https://safirsoft.com The new owner of Audacity is at war with the open source community

Musa's goals look good - but they set the stage for an unpleasant goal.

No, Audacity Audio Editor is not a free-source spyware - the owner of the popular audio-editing app Audacity is back in the open source community. This time it's not about Audacity - it's about MuseScore, an open source application that allows musicians to create, share and download music tracks (private, but not exclusively, on sheet music). Music).

MuseScore itself owns the GPLv3 license, which gives developers the right to fork and modify their source. One of those developers, Wenzheng Tang ("Xmader" on GitHub) has gone as far as to change the software - he's also created separate programs designed to bypass the cost of a MuseScore Pro subscription. After a thorough review of both sides' public views on GitHub, Ares spoke with Muse Group Chief Strategist Daniel Daniel — known on GitHub by his nickname "workintheory," to discuss the issue.

What is MuseScore?

Before we talk about the Muse problem, what should we talk about MuseScore? MuseScore provides access to sheet music, including legal access to copyrighted sheet music belonging to large groups such as Disney.

It is important to note that the software and the musical notes it has access to are not the same and are not provided under the same license. The app itself is GPLv3, but the music works available through musescore.com have a wide range of licenses, including public domain, creative commons, and all commercial.

In the commercial case, all rights reserved, the Muse Group generally does not hold the copyright to the work - The Muse Group is an intermediary that has secured distribution rights to the work through the MuseScore application. According to the Muse Group, MuseScore is the most popular program of its kind - it claims to have over 200,000 musicians getting scores every day, from a repository of more than 1,000,000 publicly available scores. It is also claimed that more than 1,000 new points are uploaded to the service every day.

What is Muse Beef with Xmader?

While Xmader has already acquired MuseScore, this is not the origin of the controversy. Xmader took over the MuseScore fork in November 2020 and seems to have completely given up on that fork. In total, only six adhere - all trivial and all made in the same week as the fork's creation. Xmader currently has 21,710 culprits behind the MuseScore project's main repository. Muse beef with Xmader comes from two other tanks, specifically designed to go beyond subscription costs. These repositories are the Musescore download tool (created November 2019) and the musescore suite (created March 2020). Musescore-downloader succinctly describes itself: "Download sheet music from musescore.com for free, without logging in or using MuseScore." Musescore's database is almost the same simply put, declaring itself "an unofficial collection of all the music and user pages of musescore.com". Simply put: musescore-Downloader allows you to download things that you shouldn't be able to download from musescore.com. musescore-Database are the same files that have already been downloaded.

This is not necessarily an issue for public domain licenses or users uploading under CC licenses. But many of the scores are only available through coordination between the franchisor and the band - which has several important consequences. Just because you can access points through a program or website does not mean that you are free to access them or redistribute points yourself. do it. The distribution agreement between the Muse Group and the copyright holder permits permitted downloads, but only if the Site or Application is used as intended. These agreements do not allow users to circumvent the controls applied to downloads.

ads In addition, these downloads often cost the distributor a real cost - a free download from a franchise granted to the Muse Group (eg, Disney) by the owner. Kelly is not "free" for the Muse Group. The site has to pay a distribution fee for this privilege - in many cases, based on the number of downloads made.

By bypassing these controls, Muse Group participates due to costs that there is no way to make money. (for example, by advertising to users free of charge) or violating the distribution agreement with rights holders (by not properly tracking downloads).

What is OSS Beef with Muse Group? In February 2020, MuseScore developer Max Chistyakov submitted a takedown request for Xmader — which Xmader republished as a GitHub version — of the musescore downloader. He said that “Xmader is illegally using our API with licensed music content.” Chistyakov continues to say that much of the content in question is licensed to the Muse Group by major publishers such as EMI and Sony, and that downloading Xmader infringes the rights of these copyright holders Chistyakov then threatens that if the tanks in question are not closed, he should "provide information about you to our lawyers who will work with Github.com and the Chinese government to find you physically. The Authorized Content". (This subtle reference to the Chinese government will appear again later.)

In June 2020, Daniel Ray of MuseScore (better known as Theory Work) answered GitHub's question "to see if we can do this. Solve a problem no" More steps needed.” Ray spent several months talking to Xmader and several Github users about copyright and distribution legal issues. For the most part, these discussions lacked compliments. In October 2020, Ray announced that he was "given enough time to respond, but now has to request removal from GitHub". Unfortunately, this was easier said than done by Ray - while the main download tool facilitates unauthorized downloads of DMCA-protected works, it does not include them, meaning that GitHub itself can ignore DMCA takedown requests New copyright digital material. These removal efforts stalled on Github, and in the absence of Muse Group comments for several months, commenters declared their GitHub version the winner, and the issue was not addressed from December 2020 to May 2021.

Controversy returns

< p> In May 2021, interest in the GitHub issue returned, possibly due to a cross-reference by GitHub user "marcan" requesting telemetry in the Audacity repository (this repository is also owned by Muse Group) In June, the app download extension was removed musescore for the Google Chrome Store was removed from the Chrome Web Store due to trademark claims, and in July, freelance journalist Arki J. Kirwin-Muller (better known as "kirwinia") GitHub posts allowed everyone involved to request a quote.

Kirwin-Müller Ray's request rescued Ray from the woods once again to provide more details about Muse's movement. Ray stated that musescore-Downloader and musescore-Database violate US Title Act 17, which regulates US copyright law, directly to 1 1201 (circumventing copyright protection systems) and 6 506 (criminal offenses). Ray goes on to say that he was "reluctant (for over a year)" to pursue these alleged crimes because of part of Xmader's personal status. In addition to the potential legal penalties associated with Title 17, Ray fears that criminal prosecution will lead to Exader's expulsion from his current country of residence.

The class is also worse for Xmader than most. - He has a strong and outspoken criticism of the Chinese government and in another report from GitHub, he indicated that he might one day be arrested for this criticism. Advertising

Ray addresses Xmader directly, saying he is “young, obviously smart, but very naive,” and asks, “Do you really want to spend your whole life” risking a kid downloading his illegal shoes from Pirates the Caribbean for an Oppo?

There are two obvious ways to interpret Ray's last question. Is this a serious request or is it a completely veiled public threat? It seems that most people in the community have chosen the latter.

This is about the content, not the code.

Before writing this piece, Arras spoke to Ray on the phone. As we spoke, Ray took music and open source software seriously and passionately. Without compliments, he made it clear that Muse Group had no problem falsifying their code - in fact, the company encourages Ray has unexpectedly appreciated branching as a vital part of "How Free Software - I'm a free software person and I think you know the difference."

Ray went on to point out that when the Muse Group first bought MuseScore, it didn't None of the content was properly licensed - in short, MuseScore was a center of piracy. According to Ray, the original MuseScore was "on the verge of being shut down by music publishers and advocacy groups" when it was acquired by the Muse Group. This is important to explain Muse's accuracy in response to music download software and to express On his embarrassing concern about Xmader - even if Muse Group ignores the music downloader, chances are healthier Rights like Sony and Disney ignore their BMI as soon as they notice it looks close to zero.

We pressured Ray to issue a license. We wanted to get a better idea of ​​its true open source - Banana Collection. One of the most controversial aspects of the recent acquisition of Banana Band, Audacity's open source audio editor, was the license change - from GPLv2 to GPLv3. Ray explained that changing the GPLv3 license is necessary to be able to use the VST3 digital signal processing library, which is the same GPLv3 license. Ray also explained that the band contacted all 117 individual participants in the Audacity project. Asking permission to change their license, he said that more than 90 of those participants responded and that every response was "yes" - and the remaining contributions are easily and easily decomposed.

A quick snooping with git blame makes sense - roughly 99% of all Audacity code come from just 30 people. As with many open source projects, most individual contributors are "drivers" who write a few lines of code to solve an immediate problem, then disappear. Additionally, Audacity's busiest partner — responsible for 28 percent of the entire line of code and more than 50 percent of its project commitments over the past two years — is a full-time employee of the Muse Group.

Conclusion

We cannot comment on the true goals of Ray or Muse Group at all. We can only comment on their actions. With that said, we've spent hours reviewing the company's interactions with the open source community, as well as talking to ourselves directly - and it seems that Su Ice Nate's case plan has fed up with simple PR. Ray (for MuseScore) and Tantacrul (head of Audacity Design) spent a lot of time patiently interacting directly with the open source community, trying to explain the music downloader's removal request and telemetry suggestion. Tantacrul himself is a well-known composer and software designer (for example, he was heavily involved in Ubuntu Touch), and Ray is clearly still an enthusiast and familiar with the source software.

The worst part of Muse's attempt to take down the music downloader is discussing Xmader's status as a Chinese immigrant and warnings about the potential consequences for him in the event of a lawsuit. Given its face value, it's all too easy to interpret this as a completely veiled ransom - but given the Muse group's repeated and prolonged efforts to engage the community directly and personally, it's unlikely we'll find anything like it.

Ray's comments seem to be taken with exactly the right value - as if he had serious concerns about the future of a brilliant young developer, and a desire to avoid hurting him in practice. Essential Care for Muse Collection. Assuming that's the case, the next acquisition of Muse Group should probably be a PR firm rather than a software venture.

The new owner of Audacity is at war with the open source community
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