[Rd] vignette compilation times

Berwin A Turlach berwin at maths.uwa.edu.au
Fri Feb 20 20:07:34 CET 2009

G'day Fritz,

On Fri, 20 Feb 2009 12:46:49 +1100
Friedrich Leisch <Friedrich.Leisch at stat.uni-muenchen.de> wrote:

> It is also unclear to me whether including a PDF without sources in a
> GPLed package isn't a violation of the GPL (I know people who very
> strongly think so). And source according to the GPL means "the
> preferred form of the work for making modifications to it." So for a
> PDF showing R output that would mean the text plus R code plus
> data ... which boils down to XXXweave anyway.

Well, GPL-2 says "This License applies to any program or other work
which contains a notice placed by the copyright holder saying it may be
distributed under the terms of this General Public License".   I am
somehow unable to locate the equivalent statement in GPL-3.  

Thus, under GPL-2, if the source that produces the PDF file does not
contain a statement that it may be distributed under the terms of the
GPL, then, in my understanding, you do not have to distribute the
source.  On occasions I wondered whether stating in the DESCRIPTION
file that your package is GPL-2 extends this license to all other
files and to those in inst/doc in particular.  Or whether one should
better slap a GPL-2 notice (or a GNU Free Documentation License)
explicitly on the documentation.

Actually, the fact that the GNU Free Documentation License exists makes
me wonder whether it is tenable to apply GPL to documentation such as
PDF files.  But the phrase "or other work" in the above cite part
of GPL-2 and the explicit `"The Program" refers to any copyrightable
work' in GPL-3 seem to indicate that it is possible.  Though, I guess
you would still have to state *within* the (source of) vignette that it
is under the GPL.

But then IANAL.



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