[Beowulf] Storage

Joe Landman landman at scalableinformatics.com
Fri Oct 8 14:59:36 PDT 2004

On Fri, 8 Oct 2004, Robert G. Brown wrote:

> This is the general idea of the project's data management package tool
> as well (and some others folks have pointed out) and I appreciate the
> reference.  I just wish that Universities would stop taking software
> developed (generally) with generous support from federal and state
> grants and putting these silly "we want to make money from this"
> licenses.  Just GPL them and do things right...


Unless you negotiate this as part of your employment package (and my 
understanding is that few universities are willing to give up their 
Bayh-Dole based rights to your work), that this probably won't happen.  
Notice the intense resistance from certain interested groups to the 
NIH-NCRR policy of requesting software developed with federal money to be 
open-source.  University tech transfer folks were among the interested 

I think what needs to evolve is a two pronged model ala mysql.  If you are 
going to spin it out and turn it into a profit center, then by all means, 
pay for a license.  If you are going to use it in research (not for 
products or derivative works), then GPL it (or similar).

> Condor used to drive me nuts the same way.  SGE ditto. PBS even more so.

For some reason, Condor has not released their code.  I find this odd.  I 
thought they had.

> <preach>
> Tools like this need to be REAL open source, free like air, especially
> when it is almost dead certain that they began with all sorts of ideas
> and possibly code contributed by a free source community, built on top
> of free tools contributed by that community.
> </preach>

Remember, the poor starving universities need to eat too... :(

There are valid reasons to ask for money for software.  There are valid 
reasons not to distribute everything gratis (GPL is *not* a business 
plan) and to constrain redistribution.  These reasons make sense for 
businesses.  Universities generally have a different mission than 
businesses (though arguably, Bayh-Dole has blurred this significantly).

As with other employers, they own in most cases, everything you do.  If 
you want to build a company based upon what you have done in your lab, you 
have to negotiate with the tech transfer office.  



More information about the Beowulf mailing list