[Rd] Licensing Issue with JRI

Lokkju Brennr lokkju at gmail.com
Thu Aug 25 18:40:58 CEST 2011


I wasn't trying to claim that JRI *couldn't* be licensed under LGPL
(though if it sounded that way, I understand - I was a bit unclear),
but rather that it made no sense, as there is no way to use JRI under
the LGPL, since it must always be linked with R to be of any use - and
that linking would cause the entire work to be under GPL.
rJava is a different beast entirely from JRI, though JRI is now
included with it - rJava allows R to call Java code, where as JRI
allows Java to call R.  They are separate code bases, and just happen
to be package together in the rJava release.

It looks like the solution to my conundrum (calling R from a non-GPL
compatible application) can be solved by using Rserve and the socket
API - but I still think the license on JRI is unclear, since it
advertises itself as LGPL, even though there is no way to make use of
it as such.


On Thu, Aug 25, 2011 at 8:24 AM, Simon Urbanek
<simon.urbanek at r-project.org> wrote:
> 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.
> Cheers,
> Simon

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