Open Source Audio Editor Audacity Has Become 'Spyware'


Forum Addict!
Feb 13, 2010

Shame on them.
Archlinux has stayed on 2.4.1 released on May 21. I guess it would be same with other major distros.
  • Like
Reactions: rSl
3. Minors
  1. The App we provide is not intended for individuals below the age of 13. If you are under 13 years old, please do not use the App.
from Audacity Privacy Notice.

Wait, isn't this directly violating the GPL? Because it looks like it certainly violates DFSG point 5.
from Audacity Privacy Notice.

Wait, isn't this directly violating the GPL? Because it looks like it certainly violates DFSG point 5.
Not sure, but I'd say no, it's still GPL compliant.

They only say their App is not intended for people under 13. They don't say they actively prevent people under 13 to download it.
Even if they somehow did prevent people under 13 to download it, it would still be GPL compliant. The GPL says everyone who lawfully gets a copy can pass it around. It doesn't say that everyone is under obligation to pass it around. It doesn't say people distributing GPL works must pass it to everyone.
A violation would be if they told you that when you get the GPL program from them, then you cannot pass it to people under 13. Then they'd be violationg your freedom to distribute. But they don't say that.
In fact you could do some program which includes pedophilia and then you wouldn't be allowed to distribute it, or even have it. It would not be because of the GPL, but because of law.
If you made some kind of content that the law doesn't allow for minors, then the GPL would allow you to distribute it, but the law would not allow you to distribute it to minors. The GPL would force you to allow your recipients to distribute it to all, but your permission to distribute would not make it legal for them to redistribute, because recipients must comply both with the license (GPL) and the law, and their only way is not to distribute it to minors.
Still if there's something legally forcing them to add that clause (likely personal data protection for minors) then it's a bad idea to distribute it at all, under GPL or any other license. The good idea would be to change the program so that it doesn't introduce problems with personal data (from anyone, minors just can't waive problems away themselves), and then distribute that good program under GPL.
Seems they were caught out by the user perception of some of these changes, and have rolled back the code. There's been no corresponding change to the legal notice, so I assume there's always the possibility some of this stuff might reappear after the heat had died down, or perhaps bitten once twice shy.
That's interesting, about this "active prevention". I am not a lawyer too, but it looks like it can be more or less comparable to the somewhat cute situation that every software is open source as there's a disassembler. If only ReactOS team could know it they would not bother with removing parts which were almost direct re-coding from disassembly :).
Yes, I did it a few times, last time with Raspberry Pi. It was easier to disassemble binary and patch the bug than to find its source and rebuild it.

Audacity new owner went on some kind of compromise: They will not share the data with other companies, removed some of telemetry code, but everybody will still be able to know that user uses Audacity and, more or less, which version (this is now called "automatic update checking").

Among things unverified, uncertain and generally to be checked in the future, I suspect that they may go some other way to fill their business plan, for example to make these statistics datamined from output audio files if they are shared, especially if some parts (?effects?) are dependent on some system characteristics or insist on such dependency. And from what I read somewhere, someone set loose corporate trolls to maintainer of one of new forks too.