[Rd] Closed-source non-free ParallelR ?

Stavros Macrakis macrakis at alum.mit.edu
Thu Apr 23 22:22:37 CEST 2009

On Thu, Apr 23, 2009 at 1:25 PM, Marc Schwartz <marc_schwartz at me.com> wrote:
> On Apr 23, 2009, at 11:47 AM, Stavros Macrakis wrote:
>> All that being said, the entity that must enforce these conditions is
>> not the FSF, but the copyright owner, in this case the R Foundation...
>> bundler. So it would be useful to know what the R Foundation's
>> position is....

> Actually, the R Foundation has done what it is obligated to do, which is to
> describe the license under which R is made available.

I did not say that the R Foundation was obligated to give advice.  I
said that it is up to the R Foundation to decide what cases it cares
about, and it would be "useful to know" what that position is.

> To ask the R Foundation for anything further is to ask them to render a legal
> opinion, which is not in their expertise to offer.

No, it is asking them what their *policy* is.  Their policy may or may
not be enforceable....

> It is up to the prospective third party developer of an application that is
> to use R to consult with lawyers to determine what *THEIR* obligations are
> if they should elect to proceed.

Yes, this is true.  But it is also true that if (for example) the R
Foundation says officially that it interprets GPL to allow
distributing proprietary packages along with R, then that is the
interpretation that matters, since the R Foundation (not the FSF) is
the copyright holder.

> At this level, it is really pretty simple and a lot of these things are
> covered in the GPL FAQs, including the reporting of violations.

The GPL FAQs are the FSF's interpretation.  The R Foundation is not
obliged to have the same interpretation, and of course the FSF cannot
enforce licenses given by the R Foundation.


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