[R] Legality Question about R's Open Source GNU GPL License

Patrick Burns pburns at pburns.seanet.com
Mon Jul 28 21:27:42 CEST 2008

I'll leave it to someone else to answer the question
that you asked, but I don't mind answering the
question that you didn't ask:

Are there alternatives ways of getting R into the

Yes.  There are now some commercially supported
versions of R -- see 'What is R-plus?' in the R-FAQ
for a list.  I'm not sure that one of these will work in
your case, in my experience it is generally IT departments
rather than legal departments that baulk at R.  It is
also my experience that, as of late, IT departments have
tended to realize that something free and massively
powerful might not be such a bad thing after all.

Patrick Burns
patrick at burns-stat.com
+44 (0)20 8525 0696
(home of S Poetry and "A Guide for the Unwilling S User")

zerfetzen wrote:
> Hi,
> I use R at home, and am interested in using it at my work company (which is
> in the Fortune 100).  I began the request, and our legal team has given some
> gruff about the open source license.  Not boring you with the details here,
> but I used some info on gnu.org as a rebuttal, and someone at the company
> replied that the generalities of GNU GPL may differ from R's specific GNU
> GPL license, and that I should refer specifically to it, and it should be on
> the CRAN website.
> I may be blind, but haven't seen such a document.  Does one exist, and how
> may I obtain it?  I believe they are wrong.  Our legal team is notorious for
> being overly conservative, and I'm personally betting they think I won't
> look into it, and then they won't have to deal with it.  But I will, and I
> want to use R.  Thanks.
> PS
> Sorry if the document was posted and obvious, and I simply couldn't find it. 
> Thanks.

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