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Minor license text updates for GATK 3.x

Geraldine_VdAuweraGeraldine_VdAuwera Cambridge, MAMember, Administrator, Broadie admin

We've made a few minor updates to the license text as follows:

  • Updated the major version number from GATK2 to GATK3;
  • Updated the Broad address from 7 Cambridge Center to 415 Main Street (simple renaming, no move involved);
  • Added an explicit mention of the Phone Home reporting feature (which you can read more about here);
  • Clarified the terms relative to third-party contributions to protected code (section 2.1 - Grant).

None of these changes should have any effect on anyone's ability to use GATK.


  • TechnicalVaultTechnicalVault Cambridge, UKMember ✭✭✭

    The section 2.1 changes seem to be a bit more broad than you imply, nor is there any clause confining it to "protected code". It grants Broad a license (and more pointedly the ability to sublicense) anything build using any part of GATK as well as requiring them to be provided to Broad "promptly upon their creation". The problem is that whilst I can contribute code freely under mBSD or MIT licenses such a broad back licensing grant technically requires me to get approval from the Director of Operations on a per commit basis. I somewhat doubt I am the only one in this situation, is there any chance you could accept contributions under these licenses instead of such a broad license?

  • Geraldine_VdAuweraGeraldine_VdAuwera Cambridge, MAMember, Administrator, Broadie admin

    Hi Martin,

    To clarify, this license text only applies to the part of the GATK that contains the analysis tools (walkers etc), which we call "protected code", as opposed to the core framework, which we call the "public code", and which is released under the MIT license. That's why there's no clause explicitly defining what the 2.1 section applies to: within the scope of what the document covers, 2.1 applies to everything, because the scope of the document itself is limited to the protected code (hence the name). I realize that might not be obvious, but if you look at the code itself, you'll see that each file has a comment header that specifies which license applies. The header of protected code files contains the license text discussed here, whereas the header of public code contains the text of the MIT license as referenced here by the Open Source Initiative.

    The new section was added specifically to cover code contributions that are being made in the context of some collaborations with third-party companies, e.g. the hardware optimizations with Intel, which affect protected code.

    As far as I know all the contributions made to GATK during my time by individuals such as yourself have been to the public code, so they were all integrated according to the MIT license shown above. I could be wrong of course -- if you have at any point made (or intend to make) contributions to the protected code, then we may need to talk to the lawyers about how to resolve this to mutual satisfaction.

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