of the GPL, supposed to be that if you take code (made freely available) and modify it, then in return those changes get fed back to the original project (as in some way a form of compensation for the original work) and the original project (and work) benefits from that?
It seems that, if its possible to just bolt on a piece of proprietary code, importantly, which defines the function of the commercial derivative of the original work, without having to submit any of that back to the original project, that might be benefiting unfairly from the freely given work of (many) of the original developers.
And that seems to me to be a flaw in the business model for a project such as Ardour to attract more diverse commercial funding. Wouldn’t the right way to do things be to have a license which enshrines the kind of agreements already reached at the discretion of the developers in a more formal basis rather than the adhoc nature of ‘interpretation’ which we have at the moment?

(James Brierley) #84

@linuxdsp I can’t argue with what you’re saying, and I think the ‘letter versus spirit’ discussion about the ideals of the GPL that you brought up earlier is the key thing. The philosophy is pretty deep. While I’m fairly familiar with the various ways open source projects are developed, I can’t call myself an expert on business and models thereof — so I can’t really comment in that area, but I do think you bring up some important points.

(Paul Davis) #85

@linuxdsp: you can’t “bolt on a piece of proprietary code”. End of story. If you’re referring to Mixbus, then the fact that Harrison figured out how to do so much with a plugin is a credit to them and to the idea of plugins in general. You cannot distribute software derived from Ardour with a blob of proprietary code UNLESS that proprietary code is (a) not derived from Ardour (which can be easily established by looking at how it interfaces with Ardour’s code; using a plugin API necessarily implies lack of derivation) (b) not required for the functionality offered by Ardour-derived code to be accessible.

I don’t know what type of scenario you are either imagining or referring to, but the “big blob of proprietary code bolted onto GPL” is not possible.

(Damien) #86

I just wanted to say that while I don’t have money, I have time. Ardour is my favorite and only DAW, and I don’t want anything else. So if I can help in some practical, non-financial way, I’m in. I just changed the home page of to ask that visitors to the site consider donating to Ardour (in the box on the right where Ardour is mentioned). If I can help with PR, testing, or other things, I’m an easy email away. If I were wealthy (or even just rich), I would fund the entire project. If my financial situation improves, I will certainly donate what I can.

(Quentin) #87

I just noticed that I am not subscribed any more…

Is it not possible to alert users/members when the subscription is about to expire, or to just let all the past subscribers know that their support has ceased?
I used Ardour for a recording today, and just popped in to see it there is an update before editing…

Renewed for further 12 months

(Paul Davis) #88

We send automated email to all subscribers a week or two before their subscription is scheduled to end.

(Joecam1673) #89

Subscription renewed. Sorry about the lapse.

(Ardour) #90

I would like to add another voice to the suggestion of checking out It seems to be getting some traction and seems to work out better for the payer and payee than does paypal; for example if the payer gives to more than one project on patreon only one charge is applied to the card and patreon divvies out the money. I think they also have better policies about expiring cards and such. Also it, by its nature, shows funding progress.

Thanks a lot for ardour.

(Johannes Mueller) #91

Wouldn’t flattr be an option? It has been mentioned in this forum a couple of times. It is not to replace the existing subscriptions or donations. It would be an easy way to pay just a little extra for something. For example every article or forum comment by Paul or other developers could automatically come with a flattr button. Users could flattr just this single article or comment because it was helpful to them. Small comments with a small solution would get less flattrs where as release announcements and articles about important new features would get more.

(Paul Davis) #92

I already have a flattr account. I see nothing compelling about flattr whatsoever - it just another service which takes a stupidly large fee for every transaction, requires accounts, etc. etc. Its only benefit is that so far it isn’t surrounded by a bunch of negative publicity on teh interweb. The same can be said of patreon, really. These services are really all band aids to cover the deficiencies and corruptions of the national and international banking system(s). If I was within the Schengen zone in the EU and all Ardour users were also located there, this stuff would be trivial, zero cost and fast.

(Metal3d) #93

Hello, as this discussion began a long time ago, I don’t know the current situation. And I have not read the whole discussion. So…

Your complaints are absolutely founded (if it’s the right words to say it in English) - and as I’m working for an enterprise that “sells” open source software services, I understand the problem.

Looking on the right, I can see that donations seems to be reached each month (approximately 8000$/month) - while I’m donor (OK, not a rich donor) I wonder if the situation is now OK, or at least if it changed since the beginning of the discussion.

I don’t know if you’re projecting to sell some support, for example video lessons ? That can make sense and provide money.

Anyway, I can’t imagine that Ardour becomes proprietary licensed. I really don’t know how we can help you to get more money to continue the development if it’s still a problem.

It’s been a while I’m using Ardour and I try to give donation as far as I return on music creation (I’m not professional, I only make donation on years I return to composition)

And, one word for this fabulous DAW software: THANKS

(Robin Gareus) #94

The situation improved since, follow up at:

(Metal3d) #95

OK thanks a lot, I didn’t seen that post. Good news so !