About presets, licensing and copyrights: friendly but hot! ;-)

My personal POV about licensing is that everything is free domain unless other licensing is explicitly specified. If you don’t want your stuff to be shared/redistributed, you simply don’t put it in an open repository on github or in a freely accessible FTP server. If you want to restrict in any way the use of your stuff, then you specify the conditions. If you simply share your stuff without thinking about the conditions, then you don’t care about it and it’s Free Domain. Of course, i always respect the restrictions imposed by authors, but they have to explicitly specify these restrictions. I have a “Free by Default” policy and i never had a single problem with it :grin:

Also, when including someone’s work, specially if it’s “Free Domain” stuff, it’s nice to send a message to the author for thanksgiving, etc. People that likes to share stuff, normally are very happy of knowing their work is useful for other people …


That may be your personal opinion but unfortunately it is not the law in many territories which often states that licensing is assumed non-permissive unless explicitly state, i.e. the lack of a licence declaration means the work is protected from copying or redistribution. I believe this is to protect individual’s rights when their work is available via any mechanism but they have not considered the protection they need. It is also important for us to avoid using content that is derived from protected content. This may happen inadvertently if a user publishes thier work but doesn’t realise they are using proected content. A fine example of this is Vital where someone may publish a preset they have crafted, believing it to be all their own work but having used a wavetable created by someone else that is not redistributable.

Sorry if this sounds overly cautious but I have been victim of inadvertent sharing of code and in my experience it was impossible to get GitHub to even engage with me to take down the offending item which remains in git version history even if you delete the project!!! It was very stressful to be accused of nefarious conduct and unable to rectify the mistake. I have learned from the experience to err on the side of caution and seek written approval to publish anyone’s work.

I do agree that publishing content on a public facing platform may imply an open licence but unfortunately this is not true. I have asked the relevant parties for their explicit permission to redistribute but if we don’t get it then you will have to download and convert the content yourself. (This is not an unusual business model. Ardour works like this. You can buy a precompiled version or download and compile the code yourself along with all the headaches that incurs with dependancies and integrations.)

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I’m an anarchist :rofl:
Repeat: I have a “Free by Default” policy and i never had a single problem with it

What i mean is that i spend my time solving problems when i’ve problems, but i usually don’t waste my time solving problems i don’t have. My experience tell me “if you ask too much, you create the problems. If you spend your time solving problems doesn’t exist, you create these problems.”


From my POV, this is a perfect example of creating a problem from a non existing problem:

@plainoldcheese share its presets so everyone can use and enjoy them. We take the presets and use them following the same free spirit. Everything is OK.

You ask about conditions, then you create the doubt, and open the door for problems and unneeded conditions. Also, you spend time, plainoldcheese spends time and so on … waste of time and effort for nothing. Bureaucracy.

It’s not my policy, sorry. Perhaps i’m too punk for this bureaucratic world :joy:

No acrimony, my friend!

Licenses may be boring and a PITA but you can’t just ignore them as things can get really ugly on that front. One certainly cannot assume anything found on the net is free for use, like @riban says it’s exactly the opposite - if there’s no explicit permission granted in the form of a license, you can’t use it no matter how tempting it may be. In fact, missing license is more like a red flag: quite often people upload stuff they never had any permissions to begin with (also known as piracy), much less redistribute. See the response from plainoldcheese: there may be factory wavetables, which typically are not redistributable at all, so basically they effectively don’t know if they can distribute the patches they are distributing.

It’s your POV.
My policy is “Free by default”, and never had a problem by acting in this way. It works for me and i’m very comfortable acting as i think. If i would act in a different way, i would be betraying my principles, what i don’t like to do. I don’t care what “law” says, sorry. I follow my principles, not “the law” imposed by the bureaucrats.

Of course, i understand than other people have different POV, but i’m an anarchist. It’s in my soul, and i like to spell and act accordingly to what i’m :wink:

Again, no acrimony at all, my friends!

What you do personally is your business, but when things are redistributed in Zynthian, other people are affected as well.


I don’t ignore licenses. When there are licenses i respect licenses because it’s the explicit whishes of authors. A license is a contract between author and user and i’m totally OK with it. Anarchists like contracts :wink:

In the other side, if there is no license, then i assume exactly that. There is no contract and i can do what i want with the stuff.

No license=No contract=No restrictions=Freedom by Default

It’s simple, logic and elegant.


It may be simple and elegant but that’s not how copyright works.

Anyway, I’ll shut up now. I’m not anybodys license police anyhow.

I don’t fully understand this sentence.
Can you put an example of what do you mean?

Gosh! I thought I was being helpful converting these presets but I have actually lit the fuse on a rather challenging conversation!!! Sorry!

Given the fact that it was me who uploaded the converted files it is my responsibility to check this is permitted. I was mistaken to not do so before uploading and subsequently realised these are not permitted to be redistributed or at best this is ambiguous. Having been in trouble in the past for a similar error of judgment I should have been more careful and have since removed the files. Trust me when I tell you that being embroiled in a license infringement complaint is no fun. It is a situation I want to avoid being in again.

So, let’s create our own content and avoid any worries.


Ohhh! Don’t worry at all, @riban!! This morning i feel the power of the spanish spring and my hot blood and wild heart beats stronger … jajaja!

Sorry for not shutting up my big mouth. It’s perfectly OK you manage this as you want. Freedom is freedom and i love you all!! :heart_eyes:


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I promised to shut up, but since you ask:

Let’s say you find a nice unlicensed preset off the net, and make a hit song with it. Later it turns out that the preset was an illegally redistributed sample from vendor X, who sues you. That’s your headache.

However, what if said preset is included on the Zynthian, and a Zynthian user then goes to make a million dollar hit song using this preset? And then the vendor starts suing?

It may seem unlikely, but I wont call it far-fetched because that’d be belittling the device and its users. Just that it’s a situation you don’t want to put yourself or the users in, no matter what.

Quoting zynthian.org homepage:

You can use it for live performing, studio production or as a tool for sound exploration.

Zynthian is a community-driven project and it’s 100% open source. Free software on Open hardware. Completely configurable and fully hackable! Free as in Freedom.

That’s a pretty strong statement that there are no proprietary materials included, but maintaining that requires a continuous effort from everybody involved. It’s not a matter of personal beliefs.

And now I’ll really shut up :sweat_smile:

+1 to that!


OK! I think the problem is that there is not a clear line, or perhaps i can’t see the line and you can help me to see it. Let’s talk about presets. It’s a funny think to talk about … :wink:

Let me start with a very simple example:

Jimmy Smith, “My funny valentine” on Groovin At Small’s Paradise:

UM: 888888888
LM: 858000000
PD: 80

A very powerful preset that can be used on setBfree, for instance. The question is that i have found this preset on the internet, but there is no license attached. The author seems to be Jimmy Smith, who is dead, but as “copyright” is, by law, a heritable asset, i should contact Jimmy Smith descendants and ask about the licensing terms of this preset, is it?

If this is the case, then we should delete the setBfree’s preset list from zynthian repository because some of them are taken from the original Hammond B3’s factory-presets and some other are manually transcripted from presets i found on forums and B3-fan’s sites. I must say i didn’t ask anybody about the licensing terms of these presets. My fault.


FYI: How Long Does Copyright Protection Last? (FAQ) | U.S. Copyright Office

What i find, of course, absolutely fair and very reasonable, right?

Love & Freedom, my friends!

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Sorry, I fail to see what’s so funny about copyright. It’s not some evil bureaucracy invented to annoy people, it’s there to protect the creators such as yourself and other people in this community. Defaulting to no permissions unless explicitly granted is a crucial part of that: you don’t have to do anything to be protected by it. Crucial, because if you think about the stereotypical bohemian type… :grin:

Of course, there are grey areas, and not everything falls under copyright. A three value numerical configuration might not fall under copyright, any more than eg colors expressed as RGB numbers do, but on more complicated systems presets can involve actual programming, which certainly does. Also, using and redistributing are different things. But I’m no lawyer.

I’d think most people posting presets on the forums and such would be happy to grant explicit permission, and be delighted to hear that their works is getting included in a project like this. There’s no harm in asking, but there can be in not doing so.

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Sorry, I fail to see what’s so funny about copyright. It’s not some evil bureaucracy invented to annoy people, it’s there to protect the creators such as yourself and other people in this community. Defaulting to no permissions unless explicitly granted is a crucial part of that: you don’t have to do anything to be protected by it. Crucial, because if you think about the stereotypical bohemian type…

I find that thinking this way does make sense but the reality of it is that copyright, as it stands right now, is more of a nuisance than a protection for creators, as really It’s become a form of gatekeeping and monopolistic practices by the big media companies, although as you said I do believe that some methods could be used to avoid said situations.

I find myself to be completely inbetween your points of view, and, because I’m also an anarchist, I believe strongly in private property, and the right to keep what’s yours and not expect it to be taken away. As I said, copyright is an old law for a really old system, digital copies do not directly hurt the authors, rather they don’t reward them for it. But publishing Is publishing, so licensing must be included either by some kind of terms of service (a form of contract) by default or in the content itself. I gotta say I lean more towards @riban in the things regarding licensing issues (just because they’re a pain to deal with).

I think a good solution for this issue is to make it so that anything we publish here is Free Domain unless stated so by the author.

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@jofemodo Basically. We don’t want Zynthian to be swatted off the web for a month or so because of a overly zealous DMCA filing. It will do nothing except cost you money, stress and probably involve an angry internet mob.

Even Twitch, Blizzard and Metallica can’t get this sorted and they’ve got big bags of money to stash all over the place and lawyers up the wazoo. Metallica Hilariously Censored By Twitch During BlizzCon Livestream [Watch]