[R-pkg-devel] license for package

Thomas Petzoldt Thomas.Petzoldt at tu-dresden.de
Fri May 29 13:46:07 CEST 2015

Dear Pieter,

there was recently a related discussion in the JSS editorial board. Some 
people took the position that there should be maximum possible freedom 
for software developers in choosing an appropriate license. Others saw 
the problem of confusion for users and developers of derived work, if 
too many licenses come into play and advocated for a strict application 
of the GPL.

In the end it was decided that "Code distributed with JSS articles uses 
the GNU General Public License version 2 or version 3 or a 
GPL-compatible license." (http://www.jstatsoft.org/instructions)

This compromise tries to respect both, rights of the software authors 
and interests of users, who (in most cases) don't want to bother too 
much about this.

More details about what is GPL compatible can be found here:

Information about the MPL-2 is found here:

R itself "as a package is licensed under GPL-2 | GPL-3", while 
associated software such as packages used licenses like this: 

Finally, technical advise to licensing of packages is found in "Writing 
R Extensions":


Hope it helps,


On 29.05.2015 11:44, Pieter Eendebak wrote:
> Dear developers,
> How can I specify the license for my package when my package includes some
> code with other licenses (and different copyright holders). In particular:
> - my package is BSD 2-clause
> - my packages in includes MPL-2 code (Eigen math library)
> - my package includes some MIT code (different author)
> With kind regards,
> Pieter Eendebak

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