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Re: Advice on packaging SAGE

Le Thu, May 31, 2007 at 12:06:48PM -0500, Jordi Gutierrez Hermoso a écrit :
> On 30/05/07, Marcus Better <marcus@better.se> wrote:
> >IIRC Singular has licensing restrictions (requires citing the authors) so I
> >don't think it can go in main.
> What's wrong with citing authors? If you publish in a journal
> something for which you used Singular, you have to say so. This is
> standard academic integrity anyways; they're just explicitly asking
> you to be polite. Or was their citation requirement more stringent?


It is exactly because it is anyway wrong to not cite authors that it
is better to leave the requirement out of the licence. When we publish
scientific articles, we do not put a disclaimer on the top saying "if
you read this article, you must properly cite it if you re-use some
results or concepts in your research."

Having that kind or requirement in licences has multipls consequences:

- It makes the software non-compliant to the DFSG.

- It makes the software incompatible with the GPL (and in many case the
  upstream authors do not realise that, and the consequences of that).

- It creates a broad ranges of situations in which it is unclear wether
  there is infringment of the licence or not.

For instance, if the citation is only in the supplemental material, is
is enough ? Most people will not see it, and I am not sure that the
company calculating impact factors takes this citation into account.
Knowing the importance of these calculations on our careers, does a
citation in supplemental methods count as a citation ? If no, we
infringe the licence.

For the moment I was successful each (two) times I asked Upstream to
rephrase their licence. Will they go to court if the software is not
cited ? Probably not. In that case, why not paraphrase primer3 for

"We request but do not require that use of this software be cited in
publications as"...

They have put this sentence after the licence, but under a HOW TO CITE
heading which makes clear that it is not part of the licence.

In the end, the citation requrements are just a milder form of the BSD
advertisement clause, for which there is a consensus that it is better
to relicense without.

Have a nice day,

Charles Plessy
Molecular Biologist
Wako, Saitama, Japan

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