So, first of all I do not want to sell any scripts or commercial applications that use R scrips or libraries. The Open Source is there for a reason and it should remain as it is.

I would like to build an online platform that presents data using RShiny, the OpenCPU in the back-end and other interesing insights using RMarkdown. Any line of code written with the R programming, based on packages developed by the OpenSource community will remain OpenSource and anyone can access it.

The commercial point of view of the platform will be in paid subscriptions for accessing the insights of the data, requesting personalized insights and consulting. Will this interfere with the GPL licence of R and AGPL licence of R Shiny?

Basically I would like to sell the insights of the data, not the language used to get them. Thank you!


1 Answer 1


Both the GPL and AGPL licenses allow commercial exploitation of the code, so your use of paid subscriptions to your service is entirely fine.

Open-source licenses may not even prohibit commercial use of the code. The thing is that the (A)GPL license makes the first thing that most people think of (selling copies of the software for money) economically unfeasible, because the first buyer has the right to become a competitor who can undercut the prices being charged.

In a way, this also counts for your usecase to some extend. As your service is based on RShiny, which is licensed under the AGPL, you must give your users the right to download the code for your service and allow them to use that code to setup a similar service. The main reason why your subscriptions can be economically feasible if because of the data you have (which doesn't fall under the AGPL license of the software) and because it anyway costs money to host a (successful) service.

  • So basicly I cannot use Rshiny behind a subscription.
    – Virgil Ion
    Aug 23, 2019 at 14:11
  • 1
    @VirgilIon: You can use Rshiny behind a subscription, but you must make the source code available to your subscribers. Aug 23, 2019 at 15:02

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.