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Bug 800509

Summary: media-sound/audacity: new privacy policy and licensing issues
Product: Gentoo Linux Reporter: sphakka <marcoep>
Component: Current packagesAssignee: Professional Audio Applications Maintainers <proaudio>
Status: UNCONFIRMED ---    
Severity: normal CC: 89q1r14hd, christian, ebray187, gentoo, kingjon3377, leio, lekto, o.freyermuth, polynomial-c, poncho, powerman-asdf, ulm
Priority: Normal    
Version: unspecified   
Hardware: All   
OS: Linux   
See Also:
Package list:
Runtime testing required: ---

Description sphakka 2021-07-04 14:22:12 UTC
Please have a look at the URL above. It looks like Audacity is drifting to the dark side (see also Bug 788832).

Reproducible: Always
Comment 1 Andrew Udvare 2021-07-04 20:26:02 UTC

In general, the environment variables necessary for Sentry and crash reporting to work are not set by Gentoo (crash reporting maybe should be set to So the Gentoo build of Audacity does not have any telemetry.

Just to be certain, the ebuild could use this argument to mycmakeargs to disable all network activity, thought it appears it's off by default:

Comment 2 Tobias Klausmann (RETIRED) gentoo-dev 2021-07-05 09:36:07 UTC
There is also the problem that they now state that Audacity may not be used by people under the age of 13, which violates the GPL.

cf. Privacy Notice at item 3.
Comment 3 Niklāvs Koļesņikovs 2021-07-07 13:39:02 UTC
It's probably best for now to wait until either a definitive fork emerged or a replacement application is chosen by the community. For what it's worth, Gentoo already has PipeWire with functional JACK emulation, so it's not too far-fetched to replace Audacity with something like Ardour, though my experience with that in the past days has still been rather rough even with pipewire-9999 and realtime capable user account.
Comment 4 Christian Stewart 2021-07-08 20:00:43 UTC
What about replacing with ?
Comment 5 Niklāvs Koļesņikovs 2021-07-08 20:33:41 UTC
I'm aware of, I believe, two forks and an obligatory Rust rewrite - I strongly suggest waiting for the dust to settle before directing existing Audacity users in one directory or another. All that's to be done right now is to ensure that 1) existing versions are clean of any spying or otherwise problematic code (not aware of any for the version 2.4.2 that's in the main tree) and that 2) no tainted version or patches are added before it's hopefully removed from the tree in due course.
Comment 6 Richard Ash 2021-08-08 20:32:17 UTC
As a matter of record, further changes to the privacy policy have now been made, with a long explanation here:

I would point out that there was a lot of pressure from the development and support team to ensure that a privacy policy existed before there was a release which included any networking (and users on other platforms have been requesting "check for updates" for years). Better to publish something and have issues raised in public than to not have a policy at all?

(Note that I an no longer involved with the upstream project apart from reading some of the public mailing lists).
Comment 7 Niklāvs Koļesņikovs 2021-08-09 12:13:38 UTC
Considering how the Muse project (now owned by the same Muse Group as Audacity) silently changed Fluid R3 soundfont that they offer for download without any explanation that it's some kind of forked/modified version and both programs include phone home capabilities, I'm very reluctant to trust them on anything.