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Re: E-Petition to free PhyLip - please sign (Re: Report from Debian Med sprint)

Hi folks,

On Tue, Jan 31, 2012 at 3:42 PM, Andreas Tille <andreas@an3as.eu> wrote:

--> http://wiki.debian.org/DebianMed/Meeting/Southport2012/ePetition_Phylip

Hi Tim,

On Tue, Jan 31, 2012 at 05:47:11PM +0000, Tim Booth wrote:

> You don't mention that other programs borrow from the code but are still
> bound by the non-free clauses.  To me this is the strongest point, that
> the Phylip authors probably did intend to share their code openly but in
> fact are using a non-standard license is causing real problems for other
> developers.

Good point.  Added SeaView as example to make the point even more clear.

Joe Felsenstein's rationale for not using the GPL seems to be so that he can maintain a count of how many people are using Phylip. This is important for grants -- it's best to have clear metrics. Perhaps it would be helpful to mention in the petition that Debian can provide some rough usage numbers through PopCon, and similarly for Ubuntu.

He also mentions on his website that he wants to be able to nag users to upgrade to the latest version. It might reassure him that having Phylip packaged for distros would make it even more likely that users will stay up-to-date.


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