Supercollider licensing

Dear Community,

Did the licencing model for Supercollider change recently?

Can’t remember what it was before, but the current licencing model appears to state that it can be used in a separate commercial offering.

It’s GPL v3 - nothing changed recently. GPL has always allowed you to charge money for software, but at the same time requires you to make the full source code available to those users that request it.

Interesting, ok thank you for your response!

The “I Am Not A Lawyer” part of this is – I believe this is ok if the commercial app is released under a GPL compatible license. What is “GPL compatible” is potentially ambiguous but the Free Software Foundation has advice on that.

If the wish is to release a closed-source app incorporating some of SC’s codebase, then you’d want to be very careful to clarify the GPL’s position on linking. GPL prohibits linking when it means that the closed-source code would be intimately involved in data structures belonging to the GPLed code. IIRC this includes dynamic linking (so, for instance, it may be illegal to release a closed-source app including a proprietary server UGen, particularly if it touches buffers – again, IANAL, just be aware that this case is murky – but as shiihs states, this may not be an issue if the commercial app is open source).

My opinion (IANAL) is that the GPL wouldn’t prohibit a closed-source app from using unmodified server and UGen binaries running as a separate process (normal scsynth usage), communicating via standard scsynth OSC messages – the messages would be “just data” (GPL FAQ on interpreters). Modifications to server code or custom UGens would have to be released as source code. Sclang code is probably “just data” but sclang’s current design doesn’t allow source code to be hidden; any modifications to support closed sclang source would also have to be released as source.


Thank you for the in-depth information!