[R] CRAN and Github: Licensing Issues

Richard Barnes rbarnes at umn.edu
Fri Apr 21 21:41:25 CEST 2017

I have an R package who's code I'd like to keep on Github.

In accordance with R's requirements (see here for a note about template
licenses), I have in my DESCRIPTION file the line:
> License: MIT + file LICENCE
And my LICENCE file contains the MIT template, as required:
> YEAR: 2017
Github used to figure out licensing only by looking at the LICENSE file,
which allowed me to keep the MIT text in LICENSE so that Github would
detect it and the CRAN template in LICENCE so that CRAN would detect it.

But now, a darkness has fallen on the land: Github looks at both LICENSE
and LICENCE. Finding them different, it abandons its attempt to
determine the project's license.

Renaming my CRAN license template file from `LICENCE` to
`LICENCE.template` would fix the issue, but then CRAN complains about a
non-standard file.

As a result, it does not seem possible to use the MIT license in a way
which satisfies both CRAN and Github.

(I feel CRAN is at fault here by using a standardized file name
(LICENCE/LICENSE) for a non-standard purpose: templating.)

Is there a workaround (beyond relicensing to GPL, which is not a CRAN
template license)?


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