[Rd] Copyright on src/nmath/qnorm.c

David Heffernan david at heffs.org.uk
Wed Feb 10 23:12:10 CET 2010

At the top of src/nmath/qnorm.c it is stated:

 *  Copyright (C) 1998       Ross Ihaka
 *  Copyright (C) 2000--2005 The R Development Core Team
 *  based on AS 111 (C) 1977 Royal Statistical Society
 *  and   on AS 241 (C) 1988 Royal Statistical Society

The routine is in fact an f2c'd version of AS241 from StatLib:
http://lib.stat.cmu.edu/apstat/241 and http://lib.stat.cmu.edu/apstat/

It seems odd to me that this is re-licensed under GPL and copyright asserted to
be held by R Development Core Team.  I expect that if I looked further I could
find plenty of other routines with a similar heritage.  

The StatLib page states, "The Royal Statistical Society holds the copyright to
these routines, but has given its permission for their distribution provided
that no fee is charged."

Why does R Development Core Team claim copyright for what appears to be work
copyright RSS?  You really ought to ascribe the copyright to RSS.

I don't think that the GPL is compatible with the StatLib license since the GPL
does not forbid charging a fee for distribution.

I guess you could come to some agreement with the RSS and I'm sure they would be
happy to help.

I think that it is important to be very precise on matters of licensing which is
why I raise the point.

David Heffernan.

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