license question

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license question

David Nalesnik
Hi all,

I have a question concerning the GPL.  Is it permissible for an app
under a GPL-incompatible license to provide output in LilyPond code?
For example, could Finale provide a Finale->LilyPond converter even
though the mechanics are shrouded in mystery?

Thanks,
David

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Re: license question

Kieren MacMillan-4
Hi David,

> I have a question concerning the GPL.  Is it permissible for an app
> under a GPL-incompatible license to provide output in LilyPond code?
> For example, could Finale provide a Finale->LilyPond converter even
> though the mechanics are shrouded in mystery?

I’m very interested to hear informed opinions/answers… but if it’s anything except "of course they can do that!" (which is my instinct), then I really don’t understand what "free" means.  =)

Best,
Kieren.

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Re: license question

Carl Sorensen-3
In reply to this post by David Nalesnik


On 1/21/20, 11:07 AM, "David Nalesnik" <[hidden email]> wrote:

    Hi all,
   
    I have a question concerning the GPL.  Is it permissible for an app
    under a GPL-incompatible license to provide output in LilyPond code?
    For example, could Finale provide a Finale->LilyPond converter even
    though the mechanics are shrouded in mystery?
   
    Thanks,
    David

Finale could provide a Finale->LilyPond converter, but it could not use LilyPond GPL code to do so.

The LilyPond language is not copyrighted; the LilyPond code is, as far as I understand.

Carl


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Re: license question

Mason Hock-2
In reply to this post by David Nalesnik
> I have a question concerning the GPL.  Is it permissible for an app
> under a GPL-incompatible license to provide output in LilyPond code?
> For example, could Finale provide a Finale->LilyPond converter even
> though the mechanics are shrouded in mystery?

IANAL, but I don't think this would be a problem.  Finale cannot
incorporate any of Lilypond's code in order to achieve this
functionality, but I don't thing anything would stop them from
implementing it themselves.

This reminds me of MATLAB and GNU Octave.  There this situation is
reversed, in that the proprietary program came before the GPL'd program,
but it is another example of two programs with incompatible licenses
using the same syntax.

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Re: license question

David Kastrup
In reply to this post by David Nalesnik
David Nalesnik <[hidden email]> writes:

> Hi all,
>
> I have a question concerning the GPL.  Is it permissible for an app
> under a GPL-incompatible license to provide output in LilyPond code?
> For example, could Finale provide a Finale->LilyPond converter even
> though the mechanics are shrouded in mystery?

Most certainly so.  Making a combined application running in the same
process space would be a problem, but calling LilyPond as an executable
is pretty uncontroversial.  If you distribute it as an aggregate
solution, you need to provide the source of the LilyPond component (as
it is being used) on request or by default.  But running it as a server
is unproblematic.

But if you don't even include LilyPond but produce LilyPond output, no
license comes into play.  I mean, unless your output contains
copyrightable code taken from somewhere else.

--
David Kastrup

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Re: license question

Urs Liska-3


Am 21. Januar 2020 20:25:43 MEZ schrieb David Kastrup <[hidden email]>:

>David Nalesnik <[hidden email]> writes:
>
>> Hi all,
>>
>> I have a question concerning the GPL.  Is it permissible for an app
>> under a GPL-incompatible license to provide output in LilyPond code?
>> For example, could Finale provide a Finale->LilyPond converter even
>> though the mechanics are shrouded in mystery?
>
>Most certainly so.  Making a combined application running in the same
>process space would be a problem, but calling LilyPond as an executable
>is pretty uncontroversial.  If you distribute it as an aggregate
>solution, you need to provide the source of the LilyPond component (as
>it is being used) on request or by default.  But running it as a server
>is unproblematic.
>
>But if you don't even include LilyPond but produce LilyPond output, no
>license comes into play.  I mean, unless your output contains
>copyrightable code taken from somewhere else.

I would put it like this: you can produce LilyPond input files/code with whatever you want, even your copyrighted brain.

Also  you can produce with GPLed software any content, the copyright in question is only thd content author's, not that of LilyPond.

Urs
--
Diese Nachricht wurde von meinem Android-Gerät mit K-9 Mail gesendet.

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Re: license question

Arle Lommel-3
In reply to this post by David Nalesnik
From: David Nalesnik <[hidden email]>
Subject: license question

Hi all,

I have a question concerning the GPL.  Is it permissible for an app
under a GPL-incompatible license to provide output in LilyPond code?
For example, could Finale provide a Finale->LilyPond converter even
though the mechanics are shrouded in mystery?

Thanks,
David

********

I am not a lawyer, but this question closely aligns with issues related to those currently before the US Supreme Court in Google v. Oracle.

With that preamble, here is my understanding:

A converter is not reproducing code. No license from the GLP project applies to it because you are not reproducing licensed code. The converter produces a textual representation of music, and this representation itself is not subject to the GPL terms. *Anything* can generate that code because no copyright applies to a method, which is what an abstract process for going from something like g4^. to a graphic representation of a staccato G quarter note is.

Also note that if someone wanted to write a clean-room interpreter or converter for Lilypond code that did not use any GPL code, that should be legal as well, because methods are not subject to copyright (although code is) and a Lilypond input file is a call to methods, not to code (although those methods are instantiated in code).

So there is really no reason you couldn’t create a Finale>Lilypond converter. The license of Lilypond itself wouldn’t matter to you in this regard because you wouldn’t be reproducing GPL code. You could in turn choose any license for the code of your converter.

-Arle