Re: [AMBER-Developers] PBSA license

From: Ray Luo <>
Date: Sat, 18 Mar 2017 13:21:17 -0700

Hi All,

We are okay to turn PBSA into LGPL ... so there won't be any issue in the end.

We'll also look into the linking between libsander and libpbsa, I
think it's better to link libpbsa separately if needed. But it's
probably too late for the 2017 release.

All the best
Ray Luo, Ph.D.
Professor of Structural Biology/Biochemistry/Biophysics,
Chemical Physics, Biomedical Engineering, and Chemical Engineering
Department of Molecular Biology and Biochemistry
University of California, Irvine, CA 92697-3900
On Sat, Mar 18, 2017 at 11:49 AM, David Case <> wrote:
> On Fri, Mar 17, 2017, Jason Swails wrote:
>> So the issue here is that by licensing libsander as LGPL, we violate the
>> terms of PBSA's GPL license.
> I'd like to ask Jason to help us out of this mess, if he is willing.  In the
> statement just above, one could replace "PBSA" with "fftw", and illustrate a
> similar problem.  (In fact, fftw is really at the root of most of our
> problems, since we can modify the PBSA license.)
> High-level view: we could change the licenses of anything we have written.
> But we also need to be able to create create a GPL code that is allowed
> to link to fftw libraries, and at the same time have a sander API and
> libsander that non-GPL codes can link to.  So it seems like "sander" and
> "libsander" have to have different licenses.
> Questions:
> 1.  Is there a technical reason why libpbsa and libfftw3 need to be included
>     into the Makefile target for libsander?  (Stated another way: how hard
>     would it be to eliminate these?)  I think the sander API does not expose
>     either pbsa or rism functionality, yet the symbols for pbsa and fftw are
>     included in libsander, and I'm wondering if that can be changed.
> 2.  Can we separate things in order to be able to make a license
>     distinction: libsander (and its corresponding source code) could be LGPL,
>     whereas the sander (as a whole) would be GPL?  Alternative: go back
>     to the old days, where we had separate sander.RISM (would be GPL) and
>     and sander (would be LGPL) builds.
> We don't necessarily need to get this done for the AmberTools17 release, but
> should be trying in good faith to make any required changes.  Weaning
> ourselves from fftw might be a long-term goal, but would be far from easy.
> Above are just ideas....suggestions are welcome.....dac
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Received on Sat Mar 18 2017 - 13:30:02 PDT
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