[Rd] License status of CRAN packages

Gabor Grothendieck ggrothendieck at gmail.com
Fri Apr 24 18:20:05 CEST 2009

On Fri, Apr 24, 2009 at 11:44 AM, Ben Goodrich <goodrich at fas.harvard.edu> wrote:
> Kurt Hornik wrote:
>> AGPL, unfortunately, allows supplements, and hence cannot fully be
>> standardized.  We've been thinking about extending the current scheme to
>> indicate a base license plus supplements, but this is still work in
>> progress.
> This would be helpful. I would just reemphasize that a package that
> includes some AGPL code and some GPL3 code is standard as far as the FSF
> is concerned, e.g. from section 13 of the AGPL:
> "Notwithstanding any other provision of this License, you have
> permission to link or combine any covered work with a work licensed
> under version 3 of the GNU General Public License into a single combined
> work, and to convey the resulting work. The terms of this License will
> continue to apply to the part which is the covered work, but the work
> with which it is combined will remain governed by version 3 of the GNU
> General Public License."
> So, I think that CRAN should at least have a canonical spec that covers
> *this* situation. Other situations may be more complicated to handle
> elegantly.

Another possibility is to simply standardize the set of licenses that CRAN
supports.  GPL licenses (GPl-2, GPL-2.1, GPL-3, LGPL), MIT and
X11 already cover 98% of all packages on CRAN.   If there truly is an
advantage to the AGPL license perhaps a standard version could be offered
in the set.  Perhaps, for the 2% of packages that want a different license
a second repository could be made available.

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