Legal Team/Minutes/2016-03-17

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  • Kate Stewart
  • Sam Ellis
  • Paul Madick
  • Eric Weddington
  • Brad Edmundson
  • Jilayne Lovejoy
  • Alan Tse
  • Mark Gisi


1) Review proposed draft for new appendix to the spec: Appendix V - Using SPDX short license identifiers in Source Files @

  • discussed issue as to using "SPDX-License-Identifier" v. "SPDX-License-Expression" - recommendation from tech team is to only recommend "SPDX-License-Identifier" to avoid confusion and then explain what license expressions are. Everyone on legal call agreed with this.
  • tech team also had discussion about parenthesis - that have to have () if using license expression syntax (AND, OR, WITH)
  • point that this is a recommendation - so should use "should" v. "must"
  • Kate to do edits as per above and then put into final version
  • Might need more editing once these changes are made (at Collab or maybe a few days before)

2) Upcoming license list release v2.4 - tie up any loose ends: to be added, but still have issues to sort out (mostly re: short identifiers)

  • OSET Public License version 2.1 - short identifier issue, hoping to hear back from Heather Meeker by Monday
  • BSD Source Code Attribution - was going to reach out to license author, but can’t find direct contact info ( - JL added a comment on Github to ask author. Recognized that one week is not long enough to hear back, so will wait to put it on the next release (and add regardless with name to our best decision)
  • Free Art License 1.3 - add all language versions or not; see response from license authors and discuss as needed.
    • Licence Art Libre 1.3 -- LAL-1.3 (french language on the list) - with a note that there is English, Portuguese, and Polish of that license
    • Licence Art Libre 12 -- LAL-1.2 (french language on the list) - with a note that there is Italian and Spanish
    •  ? for 1.1 - go back and ask, as German only (is this even used? French version)
  • license request (from someone not on mailing list - see attachment) - which relates to this issue/thread:
    • we may not have time to discuss this on today’s call, but could someone look through this thread and comment? I suspect that the people discussing this issue have not actually read the SPDX spec and think all there is to SPDX is the license list… Alan is going to check this out (Jilayne to forward email to Alan).
    • Alan's quick assessment - looks like NPM didn't allow use of LicenseRef (not sure why) so have come up with other "short identifiers" to cover scenarios that are not covered on SPDX License List. Seems like they didn't look at spec and realize there is some accommodation for this. Alan to look into further this and communicate with requestor. May want to get contact at NPM project generally.

3) Collab Summit - (see schedule, lots going on for SPDX) Probably won't have dial-in, but could open Uberconference if people want to try to call in for part of something, email Kate and Jilayne and we'll try to arrange.

4) Gary’s proposal for pull request process for SPDX License List here:

  • this needs to be done before we release the new XML format for the license list; will review at Collab Summit as part of that agenda. For those who won't be there, please review in advance and comment in the doc.

5) Meeting schedule:

  • No meeting Thursday, March 31 (due to Collab Summit)
  • Re-schedule special meeting time on Thursday, April 7th (an hour earlier than usual, time, right after SPDX General Call) - new invite to come
  • No meeting on Thursday, April 14th (due to several people being at FSFE Legal & Licensing workshop)
  • Return to regular schedule on Thursday, April 28th