[Rd] Citation if copying R base code
hb at biostat.ucsf.edu
Thu Nov 6 15:19:04 CET 2014
On Nov 6, 2014 3:36 AM, "Duncan Murdoch" <murdoch.duncan at gmail.com> wrote:
> On 06/11/2014, 5:57 AM, Peter Meissner wrote:
> > Dear Listeners,
> > ... also I read the CRAN policies and tried to solve those questions
> > myself I feel very much in the need of good advise ...
> > I am currently finishing a package that -- to solve some nasty problems
> > with dirty data -- uses its own as.Date() equivalent methods (i.e. its
> > own generic and methods).
> > Thereby, I shamelessly copied code from the as.Date() methods from the
> > base package and only made some minor adjustments.
> There's no problem doing that, as long as you respect the license. That
> includes keeping the copyright notices from the files where you found
> the code: see the GPL
> > For my main achievement was copy-pasting I feel obliged to cite the
> > efforts made by base package authors - do I, should I? Currently I only
> > use the help files to mention that the generic and its methods are
> > basically the same as as.Date(), except this and that.
> In your package help file it would be polite to describe the
> contributions from the R source code. In the DESCRIPTION file, the rule
> is that all "significant" contributors must be included. You'll need to
> judge that, but from your description, I'd guess this counts.
> > And if yes how to do it best? What is the standard procedure here?
> > Should I include base package authors as contributors in DESCRIPTION???
> > Am I allowed to use MIT + file license with that or is it wrong to do
> No, you must use the GPL, since the code you copied is licensed under
> the GPL. You can choose to use version 2 or 3 (or both). You do not
> have permission to re-license R code under a different license.
Theoretically you could ask the copyright holder of that piece of code
whether he/she/it allows you to use a different license. This brings up
another question: who is formally the copyright holder of the R source code
(and documentation)? The R Foundation, the individual who contributed the
code in the first place, or someone else? You could certainly imagine a
case where a piece of code was donated to R by someone, e.g. the code
originates from a user-contributed package and has not been modified since.
It may even be that that code was licensed under another license at the
> Duncan Murdoch
> > I appreciate any advise on these (I think important) but very confusing
> > matters of referencing and licensing.
> > Best, Peter
> > PS:
> > - My current description:
> > https://github.com/petermeissner/wikipediatrend/blob/master/DESCRIPTION
> > - the package specific as.Date() implementation:
> > https://github.com/petermeissner/wikipediatrend/blob/master/R/wp_date.R
> > ______________________________________________
> > R-devel at r-project.org mailing list
> > https://stat.ethz.ch/mailman/listinfo/r-devel
> R-devel at r-project.org mailing list
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