Re: [R] Legality Question about R's Open Source GNU GPL License

From: Duncan Murdoch <murdoch_at_stats.uwo.ca>
Date: Mon, 28 Jul 2008 15:29:27 -0400

On 7/28/2008 2:32 PM, zerfetzen wrote:
> Hi,
> I use R at home, and am interested in using it at my work company (which is
> in the Fortune 100). I began the request, and our legal team has given some
> gruff about the open source license. Not boring you with the details here,
> but I used some info on gnu.org as a rebuttal, and someone at the company
> replied that the generalities of GNU GPL may differ from R's specific GNU
> GPL license, and that I should refer specifically to it, and it should be on
> the CRAN website.
>
> I may be blind, but haven't seen such a document. Does one exist, and how
> may I obtain it? I believe they are wrong. Our legal team is notorious for
> being overly conservative, and I'm personally betting they think I won't
> look into it, and then they won't have to deal with it. But I will, and I
> want to use R. Thanks.
>
> PS
> Sorry if the document was posted and obvious, and I simply couldn't find it.
> Thanks.

It is distributed with R, in the file COPYING. If you haven't installed R yet, you can get just that one file from

https://svn.r-project.org/R/trunk/COPYING

That is the current development version of R, but that particular file hasn't changed since January 2006, and even then it was only a trivial change to the address of the FSF. The substance of the file hasn't changed since 1997, when our version tracking began.

Duncan Murdoch



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