[R] running R-code outside of R

Gabor Csardi csardi at rmki.kfki.hu
Wed Jun 25 17:52:58 CEST 2008

Some clarifications. 

R's license (GPL v2) is not about money,
you can charge anyone as much as you wish.

If you create an R program (and don't modify R itself), then 
you can distribute that program according to any license you wish.

If you modify R itself _and_ distribute the modified version,
then you have to give the source code of the modified version, along with 
the distributed binaries. Again, this is not about money, you _must_ 
publish the sources, even if your new version is for free.

If you create a website and the user uses R and your code 
through that site only, then you don't have to give the source code 
to anyone. Basically, you have no obligations in this case.
Spencer is right that this might be against the 
principles of the license, but legally it is fine.
It might change if R will ever use GPL version 3.


On Wed, Jun 25, 2008 at 10:28:09AM -0500, Michael Conklin wrote:
> Spencer Graves wrote:
> >      If you want to hide the fact that you are using R -- especially
> if >you charge people for your software that uses R clandestinely --
> that's a >violation of the license (GPL).  I doubt if anyone associated
> with R would >bother with a lawsuit, but a competitor who offers related
> software might. >
> >
> >      Best Wishes,
> >      Spencer
> Do I understand the implication of the license correctly (forgive my
> ignorance here).  
> If I analyze a client's data using an R script I created then I can
> charge the client a $20,000 consulting fee, but, if I let the client
> push the button to execute the R script and charge him 10 cents for the
> privilege then I can be sued for violating the GPL?  Or are my
> assumptions on the first part also incorrect and R can only be used for
> the free betterment of mankind?
> Mike
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Csardi Gabor <csardi at rmki.kfki.hu>    UNIL DGM

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