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

Gael Varoquaux gael.varoquaux@normalesup....
Thu Sep 10 02:32:28 CDT 2009

On Wed, Sep 09, 2009 at 09:13:53PM -1000, Eric Firing wrote:
> I realize that with the exploration of other codes for minimization, the  
> question about the license status of R. P. Brent's netlib code may be  
> moot, but regardless, attached is Prof. Brent's gracious reply to my  
> inquiry.

That's a fantastic answer, focusing more on the science than on the legal
restrictions. I would really like more people to think in these terms.

Hats off to Prof. Brent!


> Date: Thu, 10 Sep 2009 10:11:33 +1000
> From: Richard Brent <rpbrent@gmail.com>
> Subject: Re: license status of your code on netlib
> To: Eric Firing <efiring@hawaii.edu>
> Reply-to: Richard.Brent@anu.edu.au

> Dear Eric,

> You certainly have my permission, as the author of the original Algol
> W code (in my PhD thesis, 1971) and the Fortran translation (in my
> book "Algorithms for Minimization without Derivatives", Prentice-Hall
> 1972 and Dover 2002), to use my code with a BSD-style licence. When
> the code was originally published there was no licence, only a
> copyright notice on the book (and Prentice-Hall relinquished any
> rights to this to allow Dover to republish the book).

> Other code from my thesis was used, for example, in Numerical Recipes,
> without any explicit permission from me.

> I'm happy (and somewhat surprised) to know that my old mininimization
> code is still regarded as competitive with more recent developments
> (e.g. by Powell), and would be disappointed if any legal issues
> prevented you from using it in the scipy project.  All I ask is that
> you give a reference, e.g. to my book and/or web page
> http://wwwmaths.anu.edu.au/~brent/pub/pub011.html

> Regards,
> Richard Brent

> 2009/9/10 Eric Firing <efiring@hawaii.edu>:
> > Prof. Brent,

> > Regarding your minimization code on netlib, a question has arisen as to
> > whether it, or code derived from it, can be used in a project such as scipy
> > (http://scipy.org) that has a BSD-style license
> > (http://scipy.org/License_Compatibility).  The question arose in the
> > following mailing list conversation:

> > http://thread.gmane.org/gmane.comp.python.scientific.devel/11726

> > Thank you for any clarification you can provide, and thank you for having
> > provided the code in the first place.

> > Eric Firing
    Gael Varoquaux
    Research Fellow, INRIA
    Laboratoire de Neuro-Imagerie Assistee par Ordinateur
    NeuroSpin/CEA Saclay , Bat 145, 91191 Gif-sur-Yvette France
    ++ 33-1-69-08-78-35

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