Re: License of an open source license text
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Thanks for your email. A couple of thoughts, speaking just for myself:
When it comes to the question of "what license applies to a license text," I think this is something that has typically been seen as outside the scope of the SPDX License List. The licenses on the list cover those used for software as well as other types of open collaboration (e.g. open hardware, data, etc). But I don't think the license list has gotten into (or has plans to get into) including identifiers for which licenses apply to licenses themselves.
I'm not sure if I followed the specifics of the Yocto use case you described. I think that in most cases where I've seen folks associating SPDX license identifiers with files, they would generally just use the license that is reflected by the license text itself. So for instance, when seeing a file containing the text of MPL-2.0, in an SPDX document they would note the license for that file as MPL-2.0 -- rather than whatever the license of the MPL-2.0 license text might hypothetically be. I don't know that I'm describing it well, but that's how I'd think of it, since that conveys the information that is really relevant to users of that code.
Looking at REUSE (https://reuse.software/spec/#copyright-and-licensing-information), it looks to me like they take a different but similar approach, where license files themselves do not have meta-licensing information associated with them. I know there are some REUSE folks on this list so I hope they'll speak up if I'm mischaracterizing this.
Not sure if I've answered your question... but basically I would just recommend associating the license's own identifier with the license text file, since that will be the most comprehensible to folks who are looking to understand the software package's license.
Hope this helps,
On Tue, May 26, 2020 at 3:25 PM Richard Purdie <richard.purdie@...> wrote: