[Bioc-devel] distribution guidelines?

Seth Falcon sfalcon at fhcrc.org
Thu Aug 3 18:49:08 CEST 2006

aedin <aedin at jimmy.harvard.edu> writes:
> Following yesterday, it appears more and more commerical software and 
> web developers are creating software which incorporate Bioconductor 
> packages.

To clarify a bit...  Whether or not a given BioC package can legally
be incorportated into another project depends on the license of the
BioC package and the license of the project wishing to incorporate the

BioC package developers interested in having their package
incorporated into commercial projects should consider licenses that
allow for this.  One license that was discussed yesterday as allowing
such incorporation, but requires that credit be given to authors is
the artistic license [1].  Choosing a license is, of course, up to
package authors.

[1] http://www.opensource.org/licenses/artistic-license.php

> Seth's new package browser, from which it is easy to see the licence
> of each package will be very useful for this purpose.

Said package browser is in pre-pre-pre-alpha testing and will be
available Real Soon Now :-)

In putting together this prototype, I compiled a list of the license
strings as they appear in the DESCRIPTION files of BioC packages.
Below is the list.

> In discussions yesterday, we wondered would it be useful for BioC to 
> produce a few short lines of guidelines on this.

I think the idea here is, _as a guideline_, to recommend a standard
description to use in the License field for each license.  The desire
is to avoid the many different "spellings" of the same license.  This
would make it easier for folks working on projects that want to
incorporate BioC packages to find those with suitable licenses.

Here is a list of what we currently have...

GPL version 2 or later
GPL Version 2.0 or later.
GPL version 2
Free Software Licence CeCILL
GPL version 2 or newer
GPL Version 2 or newer
GPL 2 or later
GPL version 2 or newer?
GPL version 2 or higher
GPL version 2.0 or newer
LGPL version 2 or newer
LGPL version
free for non-commercial users. Non-academic users MUST have requested from the authorLGPL-2
LLGPL version 2 or greater
BSD; read file BSD.license
LLGPL version 2 or newer
Free for non-commercial use
GPL2 or later
GPL (version 2 or newer)
LGPL on mmgmos part only excluding donlp2
VAI, Free for non-commercial, academic use.
GPL 2.0
GNU General Public License 2.0.
Free for non-commercial use. Non-academic users MUST have a valid license for the full (Excel) version of the SAM software programmed at Stanford University, see http://www-stat.stanford.edu/~tibs/SAM/index.html

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