[R] Questions for Licensing

Marc Schwartz m@rc_@chw@rtz @end|ng |rom me@com
Fri Aug 3 13:44:17 CEST 2018


As was mentioned in another reply, you will not get formal legal advice here, as none of us are intellectual property (IP) lawyers, and there can even be country specific issues when it comes to such things, based upon local laws and legal precedents that may be relevant.

That being said, on an informal basis, you should at least review the GPL FAQ:


to begin to educate yourself on key issues, which really come down to whether or not, your proprietary application can be considered a "derivative work" and therefore be impacted by the so-called "viral" implications of the GPL.

Given the liability risks (legal and financial) that your company faces if you "get it wrong", you need to seek out local legal expertise, specifically with IP related issues, and get a formal legal opinion and guidance.


Marc Schwartz

> On Aug 2, 2018, at 11:07 PM, 이태희 <leeth0323 using vms-solutions.com> wrote:
> To whom it may concern,
> I am very new to GNU GPL License and I have no idea how using GPL licensed software can affect the software that my company has developed.
> My company develops and distributes S/W to clients. Our product is a proprietary software under EULA license.
> When we sell our products and sign contracts we do not open the source code of our products to our clients. Although we do provide documents for methods, property, fields with definition and sample codes.
> Since our product is mainly used for simulation, scheduling and analyzation, we are considering to use R for creating data visualization.
> We would also like to deliver our product including R as bundle to customers.
> So basically, the product components would be looking like the one attached to this mail.
> Red box : Overall package of our product to be delivered to our customers.
> Blue box: Components of our company developed programs.
> Blue color filled box : Our company’s main program and class library Dlls.
> R link module : Functions defined to connect and communicate with R through R.Net
> Interface : R.Net or something similar to play the same role. If needed, develop our own interface to call R libraries.
> R scripts : R scripts to process result data from our engine, convert it using the R engine and finally display the visualized data through our product.
> R Engine : R controls and DLLs
> We are not planning to modify any part of the libraries of R.
> Also the engine of our product will not be directly calling R controls but through R.Net as an interface to communicate with R.
> Now the questions I would like to ask are the following :
> 1.   R is licensed under GPL2/GPL3 and R.Net is licensed under BDS. In case we sell the content of the blue box (shown above), do we need to provide the source code for our entire product because we are using GPL licensed S/W?
> 2.   One our components from our product will be referring to DLLs provided from R.Net such as R link module in this case. In this scenario, do we need to provide the source code for the R-link Module?
> 3.   Instead of using R.Net, in case we develop our own DLLs to directly communicate with R (without R modification), do we need to provide the source code for our entire product?
> 5.   Are we allowed to deliver our products as a package as in the Red box? (Sell our products including R)
> A. If not, which of components are we allowed to sell as a package to our customers.
> B.  If we sell our products including R installation, do we need to open our product’s source code?
> Last but not least, we would like to know a way how we could use R and treat as an individual license so it does not violate our EULA license and for us not to open any part of source code of our products.
> The end-users of our customers are developers and analysts. I’m pretty sure analysts would not request for open source but developers would.
> We just want to avoid a situation in which our product accidentally falls under the GPL license because of our use of R and us therefore having to provide the source code for our product.
> Thank you for your precious time reading this mail and any advices and information you provide will be a great help to me.
> Best regards,
> Tae Hee, Lee
> Junior Engineer
> Technical Supports
> VMS-Solutions Co.,Ltd, South Korea

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