[Rd] Licensing Issue with JRI

Simon Urbanek simon.urbanek at r-project.org
Thu Aug 25 17:24:24 CEST 2011

On Aug 19, 2011, at 10:26 PM, Lokkju Brennr wrote:

> Hoping someone can clear up a licencing question...
> My understanding is that R is licensed under the GPL, with some
> headers licensed under the LGPL (per COPYRIGHTS, so that R plugins
> don't have to be GPL - arguably incorrect, but besides the point).
> JRI states that it is licensed under the LGPL - but it links against R
> shared libraries (or so is my understanding - please correct me if I'm
> wrong).
> This seems incompatible, as per
> (http://www.gnu.org/licenses/gpl-faq.html#GPLModuleLicense) if there
> is any GPL code in a compiled assembly, the resulting binary must be
> GPL, and per (http://www.gnu.org/licenses/gpl-faq.html#IfLibraryIsGPL)
> if a library is GPL, then anything that links against it must be GPL.

IANAL, so please consult a lawyer, this doesn't constitute a legal advice, but there is nothing saying that JRI cannot be LGPL since it is not derived from GPL code. It uses a defined API (that is even released as LGPL but that's probably beside the point as you said). Obviously, if you use it with R then the whole will be covered by GPL and LGPL is GPL-compatible [http://www.gnu.org/licenses/license-list.html#GPLCompatibleLicenses ]. FWIW note that rJava - which is the distribution of JRI - is licensed as GPL.


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