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Re: Bug#662513: RM: emboss/6.3.1-6

Le Mon, Mar 05, 2012 at 11:51:35AM +0000, Tim Booth a écrit :
> I'll be up at the EBI in a couple of weeks.  Is there anything I can do
> to try and persuade them to grant an acceptable license or has this
> already been tried?  EMBOSS is a software package that I still consider
> to be very important, even though development is currently stalled due
> to lack of funding.

Hi Tim,

The non-free file is a Uniprot record in the test suite, so the EMBOSS
developers can not re-license it.  Actually, I am wondering if, in isolation
from the whole UniProt database, a single record is copyrightable, since it is
only the reproduction of facts.  In that case, we could simply ignore its
license.  I have asked Debian's FTP team their opinion on that matter.


Among the other options, there is the removal of the file from the package.
This is something I dislike, as it is extra work for no extra freedom.

The conceptual problem is that the purpose of that file is to test that EMBOSS
properly parses UniProt records, so it is obviously impossible to replace.

The other problem is that other packages, for instance BioPerl, also contain
UniProt records in their test suite.  This is a nightmare that I find very

Please give my best regards to the EMBOSS developers.  I think that the best
they can do is to lobby UniProt to release test data in the public domain,
or to relicense their whole database under a free license.  All illogical
it may sound, we need the permission to modify the protein sequences against
scientific evidence, even if we do not plan to ever do it.

By the way: one of the reasons I have not updated emboss is also that I am
stuck with other packaging works, in particular libsnappy-java where I have
reached my level of incompetence (http://bugs.debian.org/636181).  I have
already wasted some time from Andreas and Java developers, but I think that the
only way out would be that somebody takes the work over entirely.  We need
libsnappy-java to update the picard-tools.

Lastly, the request I made was to remove emboss from Testing, but this is not a
request for removal from Debian, and I really aim at shipping an up-to-date
EMBOSS in Wheezy.



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