[AstroPy] POLL: vision for a common Astronomy package

Mark Sienkiewicz sienkiew at stsci.edu
Wed Jul 6 09:58:21 EDT 2011

Prasanth wrote:
> Hello,
>     Are you proposing that I must agree to the SOFA terms
>     of use (which are more restrictive than GPL or BSD licensing) before I
>     can use Astropy? 
> I think that the SOFA license and terms of use are much more liberal 
> than GPL. The only requirement is that the developer retains the 
> copyright notice, and none of the derived components carry the prefix 
> "iau". It can be used for commercial purposes. Also, I couldn't find 
> anything in the SOFA license that prevents a developer from even 
> making a closed source application.

I draw your attention to paragraph 4 of http://www.iausofa.org/tandc.html :

4. In any published work or commercial products which includes results 
achieved by using the SOFA software, you shall acknowledge that the SOFA 
software was used in obtaining those results.

GPL wants to attach conditions to your program; SOFA wants to attach 
conditions to the data that your program processed.  I consider that 
more restrictive.  This is why I suggested that you would want the 
program to report on whether any SOFA routines were used or not -- if 
SOFA routines are used, then you have additional accounting/reporting 


More information about the AstroPy mailing list