[Rd] alternate licensing for package data?

Martyn Plummer plummerm at iarc.fr
Wed Apr 22 11:02:33 CEST 2015

I think this is covered well by the CRAN repository policy:

The two key license requirements are that: 
1) CRAN must have a perpetual license to distribute the package
2) The package license should be listed here: 
Packages with licenses not included in that list are generally not

However, there are exceptions, and you can find some by searching for
"non-commercial site:cran.r-project.org" on Google. See also section
1.1.2 of the Writing R Extensions manual for an explanation.

Personally, I would not want to add the extra complexity to a package
that is otherwise GPL.


On Tue, 2015-04-21 at 19:23 -0400, Ben Bolker wrote:
>   Does anyone have speculations about the implications of the GPL for
> data included in a package, or more generally for restricting use of data?
>   The specific use case is that I have a package which is otherwise
> GPL (version unspecified at present).  There are various data sets
> included, but they are all essentially in the public domain.  I'm
> thinking about including another data set, but the original author of
> that data might like to impose some reasonable restrictions (e.g.
> please don't use in an academic publication without explicit
> permission ...)  Would such rules be expected to be compatible with
> CRAN rules?  Will having the package be "GPL except for file XXX, see
> LICENSE" mess things up horribly?
>   I can of course make the data available for download and include a
> link, and/or make a special package that contains only these data, but
> it would seem to be more convenient for end users, and more
> future-proof, to put everything in one place.
>   I know I will eventually need to take this up with CRAN, but I'm
> looking for reasonably informed opinions/suggestions ...
>   cheers
>     Ben Bolker
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