Legality Question about R's Open Source GNU GPL License

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Legality Question about R's Open Source GNU GPL License

zerfetzen-2
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.
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Re: Legality Question about R's Open Source GNU GPL License

Jim Porzak
All this is included in the distribution in "doc" folder:

1. see FAQ: "2.11 Can I use R for commercial purposes?"
2. Specific GNU License is in file COPYING


HTH,
Jim Porzak
Responsys, Inc.
San Francisco, CA
http://www.linkedin.com/in/jimporzak



On Mon, Jul 28, 2008 at 11:32 AM, zerfetzen <[hidden email]> 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.
> --
> View this message in context: http://www.nabble.com/Legality-Question-about-R%27s-Open-Source-GNU-GPL-License-tp18696623p18696623.html
> Sent from the R help mailing list archive at Nabble.com.
>
> ______________________________________________
> [hidden email] mailing list
> https://stat.ethz.ch/mailman/listinfo/r-help
> PLEASE do read the posting guide http://www.R-project.org/posting-guide.html
> and provide commented, minimal, self-contained, reproducible code.
>

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

Patrick Burns
In reply to this post by zerfetzen-2
I'll leave it to someone else to answer the question
that you asked, but I don't mind answering the
question that you didn't ask:

Are there alternatives ways of getting R into the
company?

Yes.  There are now some commercially supported
versions of R -- see 'What is R-plus?' in the R-FAQ
for a list.  I'm not sure that one of these will work in
your case, in my experience it is generally IT departments
rather than legal departments that baulk at R.  It is
also my experience that, as of late, IT departments have
tended to realize that something free and massively
powerful might not be such a bad thing after all.

Patrick Burns
[hidden email]
+44 (0)20 8525 0696
http://www.burns-stat.com
(home of S Poetry and "A Guide for the Unwilling S User")

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.
>

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

Duncan Murdoch
In reply to this post by zerfetzen-2
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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Re: Legality Question about R's Open Source GNU GPL License

Roland Rau-3
In reply to this post by Jim Porzak
Jim Porzak wrote:
> All this is included in the distribution in "doc" folder:
>
> 1. see FAQ: "2.11 Can I use R for commercial purposes?"
> 2. Specific GNU License is in file COPYING
>
Furthermore,

the start-up message of R can (hopefully) help you in your case.
It mentions to type in
license()
or
licence()
to read more about the license.

In addition, maybe you can refer your legal department to the site:
http://www.r-project.org/foundation/memberlist.html
Of course, it is no proof of anything (and I have to mention that I did
not study law myself), but it might give your legal department some
impression that many companies are using the software. Check the list of
Benefactors, Supporters and Donors: maybe there is a competitor of your
company? Maybe they could gain some advantage by using R? ;-)

Best,
Roland








>
> HTH,
> Jim Porzak
> Responsys, Inc.
> San Francisco, CA
> http://www.linkedin.com/in/jimporzak
>
>
>
> On Mon, Jul 28, 2008 at 11:32 AM, zerfetzen <[hidden email]> 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.
>> --
>> View this message in context: http://www.nabble.com/Legality-Question-about-R%27s-Open-Source-GNU-GPL-License-tp18696623p18696623.html
>> Sent from the R help mailing list archive at Nabble.com.
>>
>> ______________________________________________
>> [hidden email] mailing list
>> https://stat.ethz.ch/mailman/listinfo/r-help
>> PLEASE do read the posting guide http://www.R-project.org/posting-guide.html
>> and provide commented, minimal, self-contained, reproducible code.
>>
>
> ______________________________________________
> [hidden email] mailing list
> https://stat.ethz.ch/mailman/listinfo/r-help
> PLEASE do read the posting guide http://www.R-project.org/posting-guide.html
> and provide commented, minimal, self-contained, reproducible code.
>

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

Marc Schwartz
In reply to this post by zerfetzen-2
on 07/28/2008 01:32 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.

The license is available online here:

http://www.r-project.org/COPYING

and there is a file called 'COPYING' in your R installation.

Note that if you are simply using R and are not planning to distribute
it or associated applications/packages, the GPL does not really come
into play.

The sticky issue with the GPL comes into play when you are going to
distribute R and/or are going to link programs to R (which generally
means compiled programs) and are then going to distribute those. In
these situations, the GPL would require you to make the source code for
R AND YOUR PROGRAMS available to the end-users. This might not be an
issue if you are only going to do this within your company, such that
any proprietary code you might create would not go outside the company.

More information is available here in FAQ form:

http://cran.r-project.org/doc/FAQ/R-FAQ.html#Can-I-use-R-for-commercial-purposes_003f

and here:

http://www.fsf.org/licensing/licenses/gpl-faq.html

BTW, does anyone in your company use Linux, Apache, Subversion/CVS,
Firefox/Thunderbird or other open source applications? Potential for
double standard?

You might also want to show them this page:

http://www.r-project.org/foundation/memberlist.html

to give them an idea of who is using R.

HTH,

Marc Schwartz
<Insert favorite lawyer joke here...>

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

zerfetzen-2
In reply to this post by zerfetzen-2
Thanks to each of you for your excellent input.  I have copied the file and will read it tonight.  I haven't run into any heat from IT, but if I do, it will be in the near future.  The exact legal issue was touched upon.  There was a concern that anything associated with R (my code, etc.) would have to be made public, legally, if demanded.  I thought that was absurd.  Before I came to this company a few years ago, I interviewed at Amazon.com in Seattle, and in that interview, it was explained to me that their entire computer network, at least as far as I would be concerned, was all Linux.  Well, that's open source as well.  But of course there could be fine legal differences.

Gnu.org said the same thing, under its FAQ, that there is no legal risk to use it at work, in the sense that you'd have to divulge anything.  It even said you could modify source code and use it at work.  No problems.  But, like was said, there could be a problem if you distribute it.

But I'm just a simple user, looking for a much better range of statistical, mathematical, and optimization methods than SAS STAT and SAS ETS offer.  For me, I will slowly try to convert my SAS code at work to R script.  I've seen the light.  Cheers and thanks for the good feedback.
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[-->OT] was: Re: Legality Question about R's Open Source GNU GPL License

Ted.Harding-2
This all got very serious, though I've read it with interest.

Zerfetzen's original post reminded me of something which happened
around the time "Y2K" was becoming an issue, bringing up a similar
issue from 2000 years earlier. Admin etc. does not change over time ...

I've copied the email exchange below.

Strictly, this is material for that "R Off Topic" (or ROT) list
that was never set up, though discussed. But since that doesn't
exist, here goes.

Ted.

#################################################################

Date: Fri, 5 Feb 1999
From: Mark.O'[hidden email]

I thought some of you might be interested in this translation of a
recently discovered piece of papyrus....

Dear Cassius,
Are you still working on the Y0K problem? This change from BC to AD
is giving us a lot of headaches and we haven't much time left.
I don't know how people will cope with working the wrong way around.
Having been working happily downwards forever, now we have to start
thinking upwards. You would think that someone would have thought
of it earlier and not left it to us to sort it all out at the last
minute.

I spoke to Caesar the other evening. He was livid that Julius hadn't
done something about it when he was sorting out the calendar.
He said he could see why Brutus turned nasty. We called in Consultus
but he simply said that continuing downwards, using minus BC, won't
work and as usual charged a fortune for doing nothing useful. Surely,
we will not have to throw out all our hardware and start again?
Macrohardius will make another fortune out of this I suppose.

The money lenders are paranoid, of course! They have been told that
all usury rates will invert and they will have to pay their clients
to take out loans. It's an ill wind...

As for myself, I just can't see the sand in an hourglass flowing
upwards. We have heard that there are three wise men in the East
working on the problem but unfortunately they won't arrive until
it's all over.

I have also heard that there are plans to stable all horses at the
turn of the year as there are fears that they will stop and try and
run backwards, causing immense damage to chariots and possible loss
of life. Some say the world will cease to exist at the moment of
transition. Anyway, we are still continuing to work on the blasted
Y0K problem. I will send a parchment to you if anything further
develops.

If you have any ideas let me know.

Plutonius

--
=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-

Dear Marcus,

Your scroll arrived. Interesting story you scribed there.

Here we are beginning to believe that a lot of these stories are
put about by soothsayers, who are doing multo bene, gratias, out
of the gullible masses who are queuing up to learn what disasters
to look out for; not forgetting their little friends who turn up
later at your atrium with "Y0K bugging you, gub? No problem, we'll
rip it all out and see you straight. New double sealing on your
clepsidrae, no more trouble with time leaks, guaranteed to the end
of time. Centi libri up front of course, got to buy the materials
before we can start".

Mind you, we're pretty sure there's something in all this Cassandran
hypo. I read that there's a lot of folks around been installing soft
wares from some joker calling himself Microsophist ("ignoramus", it
should mean, though he seems pretty smart in his way, but most of
our plebs wouldn't know what it stands for; they just think it sounds
cute and cuddly). Some Greek, apparently (Geek? There's a stain on the
parchment here, we're always having trouble with trashed flies from
that quarter).

Anyway, with his stuff Y0K has nothing to do with it. Time leaks out
anyway and just stops, it'd have been the same back in 500. I reckon
this Y0K scare is just a cover-up so he can say it's all happening
because real time is running out, the only way to keep going when
the clepsidra falls over is to install a new and bigger one which is
supposed to update your time but actually doesn't work any better.

Meanwhile, there's some Egyptian invention new on the scene, Nilux
it's called. Apparently it won't even notice when Y0K happens, it'll
just keep going for ever. Only problem is, you can't point to where
it comes from. You just go round asking until you find someone who'll
make you one and give it to you. All the tabularii in togas are
throwing up their hands and asking "quem in jus vocabimus?" since
they don't really care if it works so long as they can get their
money back, only there's no money here to get back, is there?

Nescio, Marco, quo advenit mundus? One thing's sure, it won't be the
same again.

Borealis.

--------------------------------------------------------------------
E-Mail: (Ted Harding) <[hidden email]>
Date: 05-Feb-99                                       Time: 18:08:33
------------------------------ XFMail ------------------------------


--------------------------------------------------------------------
E-Mail: (Ted Harding) <[hidden email]>
Fax-to-email: +44 (0)870 094 0861
Date: 28-Jul-08                                       Time: 22:13:57
------------------------------ XFMail ------------------------------

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

David Henderson-5
In reply to this post by zerfetzen-2
Hi All:

I know this has been discussed at length already, but 1) I get R-Help  
in digest and didn't see this until 3am Pacific time this morning, and  
2) We, REvolution, have been discussing this as of late.  I thought I  
would pass on some of the knowledge we have recently obtained vis a  
vis the GPL and R.

First, I would like to say that  you have already received some great  
advice and some good pointers to information about R and its use of  
the GPL.  I'm only hoping to augment that information.  Plus, I'm not  
a lawyer, but I have been visiting with lawyers a lot lately and this  
information comes from my interpretation of what they have told me  
about the GPL, specifically with respect to R.

With respect to your specific question, the GPL license in R would  
only have bearing on your code should you decide to distribute it and  
only when you distribute it and then only if you linked some compiled  
code to it (think C/C++/FORTRAN).  So, if you are only distributing  
the compiled code within your corporation, you only have to provide  
the source for your code to your own colleagues as the GPL states that  
the code must be available upon request and only your colleagues  
should know about the code's existence to request it.  If you are only  
creating script, then the GPL license provided in R provides an  
exception as discussed below.  Note that installing R on your system  
does not GPL license all code on your system.

The topic of Linux being GPL is not really relevant.  Generally,  
software libraries in Linux are provided with a LGPL license to avoid  
the GPL problem you describe.  Also, there are exceptions in the GPL  
for Linux device drivers to prevent them from infecting code in  
Linux.  So, using Linux is a different discussion than using R.

A better analogy for using R in corporate environments than something  
like apache is the BASH shell. BASH is GPL, but your BASH script is  
not GPL as there is an exception in the standard GPL for interpreted  
languages.

With respect to commercial versions of R, these R distributions will  
not have different licenses than the GPL already in R.  Unless all of  
R Core and other copyright holders to the R source provide an  
exception to the GPL license in R, any commercial distribution of R  
will also have the same GPL license.  It is doubtful that an exception  
will ever be granted for the R source code itself.  What these  
commercial distributions do provide is support and services on top of  
open source R and in our case replacement of the BLAS routines with  
optimized ones.

If your legal department is still concerned, have them look at the  
license in Java.  It most likely is GPL (unless you have a special  
commercial version of Java installed) and thus makes any Java program  
you create subject to the GPL in Java due to the JIT compiler used in  
Java.  If your legal department does not have a problem with Java,  
then they should not have a problem with R.

And again, I am not a lawyer and you are receiving third hand  
information (some lawyers to me, and from me to you).

By the way, I enjoyed the y0k discussion...

Thanks!!

Dave H

On Jul 29, 2008, at 3:00 AM, [hidden email] wrote:

> From: zerfetzen <[hidden email]>
> Date: July 28, 2008 11:32:04 AM PDT
> To: [hidden email]
> Subject: [R] Legality Question about R's Open Source GNU GPL License
>
>
>
> 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.
> --
> View this message in context: http://www.nabble.com/Legality-Question-about-R%27s-Open-Source-GNU-GPL-License-tp18696623p18696623.html
> Sent from the R help mailing list archive at Nabble.com.

--
David Henderson, Ph.D.
Director of Community
REvolution Computing
1100 Dexter Avenue North, Suite 250
206-577-4778 x3203
[hidden email]
http://www.revolution-computing.com

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

Gad Abraham-5
> If your legal department is still concerned, have them look at the
> license in Java.  It most likely is GPL (unless you have a special
> commercial version of Java installed) and thus makes any Java program
> you create subject to the GPL in Java due to the JIT compiler used in
> Java.  If your legal department does not have a problem with Java, then
> they should not have a problem with R.

This is conflating two issues, the license of the compiler/interpreter,
and the license of the code you wrote in that language.

 From http://gplv3.fsf.org/wiki/index.php/FAQ_Update:

``Can I use GPL-covered editors such as GNU Emacs to develop non-free
programs? Can I use GPL-covered tools such as GCC to compile them?

Yes, because the copyright on the editors and tools does not cover the
code you write. Using them does not place any restrictions, legally, on
the license you use for your code.

Some programs copy parts of themselves into the output for technical
reasons--for example, Bison copies a standard parser program into its
output file. In such cases, the copied text in the output is covered by
the same license that covers it in the source code. Meanwhile, the part
of the output which is derived from the program's input inherits the
copyright status of the input.

As it happens, Bison can also be used to develop non-free programs. This
is because we decided to explicitly permit the use of the Bison standard
parser program in Bison output files without restriction. We made the
decision because there were other tools comparable to Bison which
already permitted use for non-free programs.''


--
Gad Abraham
Dept. CSSE and NICTA
The University of Melbourne
Parkville 3010, Victoria, Australia
email: [hidden email]
web: http://www.csse.unimelb.edu.au/~gabraham

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

Gad Abraham-5
Gad Abraham wrote:

>> If your legal department is still concerned, have them look at the
>> license in Java.  It most likely is GPL (unless you have a special
>> commercial version of Java installed) and thus makes any Java program
>> you create subject to the GPL in Java due to the JIT compiler used in
>> Java.  If your legal department does not have a problem with Java,
>> then they should not have a problem with R.
>
> This is conflating two issues, the license of the compiler/interpreter,
> and the license of the code you wrote in that language.
>
>  From http://gplv3.fsf.org/wiki/index.php/FAQ_Update:
>
> ``Can I use GPL-covered editors such as GNU Emacs to develop non-free
> programs? Can I use GPL-covered tools such as GCC to compile them?
>
> Yes, because the copyright on the editors and tools does not cover the
> code you write. Using them does not place any restrictions, legally, on
> the license you use for your code.
>
> Some programs copy parts of themselves into the output for technical
> reasons--for example, Bison copies a standard parser program into its
> output file. In such cases, the copied text in the output is covered by
> the same license that covers it in the source code. Meanwhile, the part
> of the output which is derived from the program's input inherits the
> copyright status of the input.
>
> As it happens, Bison can also be used to develop non-free programs. This
> is because we decided to explicitly permit the use of the Bison standard
> parser program in Bison output files without restriction. We made the
> decision because there were other tools comparable to Bison which
> already permitted use for non-free programs.''
>

Replying to myself, Java is a particularly bad example here, because
under the standard GPL v2, inheritance is considered derivative work, so
every time you instantiate any object (thus inheriting from Object) and
the Object class is GPL, then your code is GPL. For v2, there is the
version of the GPL with the Classpath exception
http://www.gnu.org/software/classpath/faq/faq.html#faq2_1, that
specifically allows for that.

This may have implications for object oriented R, as if I choose to
extend the Matrix class, for example, then it's considered derivative
work and hence under the GPL.


--
Gad Abraham
Dept. CSSE and NICTA
The University of Melbourne
Parkville 3010, Victoria, Australia
email: [hidden email]
web: http://www.csse.unimelb.edu.au/~gabraham

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

David Henderson-5
In reply to this post by Gad Abraham-5
Hello Gad:

On Jul 29, 2008, at 4:41 PM, Gad Abraham wrote:

>> If your legal department is still concerned, have them look at the  
>> license in Java.  It most likely is GPL (unless you have a special  
>> commercial version of Java installed) and thus makes any Java  
>> program you create subject to the GPL in Java due to the JIT  
>> compiler used in Java.  If your legal department does not have a  
>> problem with Java, then they should not have a problem with R.
>
> This is conflating two issues, the license of the compiler/
> interpreter, and the license of the code you wrote in that language.
>
> From http://gplv3.fsf.org/wiki/index.php/FAQ_Update:
>
> ``Can I use GPL-covered editors such as GNU Emacs to develop non-
> free programs? Can I use GPL-covered tools such as GCC to compile  
> them?
>
> Yes, because the copyright on the editors and tools does not cover  
> the code you write. Using them does not place any restrictions,  
> legally, on the license you use for your code.
>
> Some programs copy parts of themselves into the output for technical  
> reasons--for example, Bison copies a standard parser program into  
> its output file. In such cases, the copied text in the output is  
> covered by the same license that covers it in the source code.  
> Meanwhile, the part of the output which is derived from the  
> program's input inherits the copyright status of the input.
>
> As it happens, Bison can also be used to develop non-free programs.  
> This is because we decided to explicitly permit the use of the Bison  
> standard parser program in Bison output files without restriction.  
> We made the decision because there were other tools comparable to  
> Bison which already permitted use for non-free programs.''


The issue I was addressing here was actually that when you write a  
Java program, it is compiled at runtime and then linked to the other  
com libraries that come with the installation that are under the GPL  
license.  It is this linking that happens at compile time that invokes  
the Java GPL over the license you apply to your code.

We should probably move this off-line if we need to discuss this  
further and maybe update the list once we've reached a conclusion (if  
we do), rather than continue a long off-topic, but relevant, discussion.

Thanks!!

Dave H
--
David Henderson, Ph.D.
1535 NW 51st ST
Seatle, WA 98107
206-794-8552
[hidden email]

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

Charles Annis, P.E.
Gad and David - would you be so kind as to include me in any off-line
discussion of this vital topic of R and GPL?

Many thanks.

Charles Annis, P.E.

[hidden email]
phone: 561-352-9699
eFax:  614-455-3265
http://www.StatisticalEngineering.com
 

-----Original Message-----
From: [hidden email] [mailto:[hidden email]] On
Behalf Of David Henderson
Sent: Tuesday, July 29, 2008 8:04 PM
To: Gad Abraham
Cc: [hidden email]; zerfetzen
Subject: Re: [R] Legality Question about R's Open Source GNU GPL License

Hello Gad:

On Jul 29, 2008, at 4:41 PM, Gad Abraham wrote:

>> If your legal department is still concerned, have them look at the  
>> license in Java.  It most likely is GPL (unless you have a special  
>> commercial version of Java installed) and thus makes any Java  
>> program you create subject to the GPL in Java due to the JIT  
>> compiler used in Java.  If your legal department does not have a  
>> problem with Java, then they should not have a problem with R.
>
> This is conflating two issues, the license of the compiler/
> interpreter, and the license of the code you wrote in that language.
>
> From http://gplv3.fsf.org/wiki/index.php/FAQ_Update:
>
> ``Can I use GPL-covered editors such as GNU Emacs to develop non-
> free programs? Can I use GPL-covered tools such as GCC to compile  
> them?
>
> Yes, because the copyright on the editors and tools does not cover  
> the code you write. Using them does not place any restrictions,  
> legally, on the license you use for your code.
>
> Some programs copy parts of themselves into the output for technical  
> reasons--for example, Bison copies a standard parser program into  
> its output file. In such cases, the copied text in the output is  
> covered by the same license that covers it in the source code.  
> Meanwhile, the part of the output which is derived from the  
> program's input inherits the copyright status of the input.
>
> As it happens, Bison can also be used to develop non-free programs.  
> This is because we decided to explicitly permit the use of the Bison  
> standard parser program in Bison output files without restriction.  
> We made the decision because there were other tools comparable to  
> Bison which already permitted use for non-free programs.''


The issue I was addressing here was actually that when you write a  
Java program, it is compiled at runtime and then linked to the other  
com libraries that come with the installation that are under the GPL  
license.  It is this linking that happens at compile time that invokes  
the Java GPL over the license you apply to your code.

We should probably move this off-line if we need to discuss this  
further and maybe update the list once we've reached a conclusion (if  
we do), rather than continue a long off-topic, but relevant, discussion.

Thanks!!

Dave H
--
David Henderson, Ph.D.
1535 NW 51st ST
Seatle, WA 98107
206-794-8552
[hidden email]

______________________________________________
[hidden email] mailing list
https://stat.ethz.ch/mailman/listinfo/r-help
PLEASE do read the posting guide http://www.R-project.org/posting-guide.html
and provide commented, minimal, self-contained, reproducible code.

______________________________________________
[hidden email] mailing list
https://stat.ethz.ch/mailman/listinfo/r-help
PLEASE do read the posting guide http://www.R-project.org/posting-guide.html
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Re: Legality Question about R's Open Source GNU GPL License

zerfetzen-2
In reply to this post by zerfetzen-2
I just wanted to let everyone know the good news, that I was approved to use R at work by legal and compliance.  Now to begin learning here.

Speaking of, is there anyone who is an expert at R and would be willing to have our company pay them as a consultant to come to my place of work (in Connecticut) and tutor me (and possibly others), to pass off some R wisdom?

I have learned a lot of basics from free online R manuals, but would like human instruction as well, if possible.  There are no specific things I'm looking to learn at the moment, other than to gain a broader, basic working knowledge with R.

I work in a marketing department for an insurance company, and even though I don't have specific questions on methods in R, here is a little background.  We use multinomial logit (and have attempted some discrete choice methods) regarding mailing campaigns.  There is also a departmental push toward optimization methods, segmentation, as well as refining the forecasting of call volume (those who respond to mailings).  Of course, there are many more statistical things we do, but this should give an idea.

If anyone is interested, please call 860-276-2731.  Thanks.

PS
I apologize if I shouldn't have posted that here for any reason.