Re: SPDX license question

J Lovejoy

Great Bob!  Funny timing, as I was just looking at some FOSSology scans (haven’t done so in awhile, it’s like re-visiting an old friend :) and may have some other feedback for re: license matching.  I’ll shoot you an email with something more articulate soon.

thanks again for all your work,

SPDX Legal Team co-lead

On Jul 17, 2015, at 9:14 PM, Gobeille, Robert <bob.gobeille@...> wrote:

Thanks Jilayne and Kate,
It looks like we need to do some updating on FOSSology to be SPDX 2.0 compliant.  Thanks for your answers.

Bob Gobeille

On Jul 16, 2015, at 4:17 PM, J Lovejoy <opensource@...> wrote:

Hi Bob,

Thanks for asking!  My additional comments to Kate’s also below:

On Jul 16, 2015, at 5:33 AM, Kate Stewart <kstewart@...> wrote:

Hi Bob,
     Comments inline...

On Wed, Jul 15, 2015 at 4:54 PM, Gobeille, Robert <bob.gobeille@...> wrote:
We (FOSSology project) are having a discussion about how to name dual licenses.  What is the SPDX policy on naming dual licenses?  Here are some examples:

1.  The Asterisk license is GPL-2.0 with exceptions: 
To me, I would call this an Asterisk license because of the number of specific permission granted.

This could be handled either as an explicit exception (add to exception list)  or as a new license
being added to the main list.    Legal team is probably best ones to make the judgement though
as to which way makes most sense. 

This should definitely be handled as a new exception added to the exception list; if you think this is something SPDX should have on its list, please have a look at information needed to request a new license and let the legal list know if you want to request it be added.  In which case, it would be expressed as: GPL-2.0 WITH Asterisk-exception (or whatever the exception ends up being called.)
As per SPDX 2.0, this license would currently be expressed as a Lic-Ref (section 5 of the spec), as we don’t currently have a way to represent a valid license identifier (e.g., “GPL-2.0”) with an exception not on our list.  This is functionality we discussed adding in a future version (e.g., a Lic-Ref equivalent for exceptions), but it remains to be seen when that will get added.

I would strongly urge against adding this as a new license in whole.  Now that we have the license expression syntax for exception (“WITH”), and have moved all such exceptions to their own list, we ought to be consistent in that going forward. :)

2. Gephi License
This is just a dual GPL-3.0, CDDL license.  So in FOSSology, I would call it "Dual GPL-3.0 - CDDL” and some others would call it “Dual Gephi License”.  We have several examples like this where the license is a straight dual license.  To me, “Dual GPL-3.0-CDDL” is more helpful than “Gephi License”.  If you name all these licenses by the project then you have to become familiar with them all (the ultimate in license proliferation).

This is a nice illustration of why the license expressions syntax was created. ;-)

"GPL-3.0 OR CDDL-1.0"  I think is the license expression that should be used. 
see: Appendix IV: SPDX License Expressions in SPDX-2.0 for more details on the

Assuming when you say “dual” you mean it’s a choice between GPL-3.0 and CDDL-x.y, then Kate is correct, that “OR” would be the correct license syntax.  Again, it would be preferably for any disjunctive or conjunctive license situations to use the short identifiers and the license expression syntax (“OR” or “AND”) rather than calling it a whole new license name.  



Hope this helps,

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