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

From: Duncan Murdoch <>
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 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

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 mailing list PLEASE do read the posting guide and provide commented, minimal, self-contained, reproducible code. Received on Mon 28 Jul 2008 - 19:39:47 GMT

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