Re: Proposed new license for Intel Microcode

J Lovejoy

This is an interesting scenario, as it’s not really an open source license, but really a binary license with permissive grants and yet also a restriction against reverse engineering, etc. That’s more in line with what I’d call a freeware license, really.

To be discussed further on tomorrow’s call!!


SPDX Legal Team co-lead

On Nov 8, 2014, at 1:39 PM, Simon Glass <> wrote:


Intel microcode files have a license similar to Intel's Open Source
license (, but it includes a term
about reverse engineering.

Provide a proposed Full Name for the license.
Intel Microcode

Provide a proposed License Short Identifier.

Provide a functioning URL reference to the license text, either from the license author or a community recognized source for the license text.
Intel's page for microcode download is here:

If you download the tar file, then you will find the license at the
top of each text file in the tar file.

It is possible to obtain microcode files from other projects that
include then, such as coreboot, without downloading them from Intel.
Unfortunately Coreboot's website at but many
files in there contain microcode. For example a web search for
'microcode-1466-m02f4116.h' will show this. (Coreboot includes >150
such files).

There is a rather long discussion of the license here:

Create and attach a text file with the license text from the URL provided in #3. Proofread license text file to ensure that:

Information has not been lost or modified.
Formatting is clean and consistent with the license URL.
Please see attached. I have reformatted it slightly to fit within 80 columns.

Indicate whether the license is OSI-approved [Yes/No] (see: If yes, provide link to the OSI license and verify that it is the same text as supplied in #4.
License is not OSI-approved.

Provide a short explanation regarding the need for this license to be included on the License List, including identifying at least one program that uses this license or a prior version of this license.
This license is used in Coreboot -e.g.
and many other files

It seems to be in use in buildroot also from the thread above

It will soon be used in U-Boot. See the patch here:



Simon Glass
621 St Andrews Lane, Louisville, CO 80027
Mobile +1 650 391 4242
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