KIM Licensing

Knowledgebase of Interatomic Models (KIM) Policy on Standards and Software Licensing.

This document describes the KIM policy on licensing and its rationale.

POLICY: 0) All copyrightable Standards and any associated Software Implementations of those standards developed by the KIM organization will be licensed under the reciprocal Common Development and Distribution License Version 1.0 (CDDL-1.0). 1) All copyrightable works uploaded to http://openkim.org must be licensed under one of the following Open Source licenses: 1.0) Recommended Licenses: KIM highly recommends the following licenses: 1.0.0) Common Development and Distribution License Version 1.0 (CDDL-1.0). See http://opensource.org/licenses/CDDL-1.0 This is a file-based reciprocal license. 1.0.1) Apache License, Version 2.0 See http://opensource.org/licenses/Apache-2.0 This is an academic license. 1.1) Acceptable Licenses: KIM accepts content under the following licenses, but prefers the licenses listed in Section 1.0 of this policy document. 1.1.0) Mozilla Public License 2.0 (MPL-2.0) See http://opensource.org/licenses/MPL-2.0 This is a file-based reciprocal license. 1.1.1) BSD 3-Clause license (BSD-3-Clause) See http://opensource.org/licenses/BSD-3-Clause This is an academic license. 1.1.2) BSD 2-Clause license (BSD-2-Clause) See http://opensource.org/licenses/BSD-2-Clause This is an academic license. 1.1.3) MIT license (MIT) See http://opensource.org/licenses/MIT This is an academic license. 1.2) Allowable Licenses: KIM accepts content under the following licenses, but requires contributors to acknowledge that such content can not be distributed as part of a derivative work which includes KIM CDDL-1.0 licensed Standards or Software Implementations. Thus, the use of these licenses is discouraged. 1.2.0) GNU General Public License, version 2.0 (GPLv2) See http://opensource.org/licenses/gpl-2.0 This is a reciprocal license. 1.2.1) GNU General Public License, version 3.0 (GPLv3) See http://opensource.org/licenses/gpl-3.0 This is a reciprocal license. 1.2.2) GNU Library or "Lesser" General Public License, version 2.1 (LGPLv2.1) See http://opensource.org/licenses/lgpl-2.1 This is a reciprocal license. 1.2.3) GNU Library or "Lesser" General Public License, version 3.0 (LGPLv3.0) See http://opensource.org/licenses/lgpl-3.0 This is a reciprocal license. 1.2.4) Eclipse Public License (EPL-1.0) See http://opensource.org/licenses/EPL-1.0 This is a reciprocal license. 1.3) Licenses Not Accepted by KIM: KIM does not accept copyrighted works under any license other than one or a combination of those licenses explicitly listed in Sections 1.0--1.2 of this policy document. 2) Modification to this policy may be made in accordance with established KIM by-laws and must be approved by the KIM Board in consultation with the KIM Director and KIM Editor. RATIONALE FOR THE POLICY: The KIM project is based on the ideal that Science advances most efficiently when conducted in an open and forthcoming manner. This ensures that research results can be verified by independent scientists through replication of experiments and procedures --- a fundamental step in the process of establishing "accepted fact". In the context of KIM and, more generally, the field of atomistic simulation, this means that computer code must be readily available to all researchers. This consideration has led KIM to adopt the requirement that all copyrightable works in its system must have an Open Source license (as defined by the Open Source Initiative: http://opensource.org/docs/osd). The KIM project also believes that openness and collaboration are the keys to maximizing the atomistic modeling community's rate of progress and overall scientific impact. Therefore, KIM embraces the vision of the Open Source Software Collaboration Counseling (OSSCC) (http://www.osscc.net) initiative. The above POLICY has been developed based on the OSSCC's recommended licenses. The KIM Recommended Licenses correspond to those licenses recommended by OSSCC which provide the highest level of support for collaboration. The KIM Accepted Licenses correspond to those licenses which are recommended by the OSSCC but do not fully support collaborative efforts. The KIM Allowed Licenses correspond to the licenses that are not recommended by OSSCC but are listed by the Open Source Initiative as "popular and widely used." This last category of licenses is discouraged, but accepted within KIM in an effort to be as inclusive as possible. Finally, the KIM project believes that it is important that the community retains control over and benefits from everyone's work on its Standards and the associated Software Implementations of those Standards. Thus, these works are licensed under the --reciprocal-- CDDL license. This ensures that any bug-fixes, modifications, enhancements, and/or extensions will be available to the entire community.