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

Peter Cock p.j.a.cock at googlemail.com
Mon Jul 25 17:40:13 UTC 2016

On Thu, Nov 5, 2015 at 4:43 PM, Peter Cock <p.j.a.cock at googlemail.com> wrote:
> On Thu, Nov 5, 2015 at 3:01 PM, Christian Brueffer
> <christian at brueffer.de> wrote:
>> Hi all,
>> Peter initiated this discussion about changing the Biopython license to one
>> of the standard ones (3-clause BSD or MIT) some time ago, but it never went
>> anywhere :-)
> Specifically the BSD 3-Clause ("BSD New" or "BSD Simplified") license,
> as the closest to our current license. This is also used by the NumPy
> project and many other Python libraries:
> http://opensource.org/licenses/BSD-3-Clause
>> Now with 1.66 out, I think we should revisit this question.  The few people
>> who responded last time (just Tiago and I, if I see correctly) were in favor
>> of a change.
> Biopython co-founder Andrew Dalke was also positive, and gave
> some interesting history about the original license choice:
> http://lists.open-bio.org/pipermail/biopython-dev/2013-August/019941.html
> Assuming the core developers are in all agreement, we could ask
> the OSI for a legal opinion about if we can make this change without
> explicit approval of all the contributors. IANAL but this sounds possible.
> Otherwise, I think we need to start a module by module, or at least
> Python file-by-file audit moving each file to a dual license ("Biopython
> License Agreement" and/or the "BSD 3-Clause").
> Peter

Hello all,

Chatting with Christian in Orlando and the discussions for the
BOSC 2016 talk he gave for the Biopython Project Updates
reminded me about this long running licensing issue.

I have opened a GitHub issue on this, and how I think we need
to move forward (includes links to older parts of this thread):


I have tried contacting the OSI via their online form, but suspect
this is not something they can help with directly:


I have tweeted to see if anyone has some specific lawyers they
recommend talking to:

>> Any (ideally pro bono) #opensource licensing lawyers
>> out there? Would like to consult on changing @Biopython
>> licence https://github.com/biopython/biopython/issues/898


I have also emailed the rest of the Open Bioinformatics
Foundation board (I am a member of the board of directors
and the current secretary) if they have any advice as to me
this falls under our remit: https://www.open-bio.org/


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