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Broad Updates GATK Licenses

Edited 2/11/2013: Statement added from Appistry. Change from "Others pointed out..." to "Others wondered..."

January 28, 2013 | The Broad has again updated their GATK licenses. In October, Broad announced that commercial users of the GATK would need commercial licenses from Appistry to use GATK 2.0. The move drew complaints from the community. Last week, the Broad announced a new license and changes to the licensing structure. The new license restores free access to the source code for those in the community performing academic non-commercial research. Commercial, licensed users through Appistry have access to the full GATK with commercial support and may choose to purchase access to the source code.

The new framework drew critiques and kudos on blogs (for starters: Opiniomics and Blasted Bioinformatics) and Twitter. Many complained that Appistry’s prices for commercial users were far too high for small and even medium-sized biotech.

Others wondered if the wording now allows commercial-academic partnerships to access the framework for free, circumventing the commercial license.

Appistry assures Bio-IT World that this is not the case. “Any academic use of GATK to generate revenue, including charging for a genetic service that employs the GATK, requires a license from Appistry,” a spokesperson explains. “This includes academic institutions receiving funds from a commercial entity when the funds are used to provide a service to the commercial entity involving the exchange of experimental results. (Collaborative research with a commercial entity to develop theses, reports, or publications produced by the academic institution would not require a commercial license.)” 

GATK Licensing Framework 

GATK options from the Broad Institute. Figure originally here.   

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