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[bioontology-support] Ontoportal licensing confusion

David P Lutz dlutz at
Sun Jun 28 07:41:22 PDT 2020

We're doing an evaluation of ontology and vocabulary management systems as part of a larger project. OntoPortal is (by a large margin) the preferred system. Our intended use doesn't involve public access nor interacting with other Bio/OntoPortals (we're not in the bio-med space) . We have spun up an AWS AMI of the Virtual Appliance (with trial license) and are very excited by its capabilities.
However, the requirement for a license from (a license beyond the open source license of the code itself) has raised some questions and may prevent us from considering OntoPortal. Is the license from strictly a license for the prebuilt Virtual Appliances (VMWare and AWS AMI)? A license to be part of the network of Bio/OntoPortal appliances? The documentation on GitHub hints that building the VA ourselves is difficult/impossible and it wasn't clear whether that would also require an license (since the licensing mechanism is built into the code). (You can imagine a lawyer's reaction to any plan that includes "and we then disable the licensing mechanism"). Beyond the letter of the license, we would also prefer not to violate the open-source spirit of the OntoPortal project.
Any information even of the I'm-not-a-lawyer kind, would be greatly appreciated.
          Dave Lutz

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