[Rd] non-infectious license for R package?

Michael Sumner mdsumner at gmail.com
Fri Mar 24 22:41:21 CET 2017

Have the lawyers look at Microsoft R, it seems the license is not very
catching ultimately.

Perhaps you could use a similar ruse, or even align to that project instead.

Cheers, Mike

On Sat, Mar 25, 2017, 00:54 Mario Emmenlauer <mario at emmenlauer.de> wrote:

> Dear All,
> I've been following this mailing list for over three years now, but
> its just now that I have realized that R is licensed under GPL! :-)
> I'm not a lawyer and I don't want lawyer advice, but I'd like to get
> your feedback on a license question. My goal is to develop commercial
> software for image analysis of biomedical samples that may be used
> i.e. in academic institutions. Since I've been an academic software
> developer for long, a priority for me is to make the data and tools
> easily accessibly for other developers. I have toyed with the idea to
> make a (free) R package that can very efficiently fetch data from the
> database and push back results for visualization. To clarify: I am
> not using R in my software. I'd rather like the institutions of my
> customers to have open (internal) access to their data.
> Now for the question: To efficiently get the data into R, I assume a
> package (possibly in C or C++) is the most reasonable way? If yes,
> would such a package automatically be infected by the GPL? If the
> package links to (proprietary closed source) libraries to efficiently
> access the data, would the libraries in turn be infected?
> I'm asking this very naiively because I understand statement [1] in
> such a way that it is generally encouraged to make data available in
> R. Obviously open source is the preferred way, but my understanding
> is that also closed source extensions can add value and may be
> welcome.
> I was therefore hoping that somebody has prior experience in this
> regard, or can shed further light on statement [1]. Is the R-C-
> interface infectious per se, even when data flows only into R, not
> vice versa? If its infectious, could just the very core of R be
> licensed additionally under a non-infectious license?
> Furthermore, can I avoid infecting my full software stack, for example
> by making only the package open source under a permissive license? Are
> there any guidelines how to legally bridge between the proprietary and
> the R-world? I guess other people have tried this before, can someone
> share his/her experience?
> [1] https://stat.ethz.ch/pipermail/r-devel/2009-May/053248.html
> All the best,
>     Mario Emmenlauer
> ______________________________________________
> R-devel at r-project.org mailing list
> https://stat.ethz.ch/mailman/listinfo/r-devel
Dr. Michael Sumner
Software and Database Engineer
Australian Antarctic Division
203 Channel Highway
Kingston Tasmania 7050 Australia

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