[Beowulf] Storage

Joe Landman landman at scalableinformatics.com
Fri Oct 8 17:59:36 EDT 2004


On Fri, 8 Oct 2004, Robert G. Brown wrote:

> This is the general idea of the project's data management package tool
> as well (and some others folks have pointed out) and I appreciate the
> reference.  I just wish that Universities would stop taking software
> developed (generally) with generous support from federal and state
> grants and putting these silly "we want to make money from this"
> licenses.  Just GPL them and do things right...

<usa-centric>

Unless you negotiate this as part of your employment package (and my 
understanding is that few universities are willing to give up their 
Bayh-Dole based rights to your work), that this probably won't happen.  
Notice the intense resistance from certain interested groups to the 
NIH-NCRR policy of requesting software developed with federal money to be 
open-source.  University tech transfer folks were among the interested 
parties.

I think what needs to evolve is a two pronged model ala mysql.  If you are 
going to spin it out and turn it into a profit center, then by all means, 
pay for a license.  If you are going to use it in research (not for 
products or derivative works), then GPL it (or similar).

> Condor used to drive me nuts the same way.  SGE ditto. PBS even more so.

For some reason, Condor has not released their code.  I find this odd.  I 
thought they had.

> <preach>
> Tools like this need to be REAL open source, free like air, especially
> when it is almost dead certain that they began with all sorts of ideas
> and possibly code contributed by a free source community, built on top
> of free tools contributed by that community.
> </preach>

Remember, the poor starving universities need to eat too... :(

There are valid reasons to ask for money for software.  There are valid 
reasons not to distribute everything gratis (GPL is *not* a business 
plan) and to constrain redistribution.  These reasons make sense for 
businesses.  Universities generally have a different mission than 
businesses (though arguably, Bayh-Dole has blurred this significantly).

As with other employers, they own in most cases, everything you do.  If 
you want to build a company based upon what you have done in your lab, you 
have to negotiate with the tech transfer office.  

</usa-centric>

Joe
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