open-source software for bioinformatics

Korbinian Strimmer strimmer at ermine.ox.ac.uk
Tue Aug 8 13:20:42 EST 2000

On 7 Aug 2000, Sean Eddy wrote:
> For instance, according to my own ethics, scientists who don't share
> their source code for their published, publicly funded bioinformatics

I think that's exactly the point: 

*If* the research is funded by public money, i.e. by the tax payer, then I
think that all results of this research, including the software and its
sources, should be made freely available to the public so that all can
profit.  This is why society funds research after all!

It my certainly be tempting to develop software using public money, then
issue free "academic licenses"  and additionally *sell* the very same
software for commercial purposes.  I think that is only justified if the
software was developed using private money (or, alternatively, if the
royalties would directly go back to the grant agencies).

I note that I don't advocate putting the software entirely 
in the public domain.  I myself prefer to keep the copyright and stick
with the GNU GPL to prevent that other people sell my source
code after I have given it away.

 Korbinian Strimmer

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