[Pipet Devel] collaboratories - was Check out this URL

J.W. Bizzaro bizzaro at bc.edu
Sat Feb 27 17:47:06 EST 1999

Harry Mangalam wrote:
> So while I support the idea of LOCI, it and will spend time trying to
> integrate aspects of the genex db with LOCI, it doesn;t mean that NCGR will
> officially support it.  The problem with who owns intellectual property is
> HUGE in SW (I just resigned from UCI because of it to work on NCGR's
> project), so don't go looking for large developers to leap onto the freee
> software bandwagon - there is huge resistancce, especially from their legal
> depts.  Yhe success of Redhat and Gnu/Linux is changing that, but slowly.
> I'm counting on it b/c I'm starting a company to try to do (sort of) the
> same thing, with my software - the core software is free, but I'll sell
> support, customization, and interface components to those who want/need
> them)...

Oh yeah, intellectual property is a very big deal everywhere, with companies and
schools getting all of the rights and employees and students getting none...or
so it seems.  One thing I have to take care of regarding Loci is getting a
disclaimer from UMass Lowell.  The University is much better about these things
than some of the really big schools, like UCI or even MIT.

FSF actually says something about this...

    You should also get your employer (if you work as a programmer)
    or your school, if any, to sign a "copyright disclaimer" for
    the library, if necessary. Here is a sample; alter the names: 

    Yoyodyne, Inc., hereby disclaims all copyright interest in
    the library `Frob' (a library for tweaking knobs) written
    by James Random Hacker.

    signature of Ty Coon, 1 April 1990
    Ty Coon, President of Vice

Whether or not it is that simple, I'll have to see.  I guess I'll be visiting
the Chancellor soon.

Something that is unclear to me, however, and maybe you guys can give me your
opinion, is if a copyrighter can change the GNU license.  In other words, just
because UMass Lowell may be one of the copyrighters on Loci, does that mean they
can decide to make it proprietary?  The GNU license appears to be immutable, and
if so, should it matter if the institution shares the copyright?

Have you thought about this with respect to NCGR, Harry?

> Yup - it would have a big impact, but there are lots of similar projects
> going on in 'coopetition', so it's important to actually produce something.
> Bio-perl has already started regular dists of their package, and EMPRESS
> will start soon.

I don't think I am aware of EMPRESS.  Do you have a URL?  Unless you mean

> It's demo or die.  (I'm one to speak - I really haven't done anthing yet
> except flap my lips (they move when I type), but as soon as I finish the
> commandline version of tacg V3 (in final packaging for beta release and
> documentation now), I'll put some time on trying to LOCI-lize it.)

Yeah, me too.  I'd like to start pumping some code out, but where do I begin? 
One big issue now is that most of the GUI tools will share a common core.  We
should be sure not to reinvent that for each tool.  So, in a sense, Thomas will
be breaking ground for most others.  Also, I want to get a GTK hacker to work on
the bechtop (GCL or "Work Flow Diagram").

J.W. Bizzaro                  Phone: 617-552-3905
Boston College                mailto:bizzaro at bc.edu
Department of Chemistry       http://www.uml.edu/Dept/Chem/Bizzaro/

More information about the Pipet-Devel mailing list