IUBio

Availability of EGCG9?

José R. Valverde txomsy at cnb.uam.es
Thu Feb 12 09:42:29 EST 1998


In article <6bqk6l$9if$1 at nntp1.ba.best.com>,
	Greg <jquinn at shell7.ba.best.com> writes:
> Rick Westerman <westerm at purdue.edu> wrote:
...   ...   ...
> many other sites). Unless I missed something in the post from GCG, they
> said they are more than happy to help people with a GCG license to get
> EGCG to their platform; sounds like they couldn't be more accommodating.
> It also sounds like EGCG is terminating soon; maybe GCG could take it
> over.
> 

    Er, pardon my ignorance, but why should a specific private company
who furthermore thwarts distribution of a public package take over said
public package, that has been freely distributed to everyone, developed
with public funds, released to the public domain, and that the only reason
it can't be further developed is because same company tries its best to
forbid it? So, why should it be GCG/OxMol and not any other company?

    I mean, why should they appropriate for free and convert to proprietary
anything that has been developed by other people with public funds, fairly
asuming -because of previous statements of said company- that they were
and would continue to be allowed to do so?

    And EGCG is by no means a "minor" expansion: it provides quite a _big_
number of extensions and programs of important usefulness to GCG. You may
consider it "non-essential", but wait a bit and see: you'll discover many
of your users asking for features provided by EGCG. I can understand GCG
being disturbed by a public extension over which they have no control that
extends so much a package of theirs which scarcely evolves as fast as EGCG,
but is that a reason to handle over to them and allowing them to appropriate
anything they would like to have developed but wouldn't do by themselves
and someone else took the hardship to do and make public?

    If they can do that, what deters them or any company from appropriating
say, clustal, phylip, srs and any other public software, "taking it over", 
and from then on making it only available to their registered and "paying"
users?

    After all, they now include plug-ins for clustal and srs. Why shouldn't 
they take them over and make it commercial from now on? And why shouldn't 
they "take over" all other public software, in which they haven't ever spent
a penny nor any development effort, name it "proprietary" and restrict its
use in the future to only their customers?

    Not that they haven't done that before, encouraging all scientists to
use their libraries as an open basis for molbio software, integrating 
software developed and set in the public domain by others into their
package, and then distributing/selling it. Sure, journals also distribute
papers and don't pay back a penny to authors, so this may as well be fully
justified. But, how many journals forbid you to make _any_ work based on or
derived from data published in their articles, and furtherly distributing
at all any derivative/furthering work based on other scientists' results?
And claim then that your work fully belongs to them since you started from
some data published in their journal?

    Sorry, I'm rather *stupid* and can't think of any good answers to these
questions. Maybe someone with more wits can enlighten me.

    	    	    	    	jr

--
These opinions are mine and only mine. Hey man, I saw them first!



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