License Clarification for Binary Installer

Hi all,

I would like to get clarification on a licensing issue.

This is the scenario I’m currently facing: The university I work at has an IT department. Software for PCs used by the university is packaged and managed by that IT department. We asked them to add Ardour to the packaging system in order to be able to deploy Ardour to any PC on the user’s request. The IT department uses the ready-to-run version from the Ardour download page for that. They approached me with concerns about the legality of university-wide distribution of this version of Ardour.

This is the issue that they have: Ardour is GPL-licensed, so there is no problem there. But there does not seem to exist any EULA or license information about the installer that is distributed with the ready-to-run version of Ardour and used to install the software. In order to be legally in the clear, they would need a written statement that clarifies whether the installer can be distributed as freely as the GPL-licensed rest of the software.

This is mostly an issue because of the paywall that the ready-to-run version of Ardour is locked behind. As it is now, we’d be paying once to get the app which would then be distributed to potentially thousands of machines. If this is in line with the intentions of the Ardour developers, there should be some form of written statement somewhere saying so.

I don’t even know if the IT department would be satisfied if @paul himself got in here and state that yes, this is fine. My impression is that they take this stuff very seriously, so a simple forum post might not satisfy them, even if it came from the founder and project lead.

So, in a nutshell, am I free to distribute the ready-to-run version of Ardour that I paid for to as many people (within my workplace if that makes a difference) as I want? If so, where can I find legally binding text that grants me that right?

Thanks in advance to anyone who can offer some insight!

I don’t even know if the IT department would be satisfied if @paul himself got in here and state that yes, this is fine.

Yes, this is fine :slight_smile:

A number of other institutions have already/do already do this. It is completely legal and will create no problems of any kind.

The installer we use for Windows is NSIS, whose license information can be found here: License - NSIS

For other platforms, the packaged version at does not use any installer that would require an explicit license.

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To just follow up on this: the written statement saying so is the LICENSE file at the top of the Ardour source tree, which states that Ardour is released under the GPL, and is thus freely copyable, redistributable and modifiable under the terms of that license.

Thanks for the replies! It doesn’t really get much clearer than that, so I’ll see if it’s enough to ease their minds.

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