Legal Team/Current Projects and Issues

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SPDX Legal Team projects for 2015

We will try to not delete items, but mark them as "DONE" to serve as a record of progress over the course of the year.

LAST UPDATED: 5 May 2015

Licenses Under Review

Update & Maintain SPDX License List

  • Owner: Jilayne Lovejoy
  • Timeframe: On-going
  • Add new licenses or make other changes to license list and associated web pages as needed. Push changes to Git repository and coordinate with Gary to make sure new versions are tagged and uploaded to

Standard Headers

  • Owner: ??
  • Timeframe: resolve for ??? release
  • the move to v2.0 creates some issues for the Standard Header field of the SPDX License List:
  1. for the GNU family of licenses, the "or later" determination is made in the header text; pre-2.0, the GNU licenses were listed as two line items each, so the difference in the header (e.g., presence or absence of "or later') was accommodated in the Standard Header field for each license. As of 2.0 and with the addition of the SPDX License Expression syntax the 'or later' option is exercised via the + operator. In light of this, what do about the standard header?
  2. Some Standard Headers have replaceable text. While the License Matching Guidelines are stated to apply to the Standard Headers, there is no markup in the Standard Headers - should there be?
  3. Some licenses have more than one suggestion for a Standard Header - how do we accommodate this?

Fedora / OSI outstanding issues

  • Owner: Jilayne Lovejoy
  • Timeframe: complete by end of 2015
  1. Jabber Open Source License v1.0 – archived text here ( is not the same as the OSI has on their site (it was OSI approved). What do we do about this? need to resolve with OSI (with goal of having on list b/c it was OSI approved and we endeavored to have all OSI licenses on SPDX list, even if old). license text also can be found at:
  2. various OSI approved (but old or deprecated) licenses don't have corresponding link on OSI site; OSI to update and then SPDX to add link to SPDX-LL - check this??
  3. other issues with Fedora list, identified when we went through that

Fedora / SPDX short identifiers comparison and review

  • Owner: Jilayne Lovejoy
  • Timeframe: complete by end of 2015
  • Need to finish creating spreadsheet with comparison chart and then send to / confer with Tom Calloway at Fedora

Composite Licenses

  • Owner: Sam Ellis?
  • Timeframe: future
  • some licenses currently on the SPDX License List are actually composite licenses or license stacks; should these be broken apart and the SPDX License Expression used? Some discussion on this issue took place earlier this year, see:
  • determined that this would require a case-by-case review and should be targeted for post-2.0 timeframe

Add a Suggested Header field to SPDX License List

Community Outreach

  • what would this look like?

Other projects from 2014 list

Legal Team recruitment and initiation

  • how do we get more people involved?
  • when new people join, should we assign them an SPDX "buddy' to help answer questions and otherwise shepherd them into the group?
  • who to target and how to reach them?
  • ask for help from LF or via grassroots effort or both? other ideas?

Alignment with other license lists

Coordinate with various other license lists to make sure SPDX has licenses from these lists and check short name matching (or create "translation" document if different)


owner: TBD assigned


owner: TBD assigned


owner: TBD assigned

Recommendations or guidance on how to best determine license for a particular file

'how to identify the license for an open source project - ex. Within the file versus whether there's a copying file on top of the directory ? provide guidance/suggstion (industry practice?) that license in the file is more determinate than the license in the directoryShould the legal group aggregate industry best practices and come up with a group of guidelines and provide some influence on that?