VST3 SDK finally GPL'ed!

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GuntherT
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Re: VST3 SDK finally GPL'ed!

Post by GuntherT »

Basslint wrote:Sorry for the huge bump people, two years.

But two years passed and almost nothing changed, while this should have been big news that could change audio on GNU/Linux forever.

First, Ardour did not implement VST3. This is possibly due to license incompatibility between Ardour (GPLv2+) and the VST3 SDK (GPLv3), which could be solved only if Ardour moved to GPLv3+.

Then, many major libre VST plugins were not ported from VST2, despite Steinberg really discouraging it (it also sends DMCAs to whom distributes it).

Are we as a community not going to do anything about it? Too bad, because this could be a huge opportunity to grow.
Reading the comments of the Linux plugin developers who chimed in when this topic was new, I didn't get the impression that this was big news to them.

If I understand the situation correctly, Ardour will never move to GPLv3 as Mixbus would no longer be able to use Ardour's code due to the additional restrictions of that license. Harrison has done a lot to aid the Ardour project, and as far as I know, Steinberg has done nothing. Ardour wouldn't gain anything from changing their license to match the VST3 license and would instead lose a valuable partner, which makes no sense.

What do you expect the community to do? I personally see no connection between Steinberg changing the license of a bit of software and a huge opportunity for us to grow, but perhaps there is one. As far as I know, there was no pent up demand for Steinberg to do this. People weren't clamoring for it before it happened; it was somewhat of a surprise.

I think it is encouraging when we see software GPL'd, but we should measure our expectations. It still takes an incredible amount of effort for developers to do something with that code, and if the code that is open-sourced is not particularly useful to developers, we shouldn't expect much to come of it.

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Re: VST3 SDK finally GPL'ed!

Post by Basslint »

GuntherT wrote:
Basslint wrote:Sorry for the huge bump people, two years.

But two years passed and almost nothing changed, while this should have been big news that could change audio on GNU/Linux forever.

First, Ardour did not implement VST3. This is possibly due to license incompatibility between Ardour (GPLv2+) and the VST3 SDK (GPLv3), which could be solved only if Ardour moved to GPLv3+.

Then, many major libre VST plugins were not ported from VST2, despite Steinberg really discouraging it (it also sends DMCAs to whom distributes it).

Are we as a community not going to do anything about it? Too bad, because this could be a huge opportunity to grow.
Reading the comments of the Linux plugin developers who chimed in when this topic was new, I didn't get the impression that this was big news to them.

If I understand the situation correctly, Ardour will never move to GPLv3 as Mixbus would no longer be able to use Ardour's code due to the additional restrictions of that license. Harrison has done a lot to aid the Ardour project, and as far as I know, Steinberg has done nothing. Ardour wouldn't gain anything from changing their license to match the VST3 license and would instead lose a valuable partner, which makes no sense.

What do you expect the community to do? I personally see no connection between Steinberg changing the license of a bit of software and a huge opportunity for us to grow, but perhaps there is one. As far as I know, there was no pent up demand for Steinberg to do this. People weren't clamoring for it before it happened; it was somewhat of a surprise.

I think it is encouraging when we see software GPL'd, but we should measure our expectations. It still takes an incredible amount of effort for developers to do something with that code, and if the code that is open-sourced is not particularly useful to developers, we shouldn't expect much to come of it.
I understand your reasoning, but why is the GPLv3 a problem for Harrison? If they are using the GPLv2, they are required to release the source code anyway. If they are using a different license (which I doubt, because AFAIK Ardour does not have a CLA so they need consent from each contributor), the GPLv3 would not apply anyway.

Edit: Mixbus is too released under the GPL
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GuntherT
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Re: VST3 SDK finally GPL'ed!

Post by GuntherT »

I'm no expert on this, but as I understand it, the GPLv2 license allows Harrison to link the free software to its proprietary mixer that sits atop Ardour. The code modifications Harrison makes to Ardour's code to connect their mixer is open source (but not really useful to anyone else), but the mixer itself is not. TiVo devices were doing something similar, which free software advocates didn't like, so GPLv3 was released to prevent companies from doing this and forces all linked code to be open sourced. It is the same reason why the Linux kernel will forever remain GPLv2 or else companies like Intel would not be able to build closed source binary blobs into it. The technical differences between the types of code that can and cannot be linked while remaining closed source is beyond my scope of knowledge.

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Re: VST3 SDK finally GPL'ed!

Post by raboof »

GuntherT wrote:If I understand the situation correctly, Ardour will never move to GPLv3 as Mixbus would no longer be able to use Ardour's code due to the additional restrictions of that license
Did you find a statement by them to this effect somewhere?
GuntherT wrote:I'm no expert on this, but as I understand it, the GPLv2 license allows Harrison to link the free software to its proprietary mixer that sits atop Ardour.
I'm not aware of any differences between GPLv2 and GPLv3 with respect to linking. Of course the language is different, so I'm not claiming there's no difference, I just haven't seen this highlighted before.
GuntherT wrote:TiVo devices were doing something similar, which free software advocates didn't like, so GPLv3 was released to prevent companies from doing this and forces all linked code to be open sourced.
While the 'TiVo-ization' (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tivoization) was certainly a big motivation behind GPLv3, I'm not sure it has anything to do with the MixBus situation: the TiVo-ization discussion was about vendors releasing the code but making it impossible to run modified versions. AFAICS Harrison doesn't do that: certainly you can modify (the GPL part of) MixBus and just run it?

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Re: VST3 SDK finally GPL'ed!

Post by tavasti »

raboof wrote: AFAICS Harrison doesn't do that: certainly you can modify (the GPL part of) MixBus and just run it?
This is interesting! So in theory, I could get some ardour patch, and make myself bug-fixed version of Mixbus?
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raboof
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Re: VST3 SDK finally GPL'ed!

Post by raboof »

tavasti wrote:
raboof wrote: AFAICS Harrison doesn't do that: certainly you can modify (the GPL part of) MixBus and just run it?
This is interesting! So in theory, I could get some ardour patch, and make myself bug-fixed version of Mixbus?
I don't see why not. How easy this is depends a lot on how much the ardour and mixbus codebases have diverged, of course, and how hard/easy it is to build it in the first place. Plus naturally you can't expect any support for your patched version.

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Re: VST3 SDK finally GPL'ed!

Post by GuntherT »

I dug up some old posts I had read a while back, and it appears I am probably wrong about Ardour and Mixbus having licensing incompatibilities if Ardour's license moved to GPLv3. This would also force Mixbus to change their license to GPLv3 for the open source portion of the program, but that change may not prohibit their inclusion of the closed source code. I did find a post where Robin states he prefers GPLv2 because he fully understands the license, and it fits his needs, so perhaps that is the main reason for Ardour sticking with GPLv2. In another post, he mentions that Steinberg open sourcing the VST3 code could lead to Mixbus having VST3 support in the future, so...nevermind my nonsense. It appears I was conflating the consequences of commercial software using one license over the other to apply here since Mixbus is a commercial application that uses a combination of open and closed source code, and even then, it doesn't look like my understanding of the issues is correct.

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Re: VST3 SDK finally GPL'ed!

Post by raboof »

GuntherT wrote:It appears I was conflating the consequences of commercial software using one license over the other to apply here since Mixbus is a commercial application that uses a combination of open and closed source code, and even then, it doesn't look like my understanding of the issues is correct.
It'd definitely a tricky subject! Thanks for the update!

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Re: VST3 SDK finally GPL'ed!

Post by khz »

Building Your First Audio Plug-in (Linux Ubuntu) - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jXryyxEsFag
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Re: VST3 SDK finally GPL'ed!

Post by Kott »

khz wrote:
Tue May 05, 2020 8:18 am
Building Your First Audio Plug-in (Linux Ubuntu) - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jXryyxEsFag
It's not useful, sorry. ~15 minutest about how to install generic toolchain in Ubuntu.

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Re: VST3 SDK finally GPL'ed!

Post by Kott »

Wonder, am I only one with cmake xkbcommon include missing?
I have to add that string into vstgui4/vstgui/lib/CMakeLists.txt

Code: Select all

target_include_directories(${target} PRIVATE ${LIBXKB_COMMON_INCLUDE_DIRS})
otherwise it wont build:

Code: Select all

vstgui/lib/platform/linux/x11platform.cpp:25:10: fatal error: xkbcommon/xkbcommon.h: No such file or directory
   25 | #include <xkbcommon/xkbcommon.h>
      |          ^~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

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khz
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Re: VST3 SDK finally GPL'ed!

Post by khz »

Kott wrote:
Wed May 06, 2020 6:16 am
It's not useful, sorry. ~15 minutest about how to install generic toolchain in Ubuntu.
Thanks for the assessment. Since I am not familiar with programming I posted it here because I thought it might contain useful information.
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Re: VST3 SDK finally GPL'ed!

Post by evmusic »

khz wrote:
Wed May 06, 2020 6:26 am
Kott wrote:
Wed May 06, 2020 6:16 am
It's not useful, sorry. ~15 minutest about how to install generic toolchain in Ubuntu.
Thanks for the assessment. Since I am not familiar with programming I posted it here because I thought it might contain useful information.
Sorry my tutorial was not helpful. I am a Mac user learning Linux. As of right now, I have found VST3 to be a pain with Ardour. It is not supported in the latest stable version of Ardour. Also, Steinberg seems to have dropped support for the VST2 SDK. According to their usage guidelines, GPLv3 is only applicable to the VST3 SDK. The VST2 SDK had a separate license which is no longer in use. With VST3, you can either release your VST3 in binary form under the “Proprietary Steinberg VST3 License,” or you can release your VST3 as open source under the GPLv3. If you’re trying to build an open source plugin for Ardour, you might consider looking at the LV2 Plugin SDK. LV2 is fully supported in Ardour and some other Linux DAWs. There are many repositories which have open source examples for LV2 plugins. I hope this information helps people and is relevant enough for this thread. This isn’t the only solution. I just wanted to share what I am doing to work around this problem. There are other plugin formats you can use, and you could try to dig up the old VST2 SDK and get it working with Ardour. You won’t be able to release any part of the VST2 SDK as open source though since it’s under the ”Proprietary Steinberg VST2 License” and not the GPLv3. You might be able to release your plugin’s code alone. I’m still not very clear on this. I’m going to ask my lawyer for legal advice because I’m curious to learn about how this works. See what Steinberg has to say about the VST SDK licensing here:
https://sdk.steinberg.net/viewtopic.php?t=286 .
Last edited by evmusic on Sun May 10, 2020 1:17 am, edited 2 times in total.

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khz
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Re: VST3 SDK finally GPL'ed!

Post by khz »

Welcome evmusic and thanks for your information. :D
VST3 is new territory and therefore it is not about "the solution" but rather about attempts to explain/experience/knowledge. IMHO
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skei
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Re: VST3 SDK finally GPL'ed!

Post by skei »

there are still some possibilities for vst2:

https://github.com/osxmidi/LinVst/blob/master/vestige.h
https://git.iem.at/zmoelnig/FST

(and there are also other options, without using any of the above, or the steinberg sdk, at all)

edit: and for vst3, you can have a look at this:
https://github.com/skei/kode/tree/maste ... lugin/vst3

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