[Bioperl-l] Clarifying license of bioperl

Alex Lancaster alexl at users.sourceforge.net
Fri Aug 17 03:22:16 EDT 2007


Hi all,

I'd like to clarify the license of bioperl.  Currently the LICENSE
only includes the text of the Artistic artist.  But the wiki
http://www.bioperl.org/wiki/FAQ#What_are_the_license_terms_for_BioPerl.3F
says:

 BioPerl is licensed under the same terms as Perl itself which is the
 Perl Artistic License (see
 http://www.perl.com/pub/a/language/misc/Artistic.html or
 http://www.opensource.org/licenses/artistic-license.html

and most of the modules in the source say:

 "You may distribute this module under the same terms as perl itself"

But the current distribution of Perl is actually dually-licensed under
the GPL or Artistic licenses (so the wiki is technically out of sync
with the "same terms as Perl itself"), see:

 http://dev.perl.org/licenses/

I assume that the intent of the bioperl authors is to license with the
same terms as Perl's *current* license (which would mean bioperl is
really effectively dually-licensed under the GPL or Artistic license).
If so, it would be good if the LICENSE text and the wiki were updated
to reflect this.

Also some of the source modules say "under the same terms as perl
itself", but then only mention the Artistic license.

This has important ramifications for distribution: I maintain the
Fedora package for bioperl and I have currently listed the license of
bioperl as "GPL or Artistic".  But if bioperl were distributed under
the Artistic license only then I would have to pull the package from
the distribution, because the Artistic 1.0 (original)-only license is
deprecated (but "GPL or Artistic" is OK):

http://fedoraproject.org/wiki/Licensing#head-d8cc605dd386091c8b6be97b8a43fb6a5d624ae1

Thanks!

Alex



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