landau landau - 12 days ago 6
R Question

Listing a company as the copyright holder of an R package

What's the best way to give copyright to a company for an R package? Hadley points to some options, but I'm still uncertain of the best practice. In the DESCRIPTION, I would prefer to write something like

Authors@R: c(
person(given = c("First", "Middle"), family = "Family", email = "me@company.com", role = c("aut, cre")),
person(given = "Company", role = "cph"))


but this is awkward because corporations are not people. Another option:

Authors@R: person(given = c("First", "Middle"), family = "Family", email = "me@company.com", role = c("aut, cre"))
License: GPL (>=3) + file LICENSE


where
LICENSE
contains

Copyright <My Company>. All rights reserved.


But can I really do that with GPL?

Answer

Briefly:

  • Copyright and License are two different and separate concepts. The DESCRIPTION file allows for both, and the official manual has things to say about both.

  • Many existing CRAN packages deal with that. For the use of assigned copyright, packages by RStudio employees can sometimes serve as examples. See for example this line from dplyr.

  • Legal stuff is hard. And boring. Don't take StackOverflow answers as binding either.

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