Legal Team/Minutes/2019-08-08

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  • Mark Atwood
  • John Horan
  • Paul Madick
  • Alan Tse
  • Steve Winslow
  • Alexios Zavras


Discussions and decisions for several matters were noted in the corresponding threads in the Github issues. Additional discussions are noted below.

For UCL-1.0, John will draft the XML + test files with Steve's review.

XML and test files for the new Polyform set of licenses were submitted as a PR: (Not submitted as an issue, so wasn't initially seen by the legal team.) The team continued the ongoing discussion of whether licenses like this are appropriate for inclusion on the license list, where they are source available and in a standardized / templated format for use by any licensor, but where they are clearly not within e.g. the OSI definition of open source.

Discussion noted that some users and consumers of SPDX documents / license IDs want to be able to refer to source-available licenses through that process, even if not open source. It was noted that there are at least two relevant reasons for the existing license inclusion guidelines: one being purpose-focused (the "generally FOSS" nature of the list), and the other being practical (availability of time for SPDX volunteers). It was also discussed how this question intersects with the idea of "namespaced" LicenseRef- identifiers that anyone can use to refer to licenses that are not approved for inclusion on the list.

General consensus was that a decision on the Polyform licenses should be related to a broader conversation about changes to the license inclusion guidelines, similar to the pending outcome on some other recent license submissions with e.g. non-commercial restrictions.

An issue was raised at requesting that "-only" and "-or-later" modifiers be made to the EUPL family of licenses, as was done for the GNU licenses. Discussion on the call agreed that this change would only be considered upon request from the license steward, and that in most cases the existing "+" operator should suffice.