[R] Protecting R code

Uwe Ligges ligges at statistik.tu-dortmund.de
Mon Jul 4 16:28:51 CEST 2011

On 04.07.2011 09:47, Vaishali Sadaphal wrote:
> Hi All,
> I need to give my R code to my client to use. I would like to protect the
> logic/algorithms that have been coded in R. This means that I would not
> like anyone to be able to read the code.
> I am searching for ways to protect R code. I would like to create a .exe
> kind of file which could be executed without using R or requiring to
> install R. I would not like the R code to be loaded in R. This is so
> because, after R loads a function, if you type the function name on the
> command prompt, you can see the complete code. I would not like to give
> this type of access to the R code.
> I explored the option of creating .bat file (using command: R CMD BAT) and
> byte code (using command: compile). These are not useful since they open
> R, load these functions and then the R code is visible.
> Is there any other way to protect the R code which would help me package
> all my files/source files and give me an executable file which would be
> run without opening R? Another problem is that R is freely downloadable.
> Is it somehow possible to protect the code from being loaded in R and
> being seen.

Hmmmm, R is open source software under the GPL (which is infective) and 
designed as such. Good luck it is almost impossible to hide the source 
code in R. And people who tried to generate C based binary packages 
found those can only be used under a small subset of platforms with few 
versions of R.

Since R is distributed under the GPL: When you write code and make it 
available to others, you should be aware of this fact that you may have 
to distribute the sources under GPL as well - under some circumstances 
your lawyer can explain much better than I.

> Thanks
> --
> Vaishali
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Uwe Ligges

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