Re: [R] How can you buy R?

From: Berwin A Turlach <berwin_at_maths.uwa.edu.au>
Date: Mon 22 May 2006 - 00:22:44 EST

G'day Brian,

>>>>> "BDR" == Prof Brian Ripley <ripley@stats.ox.ac.uk> writes:

    BDR> The issue in the glmmADMB example is not if they were     BDR> required to release it under GPL I should probably bow to your superior command of the English language and trust that you can interpret Spencer's questions much better than I, but I was addressing, amongst other things, the following comment:

    SG> A "boundary" case is provided by the "glmmADMB" package. As I     SG> read the GPL, this package must operate under GPL. which to me seems to ask exactly about this issue.

    BDR> (my reading from the GPL FAQ is that they probably were not,
    BDR> given that communication is between processes and the R code
    BDR> is interpreted).

So, it seems we agree. :) (Though for different reasons)

    BDR> Rather, it is stated to be under GPL Indeed, and I noted so. Furthermore, I thought it was rather pointless to confirm that under the licence of the package as it is stated at the moment they would actually be required to provide the source code of the binaries. My apologies for not doing a thorough discussion of all possible scenarios. I just pointed out that if the developers of this package do not want to provide the source code for these binaries, they should probably state another licence for them in the DESCRIPTION file and, since the binaries are not loaded dynamically, they would not be obliged to release the source code; a statement that you seem to agree to.

    BDR> [...]  As the executables are not for my normal OS and I
    BDR> would like to exercise my freedom to try the GPLed code, I
    BDR> have requested the sources from the package maintainer.
Good luck. :)
    BDR> Once again, the GPL FAQ and its references,
    BDR> http://www.gnu.org/licenses/gpl-faq.html, are a more informed
    BDR> source than mailing lists.  If you think you understand it,
    BDR> try the exam at

    BDR> http://www.gnu.org/cgi-bin/license-quiz.cgi

    BDR> (cheaper than testing in court). Well, if you read this material, you get the opinions of the FSF on these matters, other people might have other opinions/interpretations. If you read the material really careful, you will notice that there is one point, namely what exactly "constitutes combining two parts into one program", for which even the FSF concedes that it "is a legal question, which ultimately judges will decide". And it is exactly this point which often raises discussions about the GPL, e.g. (parts of) the current discussion. Luckily, the GPL is very well written and so far nobody with deep enough pockets was found who really wanted to have a definite answer to this question.

Cheers,

        Berwin



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