Re: [Rd] Rcpp: Clarifying the meaning of GPL?

From: Stavros Macrakis <>
Date: Wed, 23 Dec 2009 10:20:31 -0500

On Wed, Dec 23, 2009 at 12:27 AM, Dominick Samperi <>wrote:

> Stavros Macrakis wrote:
>> That said, as a matter of courtesy and clarity, I'd think that a fork
>> should use a different name.
> Yes, the point is that this is not a legal or technical matter, it is a
> matter of professional courtesy.
> I take this as one vote for the name change.

The naming and maintenance history of this package (or these packages: Rcpp and RcppTemplate) appears to be complicated, and I have no interest in becoming an arbitrator or voter in what is a dispute between you and other implementers.

> On US copyright law, this should not be confused with "copyright" notices
> that appear in GPL
> source code. Remember that these are really "copyleft" notices, and
> copyleft is designed to
> protect the rights of copiers, not original contributors.

The copyright notice is a correct and legally valid copyright notice. The GPL (copyleft) is the copyright *license*. Like all licenses, it defines the relationship between authors and copiers. The GPL explicitly avoided the so-called "obnoxious BSD advertising clause", which has requirements about giving credit.


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