The physics inside piano website

July 22, 2007

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The free code exchange philosophy

This page is constantly updated with media files of everything is concerning related sciences of acoustic piano, and specially new piano technologies. There are at the moment the following files:

  1. CAD up-right piano action scheme. Copyright protected property of  F.T.P. Forniture Tecniche per Pianoforte S.p.A. Italia  �. 1170 kb zip file.
  2. CAD grand-piano action scheme. Copyright protected property of  F.T.P. Forniture Tecniche per Pianoforte S.p.A. Italia  �. 980 kb zip file.
  3. Analisi di un Modello Fisico del Meccanismo del Pianoforte. Graduate Physics thesis ITALIAN version. GPL protected property 2005–2023 Cesar Francisco Lopez Pineda Copyleft 2005–->  �. 2.12 MB zip file.

The mandate behind the general public license (GPL) software

The tools with which software is built, which itself is software, must belong to the developers themselves. Most software licenses stipulate ownership as a precondition for developmental usage. The GPL turns this around- if you use GPL source you yourself are a co-owner of that source, as a co-owner you as a developer are subject to certain restrictions (ie. you must provide the source unmodified upon distribution) and given certain entitlements(ie. the freedom to use other GPL code in your GPL software). For developers the price that GPL requires of one to pay is miniscule in contrast to the benefits it brings. It is precisely that "freedom from" aspect which is so strongly coded in the GPL. Developers are free from a software industry in which propietary toolchains dominate and dictate software development.

Now why is this freedom important ? If one traces the history of software development one quickly finds that most software authorship in the early days was quite "free", liberal and open-most development occurred in a tiny handful of corporations and the major universities around the world-open and free code exchange was the norm, people collaborated with each other and shared there experiences without the encumberance of the whole IP issue. This is what the internet was prior to HTML. Starting in the late 70's and really comming into full swing in the early 80's there began something of a IP land grab.

In the course of a couple of years the benign land of defacto PD software became an ultra-contentious IP landscape with lawyers going for each others jugulars. He who wielded over the largest amount of IP could determine and dictate the software landscape. Only in the past years have we started to witness the absurd dimensions that this pervision has created-ie. companies which only exist to hold patents-threating and suing everyone and everybody because they @own@ some IP, which they neither developed, nor created. What has made this situation so intractable is the individual commercial software developers see themselves as being in the same plight that large multinational software conglomerates are. In the name of "enterprise" and "entrepreneurs" under the rubric of "freedom" individual commercial software developers have unwittignly played the role of pawns in the grand schemes of major multinational software firms. Yet individual commercial software developers aren't even playing the same game, let alone in the same league, as these major firms.

Individual commercial software developers cannot afford to purchase a license to the source of the libraries upon which they are dependent. The "spielraum" they are afforded is determined by the companies which they are beholden to. Major companies toss out little crumbs of code and say, "let them eat cake". Individual commercial software developers lend the major corporations the legitimacy which the major corporations themselves could not afford. And this social legitimacy expresses itself in public law allowing for propietary software firms to artificially monopolize the software infrastructure of our publicly owned institutions, underwritten by our tax money. And of course this is all done in the name of "free markets" and "competition". All of this is in my oppinion more than wrong ... the door of learning through computers and media I think must be freely open to anybody everywhere.


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