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About Audacity Vendors

What is Audacity?

Audacity is a free, open-source audio editor for Mac OS, Windows, and Linux. See the About Audacity page on our website for more information.

Who is selling Audacity?

Vendors are selling copies of Audacity on CD quite widely on the internet, especially on eBay.

Many vendors use a different name for the software, or otherwise try to hide its origin. For example, one company is selling Audacity under the names "LuxuriousitySound" and "LuxAudioEditor". Another is selling it as "Antbytes Audio" as a software bundle including a CD ripper and a game. Sometimes sellers may try to change one or two letters of the name e.g. "Audasity". In fact, now that Audacity is a trademarked product, sellers who modify Audacity must call it something else.

Are these eBay vendors affiliated with the Audacity project?

No. They are using the rights granted by the GNU General Public License, which allows anyone to redistribute or resell Audacity. These vendors do not have any special agreement with the Audacity developers, and the Audacity developers receive no compensation.

Is it legal to sell copies of Audacity?

Yes. The GNU General Public License (GPL) specifically allows redistribution of Audacity, for free or for profit, as long as the license and source code are made available.

Although these sales are allowed by the GPL, the Audacity developers prefer that vendors give credit to the Audacity free software project. We feel that disguising the program's origin is harmful to customers and prevents them from making informed purchases or comparisons.

Users interested in a discussion of the ethics or value of selling open source software may like to read this discussion.

Advice for Users

I paid for a product and then found out it was Audacity. What should I do?

If you feel you were deceived, or did not get your money's worth, you can ask for a refund from the seller. Check the terms of the description. In the small print, many sellers of Audacity offer a money-back guarantee. If you are dissatisfied with the seller's response, you can contact the provider of the webspace (such as eBay or Yahoo!), or contact the provider of the payment service you used (such as Paypal or your credit card company).

Where can I buy Audacity if I want it on CD?

If you want a CD of Audacity for Windows, the Audacity developers recommend TheOpenCD. This collection also includes Mozilla, GIMP, and other free open source programs, plus added documentation and custom installers. It is produced by a group of volunteer contributors. You can buy copies from many different online vendors.

Advice for Vendors

Quite a lot of the advice in this section depends on whether you modify Audacity or not - generally we prefer that you didn't do so, unless it is done in agreement with us, and so possibly to the benefit of our users as well as yours.

Legal Requirements

1. GNU General Public License

Obviously you are expected as a reseller of Audacity to abide by the terms of the GNU General Public License, under which we grant you the right to resell or modify Audacity. Detailed Frequently Asked Questions about the GPL are here. The fundamental requirements are:

  • You must include a copy of the GPL License
  • You must either supply the Audacity source code (or if you have modified Audacity, the source code of your modified product), or make a written offer to do so without being asked first.

If you are not modifying Audacity, you can comply with these terms very easily: simply leave LICENSE.txt and README.txt intact in your CD or download.

2. Trademark Issues

Audacity ® is now a registered trademark of Dominic Mazzoni, our lead developer. This means that:

  • You must not advertise your business as an authorized distributor of Audacity.
  • You have the right to use the name "Audacity" only if you leave the product unmodified, or if modified, you request and are granted our express written permission to do so by contacting us. If you modify Audacity without our permission, you must call it something else than "Audacity".

General Advice

If you want to make money selling Audacity, this is our advice. You don't have to follow this advice, but we think it benefits your customers and your business.

  • First and foremost, be honest. Give proper credit to the Audacity project as the originator of your software by linking to our homepage, and explaining that Audacity is a freely available download. This does not have to kill your sales. Explain that you are entitled to resell Audacity under the GPL, and that you are following its terms by including a copy of the Licence and offering to supply the source code. Then tell people the differences between your product and our free downloads and what makes your product worth buying. Let customers decide which choice is best for them. Informed customers who choose your product will be happier than customers who feel deceived or misled. Think of that sinking feeling if you bought something on the internet and then found you could have got it for nothing, or found that it's actually based on another product that the seller got for nothing.
  • Add value to Audacity and and so encourage people to buy it. Don't just put it on a CD and leave it at that. There are many ways to add value even if you don't modify Audacity. Create new documentation, or a printed Manual, or video tutorials, or even give Audacity some nice packaging. Add some sound samples to your CD so that people can get started straight away. Or if you are using Audacity as a starting point for a rebranded product of your own, add some useful features that Audacity does not have yet.
  • Please give something back to the Audacity project. You can donate money from your sales proceeds, or offer us documentation, source code or other resources to support Audacity development. This benefits us and it benefits your customers in the long run too, as you will have a better product to resell.
  • Finally, support your own product. If you are taking money from people then ethically you should help your customers by learning how Audacity works and answering their questions. Bear in mind you may end up looking silly if you send your customers to us for support, but never told them Audacity was available for free. Generally, Audacity cannot offer support for copies of Audacity resold by other people, and will not do so under any circumstances whatsoever if you have modified our product without our permission. Our problem is that if users come to us for support and say they purchased Audacity, we usually don't have any way of actually knowing whether they have a copy of our original program or not. The only thing we will say is that if you have valid reasons why you cannot offer support, and contact us first asking if we can support your users, and making clear any ways in which you have modified Audacity, we may be able to assist. If we agreed, you'd then need to explain to your customers they can contact us for help, as long as they state where they purchased Audacity, so that we know helping them is in order.