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Tuesday, April 01, 2014

Permission to put Jmol in a paper's Supporting information

A random email correspondence (thanks to the author for asking, giving me the chance to blog the answer!):
    I want readers of a paper I am writing to see several molecules in Jmol. I could instruct them to download Jmol but this cumbersome as Jmol is 54 Mb. Apparently all that is needed is Jmol.jar, which is only 4.5 Mb. Can I get permission to add a zip file to my paper that contains jmol.jar plus a number of .pdb files?
My answer:
    Dear Jmol user,

    the Open Source license of Jmol defines the permission you ask for.

    In an ordinary world, you would have to ask *all* authors, but one of the virtues of an Open Source license is that you do not need to ask such permission, because the license explicitly provides you with the permission to redistribute the software.

    I cannot make a claim about the PDB files, of which I do not know the source.

    Hoping to have informed you sufficiently,

    with kind regards,