Re: Commutativity of SPDX expressions

McCoy Smith

Rather than getting into further debates about what various licenses do and don't require, or for that matter what copyright law does or doesn't require, I guess I'd turn back to the ath5k example.
Is the license designation they used the same as the AND operator in SPDX? I think it is not (or if AND encompasses it, AND may be interpreted too broadly so as to potentially cause confusion or incorrect assumptions about the license state).
Ath5k license designation is here:
Now, people are free to respond back that the ath5k license designation is legally invalid, but I for one will not stand here and have Richard Fontana's legal skills besmirched!

-----Original Message-----
From: J Lovejoy <opensource@...>
Sent: Sunday, July 17, 2022 1:18 PM
To: McCoy Smith <mccoy@...>
Cc: Richard Fontana <rfontana@...>; SPDX-legal <spdx-
Subject: Re: Commutativity of SPDX expressions

Hi McCoy,

I’m wondering if you are trying to adapt SPDX identifiers in a situation not
anticipated. Consider that aim of an SPDX document (as per the SPDX
specification, and thus, using SPDX license ids in the various specification
field, is to communicate licensing, copyright, provenance, etc. information
for a given bundle of software. For example, I sell you Jilaynes-awesome-
software-app and provide an SPDX document for that software product. The
licensing info in this context would be presubaly what I think you are
referring to as the “outbound” license - that is the license under which the
software is used by the recipient.

Let’s say, Jilaynes-awesome-software-app includes some open source
software under various open source licenses, say, MIT and Apache-2.0, and I
also added some of my own (new) code under BSD-3-Clause, that all of this
can be reflected in the appropriate license fields at the package, file, and/or
snippet level.

I think of “inbound”, in relation to open source software, as usually referring
to the license under which contributions are provided to the project. But I
think you might be meaning “inbound” in relation to Jilayne’s-awesome-
software-app - that is, the open source software that I incorporate into my
app under MIT and Apache-2.0. Is that right?


On Jul 17, 2022, at 1:18 PM, McCoy Smith <mccoy@...> wrote:

At the risk of sounding like I’m hijacking this to re-raise my prior issue:
If AND is the operator to be used when having different inbound vs
outbound, then AND may not be commutative, since the order of listing the
licenses may convey information about which license is inbound vs
outbound, and (maybe) which license applies to different parts of the code.
Which militates to me toward a new expression, but I’ve made that point

On Jul 17, 2022, at 11:22 AM, Richard Fontana <rfontana@...>

I'm working on some draft documentation for Fedora around use of
SPDX expressions in RPM spec file License: fields. I was surprised to
apparently not see anything in the SPDX spec that says that the AND
and OR operators are commutative. I want to assert that the
expression "MIT AND Apache-2.0" is equivalent to "Apache-2.0 AND
MIT". Does the SPDX spec actually take no position on this?


Join { to automatically receive all group messages.