[SciPy-dev] [Fwd: Re: license status of your code on netlib]

josef.pktd@gmai... josef.pktd@gmai...
Fri Sep 11 15:19:33 CDT 2009


On Fri, Sep 11, 2009 at 3:46 PM, Nathaniel Smith <njs@pobox.com> wrote:
> On Fri, Sep 11, 2009 at 7:02 AM, Pauli Virtanen <pav+sp@iki.fi> wrote:
>> In a sense, also the drawbacks of the advertisement clause start to apply
>> -- suppose many basic numerical codes had citation clauses. Most of the
>> papers in all fields would have a citation to LAPACK. In a sense a good
>> thing, in a sense a bit silly. Maybe a less of an annoyance than the
>> advertisement clause, though, as you'd need to do this only once per
>> paper.
>
> It can also backfire hard -- if something as basic as LAPACK were GPL
> incompatible (which a citation clause would make it), then we'd
> probably all be using a rewrite under a more permissive license by
> now, and LAPACK wouldn't get cited at all. (There's also the fun that
> happens when every component of LAPACK has its own citation clause --
> hope you weren't planning to publish in a journal with a # of
> citations limit, like, oh, Science or Nature!)
>
> My personal rule is that I don't touch code with GPL-incompatible
> licenses. Life is too short, and too many of my basic tools are
> GPL'ed. Your code is never more special and useful than all of the
> GPL'ed code in the world put together. I mean, really.
>
> No-one puts citation-requiring EULAs on their papers and yet life goes
> on; I'd rather see software follow paper norms than papers start
> following software norms.
>
> -- Nathaniel

Many new statistical/econometrics procedures I have seen, have an
"academic/research use only" restriction, and there citation is part of
the professional ethics anyway (and can produce a large number of citation
for the author). But this is on a much "higher" level than LAPACK.

e.g. I looked for the license of this a few days ago
GAUSS GMM PACKAGE  Version 2.2 	 5/05/94
"This program package is free to all researchers, but please acknowledge
the National Science Foundation."

And these licenses are not so nice for the user if (s)he is not "academic".

Josef


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