open-source software for bioinformatics

Richard P. Grant rgrant at netscape.net
Wed Aug 9 02:47:14 EST 2000

In article <Pine.OSF.4.21.0008081851210.504-100000 at ermine.ox.ac.uk>, 
Korbinian Strimmer <strimmer at ermine.ox.ac.uk> wrote:

> 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).

difficult that.

At this institution - publicly funded - if someone invents something 
then AIUI the institution takes mosts of the royalties from the patent 
(fair enough - it's 'their' money and their resources that got the 
patent filed) but the inventor(s) get(s) a not unreasonable percentage.

I don't see why tools (such as software) made in such an institution 
should not be used to raise money for the place that made it.  Money for 
the (primary?) author is more difficult (she was only doing her job, 
after all) but by analogy with patents then some pecuniary reward for 
bringing resources into the place would possibly not be out of place.

It would be good to have such hypothetical software dollar-free (or 
peanuts) for academic use.

This government is after all encouraging us to forge links with 
industry, so why not use an industry model and make some money?
For too long the academic world has been used as a breeding ground for 
ideas and ripped off by industries who think that we'll do back-flips if 
we get taken out for a lunch.  But that's another $RANT  :-))


Richard P. Grant MAD Phil       http://www2.mrc-lmb.cam.ac.uk/personal/rpg/
Structural Studies              http://www.scienceboard.net/
MRC-LMB                         Please reply to rpg 'at' mrc-lmb.cam.ac.uk

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