[R] Question about the license of an R package

Duncan Murdoch murdoch.duncan at gmail.com
Tue Jun 1 17:46:23 CEST 2010

Mauricio Zambrano wrote:
> Dear R-users,
> I'm developing a package that heavily depends on another package
> released under the GPL-2 license.

Are you including code from that package in yours, or just making use of 
it?  The former requires that you follow all the GPL rules about your 
own.  If you just use their package, then license your package any way 
you like.
> In addition, some few functions depends on other packages released
> under the following licences (as described in the corresponding pages
> of http://cran.r-project.org/web/packages/):
> GPL >=2.
> I want to release my package under a GPL >= 2 license, and after
> reading the section 1.1.1 of the R-exts manual and looking at the
> compatibility matrix found on http://gplv3.fsf.org/dd3-faq,  I'm still
> in doubt if I can do that.
> I would appreciate if you could tell me if can I release my package
> under a GPL >= 2 license considering the aforementioned licenses ?
> Finally, a general question:
> When a package is released under GPL >=2, does it mean that the terms
> of the GPL-3 license apply or not ?

I believe that's an offer to license under whatever version of the GPL 
(from 2 up) that the person using your code chooses.  If GPL-3 offers 
something that GPL-2 doesn't (e.g. compatibility with other GPL-3 code), 
they can use that.  If GPL-3 places restrictions they don't like (e.g. 
incompatibility with GPL-2 code), they can use GPL-2.

Duncan Murdoch

Thanks in advance for any help.
> Mauricio
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