[AstroPy] SOFA license letter (draft)

Scott Ransom sransom@nrao....
Thu Apr 18 18:24:37 CDT 2013

On 04/18/2013 04:40 PM, Perry Greenfield wrote:
> On Apr 18, 2013, at 5:06 PM, Paul Kuin wrote:
>> Hi Perry,
>> I agree that it is not free in that sense. I see it as a control issue, which may come from concerns about versions of modified software circulating which would include changes that are in conflict with the international system.
>> However, it seems like one can make essentially a copy by changing the names of the functions, etc., add a description of the changes, state the origin of the basis of the software, and ad a GPL license. Or did I miss something?
>> Cheers,
>>     Paul
> Well, to start IANAL :-)
> So you're getting amateur legal opinions here.
> Note the clause 3e:
> These requirements must be reproduced intact in any source distribution and shall apply to anyone to whom you have granted a further right to modify the source code of your derived work.
> So just by changing these things you don't remove the unacceptable part of the license. They basically are requiring you to propagate these terms regardless.
> Perry

Hi All,

I _may_ become the newest member of the SOFA board very soon...  I was 
in contact with one of the current members as well as the Chair over the 
past week and mentioned several times problems with the license.

If I do become a member, fixing the license (probably requesting that 
they simply make it BSD or maybe LGPL?) will be one of the first things 
that I pound on.

I really like the idea of astropy using SOFA under the hood if at all 


Scott M. Ransom            Address:  NRAO
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email:  sransom@nrao.edu             Charlottesville, VA 22903 USA
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