Boodler: Licensing

The licensing situation regarding Boodler is somewhat ornate, because there are many components involved. (The script, the Boodler library, the sounds in the Boodler sound library, the pieces of code that make up the soundscape agents.)

I have tried to keep the hassle to a minimum. If you are running Boodler for your own private, non-commercial use, you shouldn't have to worry about any of this. However, if you intend to use Boodler in a public or broadcast setting, or in a commercial, for-profit way, or if you intend to incorporate Boodler in some other project or program, you should read the following.


(Running Boodler)

Boodler is free software, and you may run it freely. (Portions of the Boodler source code are copyrighted and licensed under the LGPL or the GPL, and other portions are public domain. Neither of these restrict you in any way from running the program.)

However, there is another legal issue. Boodler operates by combining sound-sample files into a ongoing stream of sound -- a soundscape. Legally speaking, when you run it, you are creating a derivative work based on those sound files.

The sound files in the Boodler sound library are not all in the public domain. Most of them are licensed "for private and non-commercial use only". Some were found by random searching around the web, and appear without any copyright statement at all.

It is my opinion (not backed by any legal advice) that if you run Boodler for your own private use, using the Boodler sound library, you are within the scope of fair use and the "non-commercial use" licenses of those sounds.

However, if you play the sound output of Boodler (based on the Boodler sound library) as a commercial performance, or include it in a recording sold for profit, you may not be complying with the copyright restrictions on those sounds. You will have to look at the README files in the sound library and decide whether your performance is legal.

Note that this legal issue is solely a problem of playing particular sounds from the Boodler sound library. If you create your own Boodler soundscape, based solely on your own sound-sample files, then that stream of sound is entirely your own work; you may do with it as you wish.


(Extending the effects)

The Python scripts included in the ./effects directory are in the public domain. They are intended to be used as code samples as well as soundscapes. You may modify, extend, combine, and pervert them as you wish.

If you write your own soundscapes (sound agents), you may license them as you wish -- GPL, LGPL, some other license. Or you might choose to not release them at all; you are not obligated to do so.

If you write a particularly interesting soundscape, you are welcome to contribute it to the Boodler project. As a matter of consistency, I prefer that all soundscapes that I distribute in the ./effects directory of this package be public domain (uncopyrighted). If your soundscape uses sounds that are not in the Boodler sound library, you should contribute those as well. To maintain consistency (again), all sounds in the sound library should be either public domain, or licensed free for non-commercial use.


(Modifying Boodler and incorporating it into other software)

I consider Boodler to be more like a software component than a stand-alone program. Accordingly, I have released it under the GNU Library General Public License (the LGPL). To be precise, the workhorse parts of Boodler -- the boodle Python package -- form a library, which is licensed under the LGPL.

The Python program is simply a shell that starts up the Boodler library. I have released into the public domain. You may do with it as you like. However, understand that if you write a program that is intended to link in the Boodler library (regardless of whether you use, then your program is a work that uses the library, and must behave appropriately. See the LGPL document for details.

One detail: the C source code of the cboodle extensions is dual-licensed. You may use it under the terms of the LGPL or the GPL, whichever you like. This is because it must be compiled with several native libraries, including VorbisEnc (BSD license), LibShout (LGPL), and LAME (GPL). The dynamically loadable cboodle_* driver modules are therefore all under the LGPL, except for cboodle_lame, which is GPL.


(The lack of warranty)

There is no warranty. See the LGPL.

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