[OFF-TOPIC]: organizations and licenses Re: [SciPy-user] plotting enhancements and copyright

A.J. Rossini rossini at blindglobe.net
Thu Nov 1 16:26:40 CST 2001


>>>>> "JJL" == John J Lee <jjl at pobox.com> writes:

    JJL> On 1 Nov 2001, A.J. Rossini wrote:
    >> >>>>> "JJL" == John J Lee <jjl at pobox.com> writes:

    JJL> [about copyright ownership by employees (universities in
    JJL> particular)]

    >> Yes, this can be a real problem if university lawyers want to
    >> make it a problem.
    JJL> [...]
    >> (the so-called "viral" nature is one means of getting around IP
    >> problems if you are producing research-quality (which I'll
    >> unfairly claim is generally of lower quality than commercial)
    >> software for others to use).
    JJL> [...]

    JJL> I don't understand: if you don't have permission to license
    JJL> something, you can't 'get around it' by claiming you've GPL'd
    JJL> it -- you don't have the authority to do so.  Am I right?

Sort of.  But not quite. 

The point is the range of allowable licenses that can be placed on the
work.  To redistribute a work which integrates GPL'd devices, it must
be GPL'd.  If it's part of my research to provide a means to recreate
my research (typical and expected in the computational sciences, esp
in genomics amoung others), then the organization can control which of
the range of licenses can be used.

However, for de novo software, since there is a wide range, the
organization can restrict the possible licenses under which the
software can be redistributed.

Different research/academic organizations have different views on
software; some view software as a publication, and you retain
ownership.  Some view it as a product, to which they maintain
ownership.  I've worked for (and still work for) groups with both
views. 

But this is completely off-topic, since SciPy isn't a GPL'd product, 
and the choice of the license belongs to the owners, the decision
having already been made.

best,
-tony

-- 
A.J. Rossini				Rsrch. Asst. Prof. of Biostatistics
U. of Washington Biostatistics		rossini at u.washington.edu	
FHCRC/SCHARP/HIV Vaccine Trials Net	rossini at scharp.org
-------------- http://software.biostat.washington.edu/ --------------
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Rosen: (Mullins' Lab) Fridays, and I'm unreachable except by email.



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