Team:Paris Saclay/opensourcezouh


Open Source for synthetic biology

Some notes for the license agreement of open source software.

Open source is originally a philosophy promotes a universal access via free license to a product's design or blueprint, and universal redistribution of that design or blueprint, including subsequent improvements to it by anyone.(Wikipedia)

Nowadays, the concept of open source has grown more complex. It becomes a rule, an agreement, and a way of which we work every day. A free soft could be no open source software, meanwhile a commercial software could also be open source.

For the open source software, there are many license agreements, 4 licenses among these is quite popular. They are GPL、LGPL、BSD、Apache. GPL : GNU General Public License LGPL : GNU Library or "Lesser" General Public License BSD : Berkeley Software Distribution Apache : Apache License

There are 2 basic types for open source software license: first is Reciprocal Licenses, for instance, GPL and LGPL; the other is Permissive Licenses, such as BSD, Apache. 70% of open source software use GPL or LGPL, include Linux core. (Source Forge) All GPL/LGPL license software, under the premise of providing code source, is reproducible, utilizable and distributable for no matter commercial or no commercial purposes. But, the source code must be complete, besides the source program, the compiled script and binary executable program are also demanded in the same package. The current distributor of software is the only subject who is responsible for his act of distribution in despite of the original author and former distributor.

A program and all derivation of this programs which is based on GPL/LGPL must keep the license term. We call this “copy left” which The GPL version 3 gives a clear definition for the copy right of GPL based software. The user and the distributor of GPL software enjoy automatically usage right in condition of deference for all the terms of GPL version 3 In this example of open source license, I figure out 2 essences: one is to ease communication and exchange which allow the software spread without copyright issue; second is for the protection. Outwardly the license has defined clearly the right of software, but there is no reel responsible subject. The open source software belongs to every participant of the software, they have the usage right etc., but on the other side, no single person has the proprietary tights.

BSD and Apache license are more flexible than GPL, which don’t demand code source during distribution, user can change the open source license even proprietary software license. In website of , I find something concrete

Introduction Open source doesn't just mean access to the source code. The distribution terms of open-source software must comply with the following criteria:

1. Free Redistribution The license shall not restrict any party from selling or giving away the software as a component of an aggregate software distribution containing programs from several different sources. The license shall not require a royalty or other fee for such sale.

2. Source Code The program must include source code, and must allow distribution in source code as well as compiled form. Where some form of a product is not distributed with source code, there must be a well-publicized means of obtaining the source code for no more than a reasonable reproduction cost preferably, downloading via the Internet without charge. The source code must be the preferred form in which a programmer would modify the program. Deliberately obfuscated source code is not allowed. Intermediate forms such as the output of a preprocessor or translator are not allowed.

3. Derived Works The license must allow modifications and derived works, and must allow them to be distributed under the same terms as the license of the original software. 4. Integrity of the Author's Source Code The license may restrict source-code from being distributed in modified form only if the license allows the distribution of "patch files" with the source code for the purpose of modifying the program at build time. The license must explicitly permit distribution of software built from modified source code. The license may require derived works to carry a different name or version number from the original software.

5. No Discrimination against Persons or Groups The license must not discriminate against any person or group of persons.

6. No Discrimination against Fields of Endeavor The license must not restrict anyone from making use of the program in a specific field of endeavor. For example, it may not restrict the program from being used in a business, or from being used for genetic research.

7. Distribution of License The rights attached to the program must apply to all to whom the program is redistributed without the need for execution of an additional license by those parties.

8. License Must Not Be Specific to a Product The rights attached to the program must not depend on the program's being part of a particular software distribution. If the program is extracted from that distribution and used or distributed within the terms of the program's license, all parties to whom the program is redistributed should have the same rights as those that are granted in conjunction with the original software distribution.

9. License Must Not Restrict Other Software The license must not place restrictions on other software that is distributed along with the licensed software. For example, the license must not insist that all other programs distributed on the same medium must be open-source software.

10. License Must Be Technology-Neutral No provision of the license may be predicated on any individual technology or style of interface.

These definitions are little idealized. In reality, for those license of open source software, some modification is always needed for adaptation concrete situation. Understanding the license of open source line by line is quite impossible without aid. In the interest of time, I focus on the option that experts said and make a summary.