[Rd] alternate licensing for package data?

Roger Bivand Roger.Bivand at nhh.no
Wed Apr 22 13:34:56 CEST 2015

Martyn Plummer <plummerm <at> iarc.fr> writes:

> I think this is covered well by the CRAN repository policy:
> http://cran.r-project.org/web/packages/policies.html 
> 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: 
> https://svn.r-project.org/R/trunk/share/licenses/license.db
> Packages with licenses not included in that list are generally not
> accepted.
> Personally, I would not want to add the extra complexity to a package
> that is otherwise GPL.
> Martyn
> 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?
> > 
While I agree with Martyn with respect to code, documentation, and
vignettes, the point Ben raises is relevant and not obvious. Data sets in
say GLP-licensed packages are on occasion challenged by Debian packagers
where it isn't obvious that GPL is appropriate. Some spatial packages are
not accepted for packaging as is because of included data, data that is
needed to run realistic examples. 

The problem could be picky packagers, but it is also reasonable that
well-known example data sets could be licensed differently.
share/licenses/license.db lists for example CC BY-SA 4.0 as both FOSS and
extensible but free_and_GPLv3_incompatible. One possibility I examined when
challenged was to place all such data files in a separate package, for
example under a CC license accepted by CRAN - I didn't complete the task,
but understand Ben's question as applying to the same question.


> > 
> >   cheers
> >     Ben Bolker
> > 
> > 


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