[gmx-developers] License

Erik Lindahl lindahl at cbr.su.se
Sat Apr 18 08:35:54 CEST 2009

Hi Roland,

In principle you're quite right, but I have some news: We're actually  
preparing a switch to LGPL for exactly this reason, while we still  
have a relatively limited number of developers/contributors to contact  
and get permission from. The tentative plan was to do this post 4.1,  
but it might actually be a good idea to do sooner rather than later.  
I'll get working on it. (Thank god for CVS logs). In principle  
somebody could protest, but it that case we'll have to discuss whether  
that particular code is so important that we will have to reject the  
LGPL idea, or just remove + rewrite the code. It should be very few  
parts, at least.

For most previous contributors I've at least mentioned these  
exceptions by mail, and made sure they were aware & OK with it - sorry  
if we forgot you.

For the record, the only special thing with the F at H version is that  
the binary has a digital signature, so we can be sure users don't fake  
data (e.g. by skipping the inner loops :-) to get higher credits in  
the ranking. However, to completely switch to LGPL we're even planning  
to include this functionality for everybody with external signing  
algorithms - you'll have to pick a a key yourself if you want it,  
though :-)

LGPL will also give everybody the same rights, and then we can avoid a  
whole lot of paperwork by simply letting everybody keep the copyright  
to code they write. In particular US universities tend to get worried  
when copyright forms get involved, while pure open source is fine.



The main reason for LGPL is that we think it's "fairer" in the sense  
that everybody

On Apr 18, 2009, at 1:23 AM, Roland Schulz wrote:

> Hi,
> is there a reason (besides historical) that all of Gromacs is under
> GPL also the parts which can be used as library and could be used more
> widely if they were under the LGPL? I'm asking because we were talking
> about the license we should use for the python lib.
> Also another small license question: I didn't have to sign any
> copyright forms before contributing as for other projects. Why is
> that? Couldn't everyone who contributed, object to the special license
> for F at H and we would have to remove all things from that person to be
> able to keep giving F at H the special license?
> Roland
> -- 
> ORNL/UT Center for Molecular Biophysics cmb.ornl.gov
> 865-241-1537, ORNL PO BOX 2008 MS6309
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