Should DeepChem be Apache 2.0 Licensed?

One question I’ve been thinking about is whether we should consider moving DeepChem to an Apache 2.0 license instead of an MIT license. The permissions and use are similar for commercial users, but with an important shift that contributors provide an explicit grant of patent rights. As DeepChem is being used for larger commercial endeavors, I think we’ll face more patent issues and I’m concerned that without an explicit patent carve-out we could face issues in the future.

Raising this issue to start a discussion. @peastman I’d love your opinion here in particular since you have a lot of experience with open source issues :slight_smile:

I don’t have strong opinions on it. Both licenses are fine as far as I’m concerned. In principle a patent grant could be useful. But if you ever face a patent challenge, it probably won’t be from a DeepChem contributor.

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Good point! Tbh, I’m not really concerned about contributors themselves as about their employers or future acquirers. Say for example contributor X works at company Y and then leaves. Company Y is acquired by a private equity fund which is determined to juice profits and decides to go after potential patent infringments. In a different context, Travis-CI was acquired by a private equity firm and shut down all their open source support for short-term profit maximization shortly after. I haven’t seen an open source patent infringement suit, but it’s on my nightmare list for DeepChem given how IP sensitive biotech can be