Audacity branded 'spyware' after MuseGroup acquisition

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benwiggy
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Audacity branded 'spyware' after MuseGroup acquisition

Post by benwiggy »

Tangentially related to notation, as Audacity has been bought the MuseGroup that makes MuseScore.

"Audacity, the well-known open-source audio-editing software, has been called spyware in a report, with privacy policy changes revealing the tool is collecting data on its users and sharing it with other firms, as well as sending the data to Russia."

https://appleinsider.com/articles/21/07 ... on-changes

I suspect this is causing such a fuss mostly because it's supposed to be open-source, and the free software advocates are passionate about freedom. The new licence also forbids its use by under-13s, which is breach of the GPL licence. But it's likely to be less malicious than it seems.

But it begs the question: does MuseScore do the same?

benwiggy
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Re: Audacity branded 'spyware' after MuseGroup acquisition

Post by benwiggy »

.... and the answer would appear to be "yes".

https://musescore.com/legal/privacy

They automatically collect IP address and other geolocation data, data about your hardware, software, and may pass it onto third-parties or law enforcement.

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Fred G. Unn
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Re: Audacity branded 'spyware' after MuseGroup acquisition

Post by Fred G. Unn »

I asked a relative who works in privacy about this yesterday when the Audacity thing was going around Twitter. I am most definitely not a lawyer so don't take this as legal advice, but here's what I recall her saying after she briefly skimmed it. There certainly could be things I'm recalling wrong or didn't completely understand, so take all of this with those caveats.

1) From the standpoint of protecting the company, it's well written. Lawyer who wrote it did a good job with it.
2) It surprisingly appears to comply with GDPR (strong European privacy laws) which Russia hasn't signed on to.
3) Obviously she hadn't seen the previous policy, but the "Who Does Audacity share your personal data with" section was likely expanded after a request to provide data and the company realized they hadn't clearly articulated this in the previous policy.
4) "Data" is very broad and vague. Unclear if data could be turned over to be used in a copyright suit against a user for example.
5) Biggest red flag is simply that the company is based in Russia, so who knows how the government would use any data that they wanted to request. Of course the company can't easily up and move, so that is what it is.

Again, I might be misremembering some of this, and this was only after she spent a couple of minutes skimming it, but that was my takeaway from the conversation.

benwiggy
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Re: Audacity branded 'spyware' after MuseGroup acquisition

Post by benwiggy »

Here's a balanced article from Ars Technica, as ever:

https://arstechnica.com/gadgets/2021/07 ... t-spyware/

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Dan Kreider
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Re: Audacity branded 'spyware' after MuseGroup acquisition

Post by Dan Kreider »

Amusing to see the shrill objection to data collection from users on… wait for it… Facebook.
dankreider.com

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OCTO
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Re: Audacity branded 'spyware' after MuseGroup acquisition

Post by OCTO »

That is frightening! I would never believe. But now, when I recall my correspondence with some of the top MS developers, executives and administrators, I have always felt something "strange", cannot describe what. Okay, this is just my feeling, nothing more.
benwiggy wrote:
06 Jul 2021, 18:36
Here's a balanced article from Ars Technica, as ever:
https://arstechnica.com/gadgets/2021/07 ... t-spyware/
On the contrary, I have always felt also that Ars Technica is paid by big corp to shape and project their opinions. Maybe I am wrong.
Freelance Composer. Self-Publisher.
Finale 25.5 • Sibelius 2020 • MuseScore 2+3 • Logic Pro X+ • Ableton Live 10+ • Digital Performer 9+ /// MacOS Mojave, (side systems: Fedora 32, Windows 10)

benwiggy
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Re: Audacity branded 'spyware' after MuseGroup acquisition

Post by benwiggy »

Ars Technica journalism is pretty solid. I think MuseGroup has done two things: they want to collect the data, just to improve their products; but they have not communicated that well to their users, many of whom feel strongly about free/open software and 'digital rights'.

benwiggy
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Re: Audacity branded 'spyware' after MuseGroup acquisition

Post by benwiggy »

Another story about MuseGroup and troubles with the open source community.

https://arstechnica.com/gadgets/2021/07 ... community/

I know Tantacrul and some MuseScore staff read/post here occasionally, so I'm going to leave this just as 'a story' without comment.

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