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Re: relicense SPSS reading code?

From: Jack Tanner
Subject: Re: relicense SPSS reading code?
Date: Mon, 5 Aug 2013 01:58:28 -0400
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Ben, John,

Thank you for taking my question seriously and positively. It seems like there may be a way forward, although I imagine that relicensing R to GPL v3 is not feasible.

I am only a user of R, not a developer. What happened was that 1) I contacted the core R developers asking if read.spss() could be updated, 2) Brian Ripley pointed out the licensing issue, 3) I asked whether inquiring with you, PSPP developers, would be of interest, and 4) Kurt Hornik, one of the R developers, encouraged me to reach out to you.

The R-core mailing list is off limits to non-members, so I don't know if there has been any follow-up discussion there. There's little I can do to contribute to this effort aside from starting the conversation. I'm CC'ing Kurt Hornik in the hopes that he can facilitate further.

Kurt, an oustanding question right now is: which PSPP files does R require? "Obviously sys-file-reader.c, sys-file-reader.h, sys-file-private.h, but those have dependencies. Do you have a complete list?"


On 8/3/2013 1:42 AM, Ben Pfaff wrote:
On Sat, Aug 03, 2013 at 07:35:56AM +0200, John Darrington wrote:
I would not be tototally against it.  But I think a better solution would be
to change the licence of R to GPL3+

I agree that that would be preferable.  I do not know R well, so I do
not know whether there is some barrier.

At the end of the day, the copyright belongs to the FSF, so the
decision would lie with them.

It seems to be customary, at least, within the FSF, to allow the authors
of FSF copyrighted code to relicense it to free software licenses.  For
example, this is often done for gnulib modules.

I think that your other questions are apt.  I hope to learn the answers.

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