This document describes the KIM policy on licensing and its rationale.
Policy Version: 3.0 (previous versions: v2.0
Date: May 26, 2021
0) All copyrightable Standards and any associated Software Implementations of
those standards developed by the KIM organization will henceforth be licensed
under the GNU Lesser General Public License v2.1 or later (LGPL-2.1-or-later).
1) All copyrightable works uploaded to https://openkim.org
must be licensed
under one of the following categories:
1.0) Preferred Licenses:
KIM highly recommends the following licenses:
1.0.0) GNU Lesser General Public License v2.1 or later (LGPL-2.1-or-later).
This is a GPL-compatible reciprocal license.
1.0.1) Apache License 2.0 (Apache-2.0)
This is a GPL-compatible academic license.
(Note: This license is not compatible with GPL-2.0-only.)
1.0.2) Public Domain content
U.S. government publications and other works that are in the
1.1) Other Licenses:
KIM accepts content under any license that allows for redistribution,
but prefers the licenses listed in Section 1.0 of this policy document.
All uploaded content must be accompanied by its license and an
associated valid SPDX License Expression unambiguously identifying
the content license(s).
for more on the SPDX standards.
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, KIM Technical Lead, 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 recommend Open Source licenses (as defined
by the Open Source Initiative: http://opensource.org/docs/osd
) for all
copyrightable code in its system.
In recent years a compelling argument for GPL Compatibility
within the open source community, and the KIM project has decided to adopt
this approach as represented by the above policy. This is a change from
our previous "openness and collaboration" stance described in the
KIM Licensing v2.0
The decision to recommend LGPL-2.1-or-later, as opposed to LGPL-3.0-or-later,
is primarily based on the fact that LAMMPS is distributed under GPL-2.0-only.