Users suspected that the successful audio software was spying on them, so they created a new version of it.

Users suspected that the successful audio software was spying on them, so they created a new version of it.

Popular sound software Audacity was acquired by a Russian company, which made changes to the software and terms of use. Angry users are now getting into action

Source: Pixabay

Over the years, Audacity has developed a large and loyal user base in line with successful open source software – which some would define as the “default” for sound editors and podcasts. But since the software has changed hands in recent months, it hasn’t stopped bothering users – and this time they’re no longer just protesting and moving on.

Summary of previous chapters

two months ago Odyssey’s problems began in front of users. This happened when it was acquired by a group called Museum Group, which promised to keep Odyssey open source, and the whole purpose of the acquisition was to make it easier to use and add features to.

The problem began when, days after its acquisition of Audacity, requests began to appear on users to collect analytics – something that didn’t exist before the popular software took over. Audacity made it clear that the analyzes to be collected are completely anonymous. The same analytics include the start and end of usage of the app, errors faced by users while using, types of files to be edited by the user and the desired operating system to Audacity.

Users did not, at least, like the changes made by the new owners to the very popular software – although in practice they are turned off by default and the collection of analytics on users is done only if they choose to do so ( option -in). In Odyssey he tried to put out the fire, emphasizing that the option only exists in versions downloadable via GitHub – meaning that other versions (forks) of the software do not have code to collect this information. Which seems like a wink to users trying to please them.

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But then came the new update

new updatePrivacy Policy The software that has emerged in recent times is already making it “spyware” in the eyes of its more vocal critics. As of the new update, starting July 2, the new policy allows Odyssey’s parent company – Museum Group – to collect analytics about users – including their operating system version, their computer’s processor, the country they live in ( based on their IP) and crashes of the app (and the bugs it causes). In the new policy, the company says it has a “lawful interest” in collecting this information and that the purpose of the collection, apparently, is to “ensure that the software works properly.”

But the “follow-up” doesn’t stop there, as Audacity’s parent company decided to collect more information about software users—so that they could provide it to law enforcement officials if needed. Audacity’s new policy says it may collect “information necessary for law enforcement, legal proceedings and authorities” on users – if they so request.

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In addition, Museum Group added to the new privacy policy the fact that it “will be obliged from time to time to share your personal information with our head offices in Russia and our legal advice in the US”. Because the information is stored on servers in EU territory, Odcity’s parent company promises to ensure that the private information transmitted – if necessary – is “properly secure” outside it.

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If all this wasn’t enough, another significant change to Odcity’s privacy policy will now block the use of the app for boys and girls under the age of 13 — which violates the license under which Odcity, the GPL (or General Public License) operates, prohibits the use of the Software.

move to action

Multiple posts in GitHub Annoyed by the new changes And even offer to create a new fork (split) of Audacity that is completely disconnected from the museum group based on its open source – and it just so happened. Tzadik Rishon, who calls himself a cookie engineer, has created the first fork for Odyssey that isn’t subject to the museum group’s new and problematic privacy policy. The “cookie engineer” states that the version he created – probably – does not include any tracking functions added after the privacy policy change and that he is working with the community to develop the new version. The new fork also needs a new name – because Audacity is busy, and nobody has the money to litigate – and you can help andDecide what it will be called on this page in GitHub.

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About the author: Seth Grace

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