Can RasMol be distributed freely, on CD-ROMs, an...
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Can RasMol be distributed freely, on CD-ROMs, and used freely even for commercial purposes?
Here is a quote from Roger Sayle, author of RasMol, in reply to a 1998 inquiry about commercial use of RasMol:
The RasMol molecular graphics package is "public domain", which in the legal definition is more than just freely redistributable but actually free of all intellectual property right. Although my original vision was to allow it to be redistributed at the back of text books and enable researchers like Eric to collaborate in its development. Indeed about 8 publishers currently bundle it with CD-ROMs or text books, and several people actively continue to independently develop and support RasMol. However the darker side of "public domain" is that companies such as MDL and MSI are able to sell it as a stand-alone product for profit, not only without roytalty but in some cases without acknowledgement. Hence I'm delighted for you to bundle it with your text's and theres nothing to stop you selling it for profit. But then if another publisher also sells the same stand-alone cheaper, or a customer wishes to download it from the internet for free, there's nothing you can do to prevent them. I hope this explains the situtation. Please have my blessing to use it as you will, in the end it is the research community that stands to benfit most.Roger Sayle, E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org Bioinformatics Group, Metaphorics, WWW: http://www.metaphorics.com/ 419 East Palace Avenue, Tel: (+1) 505-984-0613 Santa Fe, New Mexico, 87501. Fax: (+1) 505-989-1200
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