[Bioc-devel] Licensing question

Robert Gentleman rgentlem at fhcrc.org
Wed Nov 1 07:25:25 CET 2006

Oliver Bembom wrote:
> Hi all,
> I am working on an R package that I'd like to submit to BioConductor
> and have run into the following licensing problem. I am using the C
> function donlp2() written by Peter Spellucci, whose license contains
> the following:
> 4. The use of donlp2 must be acknowledged, in any publication
> which contains results obtained with it or parts of it.
> Citation of the authors o8name and netlib-source is suitable.

   Actually, you would need to make it clear to any user of this 
functionality that such a citation is needed. That is, if someone uses 
your interface they are bound by this requirement. I suspect you would 
need to print something every time the function is invoked that made the 
requirement explicit.

> 5. The free use of donlp2 and parts of it is restricted for
> research purposes commercial uses require permission and
> licensing from P. Spellucci.
> Number 4 could be addressed through an acknowledgment in the vignette,
> but number 5 seems incompatible with the LGPL license I had originally
> thought of using. Does anybody have suggestions for what other license
> might solve this problem without having to get submission from the
> author to use it under the LGPL? Would the GPL work? Or maybe the
> Artistic License Version 2.0? Thanks!

   Nope, none of these will work for you, AFAIK. You will have to choose 
something that restricts use of that part of your package for research 
purposes (what ever that might mean).

   You could ask the original author for an exception, and see if there 
is a license they do favor.

   You could split this code out into a separate package with such a 
license and then release the rest of your code under some other license.

   Best wishes
> Oliver
> _______________________________________________
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Robert Gentleman, PhD
Program in Computational Biology
Division of Public Health Sciences
Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center
1100 Fairview Ave. N, M2-B876
PO Box 19024
Seattle, Washington 98109-1024
rgentlem at fhcrc.org

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