[gmx-developers] Mixed license post 5.0

Roland Schulz roland at utk.edu
Thu Feb 6 23:18:57 CET 2014


I don't think you need to do anything special if you want to add Openbabel
as an optional dependency. We already have a GPL optional dependency: FFTW.
This doesn't effect the source of Gromacs or gmx binaries without the
optional feature enabled are licensed under LGPL. If you compile Gromacs
with the GPL version of FFTW (=you don't own a commercial FFTW license) and
then distribute (remember the GPL clause only triggers when you distribute
- what you do without distributing doesn't matter) the resulting binary
with the FFTW included then this derived work is licensed automatically
under GPL. I think if you distribute Gromacs compiled against FFTW but
without including the FFTW shared libraries, then I think it doesn't
qualify as derived work, and thus the binary still would be LGPL and not
automatically GPL.


On Thu, Feb 6, 2014 at 3:58 PM, David van der Spoel <spoel at xray.bmc.uu.se>wrote:

> Hi,
> I'm considering the following option:
> what if gromacs would sport a second binary apart from "gmx" that would
> be licensed under the GPLv2 license and hence be able to link to other
> GPL libraries?
> The advantage would be that we can e.g. link to openbabel, and in this
> manner read in gaussian files (I have for instance a tool that creates a
> GAFF topology for small molecules from gaussian files). Linux
> distributors could distribute the package without problems as far as I see.
> Any drawbacks?
> --
> David van der Spoel, Ph.D., Professor of Biology
> Dept. of Cell & Molec. Biol., Uppsala University.
> Box 596, 75124 Uppsala, Sweden. Phone:  +46184714205.
> spoel at xray.bmc.uu.se    http://folding.bmc.uu.se
> --
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