Re: Purpose of licensing info

Philip Odence

First, you inferred the issue correctly.
I was in the conversation and had exactly the same idea as you. I ended up never putting it out on the table because several of the participants in the discussion (who were from real end user companies) took the position that it was absolutely mandatory for them to know the license data contained in the file, even if it was thought or known to be erroneous. So, I concluded that two license fields were required.
There could still be an argument for adding your suggested field as a fourth; it would essentially be a standardized comment field. However I still think we'd need to free form comment field to capture unanticipated cases or other information deemed important by the author.

L. Philip Odence
Vice President of Business Development
Black Duck Software, inc.
265 Winter Street, Waltham, MA 02451
Phone: 781.810.1819, Mobile: 781.258.9502

On Jan 13, 2011, at 11:00 PM, <Soeren_Rabenstein@...> <Soeren_Rabenstein@...> wrote:

I am trying to understand the meaning and value of "detected" and/or
"declared" as distinguished from "your best guess", i.e., "asserted".
I don't know about this one.  Would this statement be representable in
a declared license file?  It requires multiple facts and deduction

I haven't been in the spdx-team from the beginning on, so I do not
exactly know what the original purpose of these two license declarations
is. But judging from daily experience I assume it is to cover the
situation where there is neither a license file nor any licensing
comments in the source code, however it is known from other sources
(e.g. community website) that the software is licensed under particular

In fact there might be multiple facts and deductions involved.

In order to avoid conflicting license tags in one spdx file, wouldn't it
be more viable to have only one license tag, but an additional tag
determining the source of that license information (maybe in categories
like "license file", "documentation". "website[URL]", etc)  ?


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