[R] Using R in our commercial business application

Pasu pasupathym at gmail.com
Fri Sep 19 10:30:16 CEST 2014


Thanks to all for the inputs. It will also be great to get inputs on the
procedure and the contact person for getting the commercial license on R

On 19-Sep-2014 2:13 AM, "Duncan Murdoch" <murdoch.duncan at gmail.com> wrote:

> On 18/09/2014 2:35 PM, Marc Schwartz wrote:
>> On Sep 18, 2014, at 4:36 AM, Pasu <pasupathym at gmail.com> wrote:
>> > Hi
>> >
>> > I would like to know how to use R in our commercial business application
>> > which we plan to host in cloud or deploy on customer's premise.
>> >
>> > 1. Using R and its package, does it enforce that my commercial business
>> > application should be distributed under GPL, as the statistical
>> derivation
>> > (output) by using R will be presented to the end users as part of of our
>> > commercial business application
>> > 2. Whom to contact to get commercial license if required for using R?
>> >
>> > Rgds
>> > Pasupathy
>> You will not get a definitive legal opinion here and my comments below do
>> not represent any formal opinion on the part of any organization.
>> There is nothing preventing you or your company from using R as an end
>> user. There are many of us who use R in commercial settings and in general,
>> the output of a GPL'd application (text or binary) is not considered to be
>> also GPL'd.
>> The subtleties get into the distribution of R (which you seem to plan to
>> do), the nature of any additional functionality/code that you or your
>> company may write/distribute, how that code interacts with R and/or
>> modifies R source code copyrighted by the R Foundation and others. If you
>> distribute R to clients, you will need to make R's source code available to
>> them in some manner along with any modifications to that same code, while
>> preserving appropriate copyrights.
>> A proprietary (closed source) application cannot be licensed under the
>> GPL, but your company's application/code may be forced to be GPL (the so
>> called viral aspect of the GPL) depending upon how your application is
>> implemented as I noted in the prior paragraph. Thus, you may be forced to
>> make your source code available to your clients as well.
>> If you plan to move forward, you should consult with an attorney well
>> educated in software licensing and distribution issues, especially as they
>> pertain to the GPL. The risks are not inconsequential of falling on the
>> wrong side of the GPL.
>> The official R distribution is not available via a commercial or
>> developer license, but there are commercial vendors of R and a Google
>> search will point you in their direction, if desired. However, since their
>> products are founded upon the official R distribution and the GPL, they
>> will have similar issues with respect to any enhancements that they have
>> created and therefore, your concerns do not necessarily go away. They will
>> have also consulted legal counsel on these issues because the viability of
>> their business depends upon it.
> I agree with all of that but for one thing:  not all distributions are
> built on the GPL'd original.  I believe Tibco is selling an independent
> implementation.
> Duncan Murdoch

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