[R] running R-code outside of R

Ramon Diaz-Uriarte rdiaz02 at gmail.com
Wed Jun 25 17:54:55 CEST 2008

I am not an expert nor a lawyer but ...

On Wed, Jun 25, 2008 at 5:28 PM, Michael Conklin
<michael.conklin at markettools.com> 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

I think you cannot be sued for the second either. In fact, the status
of the code behind web-based applications was part of the reason for
the creation of the Affero GPL.  Some of the provisions in the Affero
license, I think, were initially supposed to have been included in the
GPL 3, but they finally weren't.

These links might be relevant:


Since R is covered by the GPL, not the Affero license, I think you
cannot be sued. (That said, I personally use the Affero license for
all our web-based stuff).

> assumptions on the first part also incorrect and R can only be used for
> the free betterment of mankind?

I think that cynical remark is totally out of line.


> Mike
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Ramon Diaz-Uriarte
Statistical Computing Team
Structural Biology and Biocomputing Programme
Spanish National Cancer Centre (CNIO)
Phone: +34-91-224-6900 ext. 3019

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