New approach to VST support?

I’ve just read a small note by the author of LMMS. He uses his own reverse engineered VST headers which fit the GPL. How about using these in ardour to avoid the license issues of the Steinberg SDK?

The greater problem is the license for the VST SDK, particularly this section :

“2. The Licensee has no permission to sell, licence, give-away and/or distribute the VST PlugIn Interface technology or parts of it in anyway, on any medium, including the Internet, to any other person, including sub-licensors of the Licensee or companies where the Licensee has any involvement. This includes re-working this specification, or reverse-engineering any products based upon this specification.”



Proper “reverse-engineering” of the VST header includes to never accept that license, as you don’t touch the SDK at all.

I just wonder how the reverse-engeneering of VST complies with the licence of Steinbergs SDK. BTW: what is “reverse-engeneering” exactly if we talk about Material, that is distributed in source anyway?
Is there any statement from Steinberg/Yamaha on this matter?

nostrum fungitur

The guy who developed this header claimed to never have accepted the license, never taken a look at the VST-SDK-files and just examined freely available VST-plugins and so on. Of course this is difficult to prove that but as long as LMMS is an open-source and non-commercial project I guess Steinberg won’t really sue someone. Read the whole discussion at the mailing-list-archive.

It is in SVN ( as well as in recent 0.3.0 release.

Interesting. I had been hoping someone would make a clean reverse engineered header; I didn’t realise someone already had. (Or at least, had started.)

Do you distribute this with LMMS already? I couldn’t see it in the SVN source tree. Does the distributed version differ significantly from that in the mailing list thread you linked?

I can’t comment in any detail on the header itself or take any active interest in it, but I will say, judging from its content, that I would be prepared to believe the claim that it was reverse-engineered “cleanly”.


This would be a huge leap for Ardour, IMO. A lot of people have been migrating to Linux lately and its become so much easier - a lot of people just don’t want to compile from source.

Any word from Paul on this?

I’ll have a look if he’s on IRC tonight… (CET)


Sounds like it could really fly, but risk of legal suit: too high?

I’m a poet and I don’t even know it, but my feet show it. They’re long fellows.

Any news on this?

Hmm, I’m still waiting for Paul to give any comments on this…