"Publish your source to publish your paper" exception to GPL3. Would it be legal ? Would it be ethic ?

Antonello Lobianco (not reply) blackhole at lobianco.org
Wed Sep 30 14:33:54 UTC 2015

While in the traditional software production sector the private (economic)
driver to use an existing software is those of modifying it and licensing
the modified software, in the academic context the economic/private driver
to modify a software is rather to use it to publish papers.

As it is unethical that you use a GPL software, modify it and pursuit your
private interest licensing it keeping your modifications as closed source,
I feel unethical that in the academic sector you can use GPL software, make
modifications for your own private interest (making publications) and not
give them back to the community.

I hence proposed for my software a sort of academic licence that state as
follow. Please consider that I still let people to use the software for
whatever scope they want, just to release the code they derive from it if
they make publications with it.

This software is covered by the above GNU GPL version 3 licence with the
> following exceptions that prevail over the GNU GPL version:
> #1: Any public communication (not limited: working papers, articles,
> technical reports) of results derived from running a modified version of
> this software requires the publication of the source code corresponding to
> such modifications;
> #2: Publishing communications derived from unmodified versions of the
> software on which new data is applied doesn't require the publication of
> the data;
> #3: Any modifications must be released under the same licence of the
> unmodified software, including these exceptions.
> Version 3, 29 June 2007

Would such licence be legal (and would still allow the usage of GPL
components) ?
Would it be "ethic" (and would still be considered "free software") ?


Antonello Lobianco
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