[Bio-software] Other: Accelrys petition followup

Steve Thompson via bio-soft%40net.bio.net (by stevet from bio.fsu.edu)
Wed Apr 23 12:41:04 EST 2008


Hi all - re. http://www.petitiononline.com/gcg/

A huge THANKS to all of you that signed my petition!  Within the first 
week online I got almost 150 signatures, and John Devereux himself most 
recently signed it.  I sent Rob Brown of Accelrys an 'official' copy of 
the petition and the signatures at the end of last month.  However, but 
not surprisingly, I have yet to receive one word back from Accelrys.  I 
realize that we can't force them to do anything, but I at least thought 
that they would have the courtesy to respond to it somehow.  The petition 
did result in a news story though.  GenomeWeb News' bioinformatics 
newsletter, BioInform, published the story on April 4th.  See my copy at:

 	http://bio.fsu.edu/~stevet/BioInformGCG.pdf

Some may feel that the BioInform story suggests the petition was merely a 
means of influencing commercial negotiations with Accelrys regarding code 
release, and have nothing to do with public domain availability, but this 
was never my objective.  It is and remains a plea not to kill the package, 
and in particular SeqLab, by whatever means possible, but preferably 
within some type of open source arrangement.  Furthermore, Accelrys argues 
in the article that many more people have signed the petition than 
subscribe to the package, and that this somehow invalidates the petition. 
This is completely irrelevant as the GCG license has always been to an 
institution, allowing as many people in that institution access as wanted, 
not to individual investigators.  Here at FSU I have supported over 100 
GCG users with one GCG license over the years.  June should be interesting 
for us all.  We'll have to see if Accelrys honors their commitment to 
those of us with "perpetual" licenses to provide non-node-locked, non- 
expiring versions of the license after June 30, 2008.  Time will tell.

                              Cheers - Steve
                                                 Steven M. Thompson
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