Petition to the authors of Phylip

The participants of the Debian Med sprint in Southport (27.01. to 29.01.2012) would like to ask the authors of Phylip to reconsider their licensing conditions. The signers of this petition have a strong interest in including Phylip into the Debian distribution, along with otherwise free tools that inherit portions of the Phylip code (for instance recent version of SeaView). However, this conflicts with the following phrases of the Phylip license:

These phrases are in conflict with items 6., 7. and 9. of the Debian Free Software Guidelines which are widely accepted as Open Source definition because redistribution is restricted to specific cases.

To enable the full integration of Phylip into Debian, as well as Debian derived distributions like Ubuntu and Bio-Linux, we ask the copyright holders to consider a wording that would enable free redistribution. Alternatively you might want to release Phylip under well known free licenses like for instance GPL, Apache, MPL or BSD.

Signing Participants




Andreas Tille


Timothy Booth

UK Natural Environment Research Council, Bio-Linux

Sascha Steinbiss

Center for Bioinformatics, University of Hamburg, Germany

Olivier Sallou

University of Rennes 1, France

If you would like to sign but are to busy registering to this Wiki just send an e-mail to with subject "Petition to free Phylip" and express whether your e-mail address can be put on this site or if it should be obfuscated. I will proxy your signature to this page to help you signing.

Further reading

  1. Debian Free Software Guidelines

  2. The Open Source Definition (Annotated)

  3. FAQ about Debian Free Software Guidelines

  4. Debian popcon usage statistics for phylip package