Re: [Bug 1292] New: What is the correct license expression for a project with an additional patent license?
Subject: [Bug 1292] New: What is the correct license expression for a project with an additional patent license?I will take the opportunity to offer an opinion to the forums on this question that is raised above:
I think first and foremost this is a question around interpretation of the licenses. Only when you have that interpretation can you decide how to represent that using SPDX syntax. I see two possible interpretations:
One interpretation is that that using the software you must agree to both the BSD-3-Clause and the patent grant and have no choice in the matter.
Another interpretation is that you must agree to the use of the BSD-3-Clause license, but you have a choice as to whether or not to accept the patent grant. If you accept the patent grant then it is the same outcome as above. If you choose to not take the patent grant then you run the risk that the software does use some Facebook patents and you are now infringing them.
In terms of SPDX representation, I would suggest the former case comes out as one of these two:
(BSD-3-Clause AND FB-Patents-2.0)
(BSD-3-Clause WITH FB-Patents-2.0)
And for the second interpretation I would suggest one of these two:
(BSD-3-Clause OR (BSD-3-Clause AND FB-Patents-2.0))
(BSD-3-Clause OR (BSD-3-Clause WITH FB-Patents-2.0))
As to whether to use the AND or WITH variants, I again think this comes down to the interpretation of the patent grant. Does the patent grant stand alone as a fully formed license (in which case choose AND) or does it depend on some other license (in which case choose WITH)?
In summary I think SPDX license expressions can adequately represent all of these cases. The question that SPDX can’t answer is which legal interpretation to choose.
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