[Rd] alternate licensing for package data?

Ben Bolker bbolker at gmail.com
Wed Apr 22 22:49:45 CEST 2015

Dirk Eddelbuettel <edd <at> debian.org> writes:

> On 22 April 2015 at 11:34, Roger Bivand wrote:
> | 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

> Not generally the packagers (who get frustrated by this like everybody else)
> but by the "ftp-masters" teams who look over what gets into the Archive. 
> They are the license reviewers, and gate-keepers.
> In several cases we (ie "packagers") had to write README.sources to document
> origins of datasets.  That is generally a little silly as ... R itself
> already enforces in the .Rd files. So for the packages where I had to do that
> the README.sources effectively becomes a forward reference to the R docs.
> But then again the ftp-masters review _thousands_ of packages and having to
> help their workflow is a small burden.
> In general, nitpicky licensing issue have been discussed (to mindnumbing
> length) on the debian-legal list. Those interested in the issue may want to
> peruse or search the archive:
>     http://news.gmane.org/gmane.linux.debian.devel.legal
> Dirk

Thanks for the information, everyone!  I think I'm just going to
handle it the sloppy way, providing a .Rd file containing
documentation and a URL for the data set.  This is not particularly
good for long-term maintenance, but it seems silly to try to get a
separate package onto CRAN for a *single* (small) data set.

  For what it's worth, I've been informed by the CRAN maintainers

> 'license' is singular in the CRAN policies, something people
  sometimes overlook.
> A package must have a single licence that applies to all of the
  package (even if alternative licences are offered for all or part),
  so "GPL except for file XXX" is not viable.

More information about the R-devel mailing list