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TAQS.IM Synth by TAQS.IM

Earlier this week TAQS.IM released TAQS.IM Synth without the words "Audiobus" or "Inter-app Audio" anywhere in the iTunes description; so I ignored it. This is an obvious use of AudioKit's free ROM Player source code to create a premium $10 app. AudioKit are being good-natured about it, but I am being offended for them.

TAQS.IM Synth iTunes Description:

The TAQS.IM Synthesizer features Middle Eastern Sounds and Rhythms for Arabic, Armenian, Balkan, Greek, Persian, Turkish Music and More. Sounds included are:

Accordion Octave
Clarinet Klezmer
CZ-101 Accordion
CZ-101 Square
DX7 Flute
Duduk Vibrato
Electric Baglama
Farfisa Lead
Garmon Reed
Guitar Jazz
Kanun Bell
Mijwez
MOSS Nay
Ney Hollow
OB-8 Sync
Oud
Piano Kavkaz
Sax 90s
Saz Acoustic
SH-2000 Accordion
SH-2000 Violin
Strings Kavkaz
Tar
Trombone Arabic
Zurna Synth
Zurna Turkish

I wouldn't have even posted about this, but The Sound Test Room showed it off and it does sound good.

Reader Comments 6

To be honest, Tim, I’m not quite sure what offends you, here. The fact that Aram sells an app built through Open Source code? I thought that the ROMpler part of the AudioKit project was explicitly about allowing others to create and potentially sell their own apps. And since there are few iOS apps covering these diverse musical genres, there’s specific value, here.
Your feeling is obviously legitimate. It’s just unclear to me what triggered it.
I'm not going to repeat my prior comment on the legitimate use of GNU FOSS code. Instead I'll say that if AudioKit is ok with others adhering to his license, as very much appears to be the case, then they don't need you to be offended "on their behalf" any more than I need you to tell me what I meant to say. Mind your own fucking business.
March 28, 2019  | person_outline Blaaaaarghonaut
On March 28, 2019 - @Blaaaaarghonaut said:
I'm not going to repeat my prior comment on the legitimate use of GNU FOSS code. Instead I'll say that if AudioKit is ok with others adhering to his license, as very much appears to be the case, then they don't need you to be offended "on their behalf" any more than I need you to tell me what I meant to say. Mind your own fucking business.

You're probably right. In fact you're most likely 100% correct.

It just rubs me the wrong way... and in such a way that I became extremely pissy about it. I don't even have a substantial point in my past where I can point to some egregious abuse of FOSS code that has me feeling this way today. It just offends me philosophically.

Here you have a couple of guys working tirelessly on this amazing contribution to the community. Then someone else shows up and uses their hard work, charging $10 a pop. It isn't theft. This is entirely within the license they have allowed for their code. But it sure feels fucked up in my bones.
Everyone in this thread has valid opinions and comments. And, I can see all sides.

I appreciate everyone's thoughts. The idea of people profiting off my work is a wonderful teachable moment for me.

And, it raises excellent conversations. All these thoughts are accepted.

Anyways, hope you all have a wonderful weekend. And, I hope that the Taqs.im app is a success for the developer. And, an inspiration to the musicians that use it.

Cheers,
Now I’m getting more interested.

There’s a lot to be said about the “viral” character of copyleft. Some Free Software advocates swear by it and do get quite upset when people lump their principled stance with Open Source development. I’ve heard Stallman enough times (including through a whole dinner) to understand where this is coming from. Freeing something but having others counteract that (say, by preventing others to tweak the code or learn from it) can be quite unnerving.

It’s also related to people profiting from others’ work without any kind of exchange. Examples, for me, would include IMDb and CDDB, along with controversies around Medium and HuffPo. Not to mention “spec work”, which is often an excuse to get free labour and ideas.

But the AudioKit case is quite different, at least in practice. We’re talking about diverse people building an ecosystem of sorts. Yes, much of it is about benefitting from the code and just adding some samples, as clearly explained in the ROMPlayer description.

> Impress your friends. Build a custom instrument for your own use. Or, even sell your custom instrument creations. You’re free to use this code however you’d like. It’s free and open-source! Meaning, you don’t have to pay us anything.

But what’s really happening is that the value of the overall AudioKit project is increasing with all the apps made on top of it, including paid ones which don’t contribute code back. The community is expanding, more people are musicking with these devices, more people get exposed to the AudioKit framework, and the AudioKit world is getting enriched by musical genres which were outside its proponents’ radar. Similar things could apply to MySQL, Apache, Eclipse, or JUCE. It’s not just about source code. It’s about new forms of collaboration and cooperation.
There are many business models related to Open Source. They’re typically not about being paid for a specific product. They’re more often about becoming a “multi-sided platform”. At least, that’s something I heard a lot in a previous job about tech entrepreneurship.

Matt’s reaction makes me think that the whole experience with AudioKit, Synth One, ROMPlayer, and Digital D1 is going in unexpected directions. Which is often a good opportunity to review goals. Maybe AudioKit could be part of a new path in the future. Maybe it needs to be even more of what it already is.

Maybe it’s a learning experience for all of us.
You read my mind Tim! That was just the negative vibe I was getting from this £10 easy steal app. Don’t need it!
April 03, 2019  | person Sarmad
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