SIMONA Source Code released

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Thomas Koch
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Message 7247 - Posted: 6 Nov 2012, 10:02:46 UTC
Last modified: 6 Nov 2012, 10:02:57 UTC

The source code of the SIMONA framework has been released and is available for download now. SIMONA is a shortcut for "Simulation of Molecular and Nanoscale systems", and can be considered as the core of the POEM@HOME software.
The code can be downloaded freely for non-commercial use here http://www.int.kit.edu/nanosim/simona.php.

Der Quellcode für das SIMONA Framework wurde veröffentlicht und kann jetzt heruntergeladen werden. SIMONA steht für "Simulation of Molecular and Nanoscale systems" und kann als das Kernstück der POEM@HOME Software gesehen werden.
Der Code ist für den nicht kommerziellen Gebrauch kostenlos verfügbar unter http://www.int.kit.edu/nanosim/simona.php.
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hangya2

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Message 7249 - Posted: 6 Nov 2012, 11:55:18 UTC
Last modified: 6 Nov 2012, 12:13:47 UTC

under the paragraph:MODIFICATIONS AND DERIVATIVE WORKS.
You may modify the software, and use it to create derivative works, for your internal use at the site covered by this license. You may not distribute such modified or derivative software to others outside of your site without written permission. You may distribute the modifications themselves (e.g. as "patches") under terms of your choice. We encourage users to contribute modifications back into the Software, but you are under no obligation to do so.

but later, under the paragraph:
You shall not use the Software to write other software that duplicates the functionality of the Software.


Is it me being paranoid, or does this give a contributor, say, other university, a bit of a problem later, if he/she/it ever writes a simulation tool for this branch of chemistry?

Since a simulation tool mostly implements "textbook maths", and the formulas themselves are not copywritable, it seems difficult to avoid duplicate the functionality of the software, once the license has been accepted... Unless, of course, there is novel math here that will never be published by this university. But, then again, others might find and publish the same mathematical results in algebraic form. This leeds me to my main question:

OWNERSHIP.
This ownership is protected by the copyright laws of the Federal Republic of Germany and by international treaty provisions. Upon expiration or termination of this Agreement, you shall promptly return all copies of the Software and accompanying written materials to the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology.


What has been seen, can not be unseen :).
What does expiration/termination mean for a contributors further (independent) work?

EDIT: the more I think about it, the more bizzare it sounds... What does, actually, duplicates the functionality mean in context of a software simulating some aspect of nature, developed with the knowledge given by public education?
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Thomas Koch
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Message 7250 - Posted: 6 Nov 2012, 13:00:49 UTC

You have just figured out one of the main problems of software patents ;)

In fact we were trying to release SIMONA under an open source license, but this "academic/non-profit license" was the best thing we could agree on with our legal department.

In general this shall ensure that our code is not copy- and pasted for commercial work, but you are right, the section
You shall not use the Software to write other software that duplicates the functionality of the Software.

sounds ambiguous.

I'll send that to the person in charge.
Thanks for the clue.
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Thomas Koch
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Message 7251 - Posted: 6 Nov 2012, 13:21:49 UTC

I've just got this explanation.

If you have an algorithm, like Quicksort or like Metropolis Monte-Carlo and you take the wikipedia page and reimplement the algorithm and you used our software before, that is totally ok.
If you print out our source code and implement your version, while reading our code: that's the only case our license prohibits. Well now you say: Ok, but if I download your software and then I implement the same algorithm for Monte Carlo by chance, then we can say: YOU COPIED!
The burden of proof is on our side in this case, however and it's impossible to prove that you copied something as simple as a MC algorithm (simply because we could have also used wikipedia and therefore the same source to implement the exact same algorithm).
Again the only possibility to prove this is for example similar comments in the code or similar logging at the same positions in the code.

So to sum it up:
You shall not use the Software to write other software that duplicates the functionality of the Software.
You can very very well duplicate the functionality of our software after using it.
This sentence does not mean:
You shall not use the Software AND! write other software that duplicates the functionality of the Software.
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