Posts by loaf_of_bread

1) Questions and Answers : Wish list : Questions about the license and the project (Message 92073)
Posted 18 Mar 2020 by loaf_of_bread
I can answer part of your question. Universities retain ownership of their intellectual property so that they can bring in enough revenue to continue the research they are doing.

I can understand universities need money to operate, but then it should be explicitly stated that the project is not entirely "not for profit".
This case is also special because people donate their computing power to the project, hoping their contributions will help making discoveries everyone will benefit from.
After reading the license I'm not sure if this is true anymore. Maybe if people knew they're contributing to someones proprietary code, they wouldn't do it at all.
I actually saw people not wanting to use your software because of that and I'm myself considering whether it's worth it.
Since the code is proprietary, people can't be sure what exactly they're running - it could be a structure for life-saving protein, a bitcoin miner or a structure of a molecule that could be used as a chemical weapon, since I saw some parts of the project are founded by DARPA. They call your project a botnet.
How can I trust you my computing power is used for a good purpose? Is there a database, where I can check effects of those computations?
What exactly is the "data" mentioned by the license? If by data you mean everything that is send from my computer to your servers, then I can't be sure anything becomes public.
If they open-sourced everything, how would they bring in money to continue moving ahead?

There are companies and scientific projects living only from creating libre tools that can be trusted, providing support and customizing them, see examples:
Even CERN decided to drop proprietary software, because it is more expensive to maintain and it can't be trusted (
There's enough money in the world. By making the project open, you could get more contributors, donors, companies, specialists and even governments helping like with the EU Horizon Project.
Everyone benefits as far as the goal of Rosetta@home is making science and improving the world.

And the business model where developers get paid not for the actual programming, but for restricting freedom of people who donate their computing power is kinda lame and unethical.
Make the project actually not for profit and free for everyone, or buy your own cluster to power your proprietary computations yourself.
2) Questions and Answers : Wish list : Questions about the license and the project (Message 92040)
Posted 18 Mar 2020 by loaf_of_bread

i couldn't really find a good place to ask some questions about the project, hope this is a good place.
There are a few unclear things about Rosetta@home - on the website you say the project is "Rosetta@home is not for profit",
but when I checked the license, I found it confusing that "You may not use the data received or obtained by Rosetta in any way for any purpose" and "Distribution of Rosetta is prohibited". What is the reason for such restrictions in a project that's not for profit? If I can't use the data processed on my machine with my computing power, then who can?
Are the effects of my volunteering free for everyone to use, or are they someones property?
Is there a source code for computations that you do on my computer? I know BOINC is under the LGPL, but why is the rosetta@home code restricted by nonfree EULA?
If the project is really not for profit, why not release the source code for community to improve and learn from?
I also don't know how related are those things with Rosetta@home, but Foldit and Rosetta commons require having paid license.
If work I do on my computer is used to improve those commercial products, then your project is for profit.

Is the website unclear on purpose?

©2023 University of Washington