[Fedora-legal-list] [RFC] Switching to SPDX in license tags

Mark Wielaard mjw at redhat.com
Thu Jul 9 15:15:46 UTC 2015


On Thu, 2015-07-09 at 10:49 -0400, Richard Fontana wrote:
> If the underlying meaning of the abbreviations is not itself
> standardized, then (for purposes of the distros) the SPDX abbreviation
> system is a pseudo-standard and I would expect or at least hope the
> SPDX group would oppose the watering-down of the meaning of any aspect
> of the standard. 

If the goal is to come to a common set of abbreviations for licenses
might it be an idea to work together with an organization like the FSF
who already analyze and categorizes all Free Software licenses. They
keep a public license list and assign unique short identifiers to each
of them: http://www.gnu.org/licenses/license-list.html

That abbreviation can then be used to uniquely identify a Free Software
license including a stable reference to the actual licenses.

e.g. for the SGI Free Software License B, version 2.0 one would use the
identifier "SGIFreeB" which can then be used to get a reference to the
actual license in the Free Software Directory as:
http://www.gnu.org/licenses/license-list.html#SGIFreeB
(Note that Fedora currently just calls this "MIT")

The advantage of the unique identifiers in the above license list is
that there is no ambiguity. They eventually refer to the exact text of
the license. Assuming that is what Fedora wants (which I am not sure of,
it might be too much detail).

Cheers,

Mark


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