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[Savannah-register-public] [task #10626] Submission of ESPResSo

From: Alex Fernandez
Subject: [Savannah-register-public] [task #10626] Submission of ESPResSo
Date: Tue, 12 Oct 2010 21:26:20 +0000
User-agent: Mozilla/5.0 (X11; U; Linux i686; en-US; rv: Gecko/20100916 Iceweasel/3.5.13 (like Firefox/3.5.13)

Follow-up Comment #6, task #10626 (project administration):

Karl has already given his expert opinion, which by the way is authoritative.
Let me offer my amateur reading of the situation, based on official GNU
documents; maybe it can help with the practical aspects.

According to the GPLv2
_You should also get your employer (if you work as a programmer) or your
school, if any, to sign a "copyright disclaimer" for the program, if
necessary. Here is a sample; alter the names: Yoyodyne, Inc., hereby disclaims
all copyright interest in the program `Gnomovision' (which makes passes at
compilers) written 
by James Hacker._

In this case the MPI holds the copyright and publishes the software under the
GPL (plus restrictions), up to now. If you want to change the copyright holder
you should get the MPI to sign the disclaimer, and then change the notices to
"The ESPResSo team".

Now for the license change. The usual way of handling license changes is to
contact all developers if possible, and let the rest complain if they do not
agree; their contributions can be rewritten in this case. But here I don't
think it's even necessary, as the spirit of the LICENSE.TXT is quite clear.
Let us analyze it point by point.

_1. The GNU GENERAL PUBLIC LICENSE (GPL) applies with the following
All contributors have already agreed to the GPL, so the only problem is in
removing the additions.

_2. Use of ESPResSo is properly acknowledged in publications and
communications. At present ESPResSo is cited as: ESPResSo,
This is a standard attribution clause, but referring to use of the program
(not distribution or modification). The GPL explicitly says: _Activities other
than copying, distribution and modification are not covered by this License;
they are outside its scope. The act of running the Program is not restricted
[...]_. It is not even clear that a copyright license can limit usage of the
software: once the software has been copied to the target machine the license
does not bind the users anymore. So I would say this clause is useless except
as a "gentleman's agreement", which can be stated in the README.

_3. Users are encouraged to send feedback about bugs, code extensions, script
additions and third party usage to: address@hidden
This is just some information which can also be added to the README.

_4. ESPResSo is intended only to be used for academic research ensuring 
proper knowledge about simulation techniques. It is not suited for commercial
or industrial purposes._
As Karl said, if this is meant as a warning then it can be added to the
README. Otherwise, if you want to impose additional restrictions then all
recipients will be bound by it and by the GPL, which states: _You may not
impose any further restrictions on the recipients' exercise of the rights
granted herein._ So further redistribution would be impossible, which is
directly against the GPL. We may thus safely infer that only the warning is

_5. ESPResSo is delivered without any warranty, expressed or implied. The
authors are not liable for any loss or damage arising from the use of
Disclaimer of warranty, already in the GPL.

_6. Severability Clause: The provisions, sections, subdivisions and articles
of this license shall be considered to be severable, so that if any section,
paragraph, sentence, clause, phrase or any part of this license is declared to
be unconstitutional or void, or if for any reason is declared to be invalid or
of no effect, or its application to any person or circumstance is altered
amended, abrogated, repealed, superseded by state law or held invalid, the
remaining sections, paragraphs, sentences, clauses, phrases or parts thereof
shall be in no manner affected thereby but shall remain in full force and
If everything that remains of the license is the GPL then there is no problem
with this clause.

I would say: remove LICENSE.TXT and relicense under the GPL, and add
everything else to the README file (but outside the license itself, i.e. not


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