[Biopython-dev] Adopting BSD 3-Clause license for Biopython?

Peter Cock p.j.a.cock at googlemail.com
Wed Jul 24 09:13:06 UTC 2013

Hello all,

Something Brad and I chatted about during the BOSC 2013 CodeFest
was should we switch the Biopython licence to something which is
formally approved as "Open Source" by The Open Source Initiative
(OSI): http://opensource.org/licenses

The current Biopython License is very short and liberal, and I have
long described it as an MIT/BSD type licence. However the actual
wording matches neither of these exactly (as far as I could tell):


In theory we could ask the OSI to approve our current license, but as
they explain "yet another license" is not a good thing to encourage:

Brad and I thought it would be reasonable to adopt a standard
MIT/BSD licence instead.

Note that the following lack a "no endorsement" clause which we
have currently:


Therefore this looks like the closest match:


i.e. The BSD 3-Clause ("BSD New" or "BSD Simplified") license.
This is also used by the NumPy project and many other Python

Assuming people agree this is a good idea, we can start doing
this on a file-by-file basis (checking for approval from the named
copyright holders) and to be rigorous check with every named
contributor in the CONTRIB or NEWS files.


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