[Rd] License status of CRAN packages
edd at debian.org
Thu Apr 23 21:08:55 CEST 2009
(Subject: renamed as thread hijacked from the ParallelR thread --Dirk)
On 23 April 2009 at 14:44, Gabor Grothendieck wrote:
| Aside from R there are the add-on packages.
| A frequency table showing the licenses of the CRAN packages indicates
| that the all or almost all packages have some sort of free software license
| with GPL licenses being most common. (A few packages have restrictions
| to noncommercial use and that may conflict with GPL, not sure.) That is
| not to say that there are no other types of packages but any such packages
| are not on CRAN.
I fear that is not quite the case. There are quite a few packages like that.
Charles Blundell and I have continued to work on his Google Summer of Code
2008 project of fully automatically creating Debian packages from CRAN
sources. As this can be seen as redistributing (or at least as making
redistribution easier), we have tried to be careful about the licenses. We
currently build about 1500 out of 1650 or so 'buildable' packages, but we
stop if we do not explicitly know the licenses (and Charles had e.g. created
several dozen variants of writing out 'GPL' in less clear ways so that we
could include those packages). Moreover one big show stopper is 'File
license' shown below as applicable for 38 packages You need to explicitly
study all of those 'license' files; some are free and some aren't. The
trouble is that you cannot tell and you end up labelling packages as 'maybe
not free' even if they are (an example here may be mlbench).
That does not scale. Ultimately, I fear we need someone to sit down and
classify CRAN sources packages into appropriate buckets of 'freeness' of use,
redistribution etc. And/or to remap all packages to a smaller, saner set of
licenses (as e.g. those in licenses.db). Section 1.1.1 of 'R Extensions' is
quite clear about this, but I would like this to go further.
Given that install.packages() does not check, I am afraid that we are not
going far enough in preventing users from accessing packages that they may
not be able to access and use under the terms of the license file.
Ultimately, this may mean moving some packages to a 'non-free' repository
tree as well.
I'd love to hear comments and concrete suggestions.
| AGPL (>3.0), with attribution as per LICENSE file
| AGPL 3.0 (with attribution)
| Apache License 2.0
| Artistic License
| Artistic License 2.0
| avas is public domain, ace is on Statlib
| Common Public License Version 1.0
| Distribution and use for non-commercial purposes only.
| file LICENCE
| file LICENSE
| Fortran code: ACM, free for non-commercial use, R functions
| free for non-commercial purposes
| Free for nonprofit use.
| Free. See the LICENCE file for details.
| GNU General Public License
| GNU General Public License Version 2
| GPL-2 | file LICENCE
| GPL-2 | file LICENSE
| GPL-2 | GPL-3
| GPL-2. Contributions from Randall C. Johnson are Copyright
| GPL-2; incorporates by permission code of W. Bachman (wrtab
| GPL (≥ 2)
| GPL (≥ 2) | file LICENSE
| GPL (≥ 2.0)
| GPL (≥ 3)
| GPL (≥ 3.0)
| GPL (== 2)
| GPL | file LICENSE
| GPL | LGPL
| GPL 2 or newer
| GPL AFFERO 3.0 (with citation)
| GPL version 2 or newer. Copyright statement for ptolemy:
| GPL version 2 or newer. The terms of this license are in a
| GPL version 2 or newer. This library is Copyright (C) 2007 by
| GPL2 | file LICENSE
| LGPL (≥ 2)
| LGPL (≥ 2.0)
| LGPL (≥ 2.1)
| Mozilla Public License 1.1
| Original ??, extensions GPL version 2 or newer
| R functions: GPL, Fortran code: ACM, free for noncommercial
| S original available at statlib
| The caMassClass Software License, Version 1.0 (See COPYING
| The software may be distributed free of charge and used by
| This package was written by Hans Peter Wolf. This software is
| This software may be re-distributed freely and used for any
| Unclear (Fortran) -- code in Statlib's ./S/adapt
| Unlimited distribution for noncommercial use.
| Unlimited distribution.
| R-devel at r-project.org mailing list
Three out of two people have difficulties with fractions.
More information about the R-devel