Legal Team/Minutes/2019-01-10

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  • Brad Edmondson
  • Mark Atwood
  • Matija Suklje
  • John Horan
  • Dennis Clark
  • Paul Madick
  • Karen Sandler
  • Bradley Kuhn
  • Gary O’Neall
  • Mark Baushke
  • Steve Winslow
  • Kate Stewart
  • Alan Tse


1) GSoC - - Process: SPDX application is submitted to GSoC and start looking at projects; if we are picked, then students start really looking at projects (so don’t want to have projects we don’t want to support at that point; but students are already looking!) So, need to add/update by end of next week, Jan 18th

  • Port SPDX license expression library to Ruby, Javascript, and Java - more for tool makers; library that enables use of license expressions
  • SPDX Specification Views for legal counsels and developers - needs lawyer as mentor, Steve volunteered
  • any ideas for further development of online tools?
  • Alan’s License Diff tool - now available in SPDX Github repo for anyone who wants to build and install yourself at
    • could be GSoC project? Alan has list of enhancements - but not sure if enough to be a project, maybe ask Alan
    • Gary had suggestion to move this functionality into online tools (or is it more convenient. Also, current license match is really strict, doesn’t allow you to find close match - add functionality to allow this? some people seem to be confused on this and expect it to be more of a scanner. Would be great to integrate into one option in online tools menu
    • for checking if new license request is already on list or match: would be useful to be able to to check license - use compare first, if no match, then use diff tool to check if similar enough that new markup can be added (same license as existing) or is actually different
  • also would be great to generate XML markup for match and trigger review by legal team
  • also would be helpful to capture variants for regression testing later
  • also note that sometimes students will fix existing issues before taking on project, so it’s a good time to submit issues on current tools
  • also would be nice if pull in OSI approved info and show that in License Compare or Diff tool
  • another idea around being able to identify multiple licenses in one file? or is this
  • is there some potential with SPDX license compare and diff to integrate with Github? something to think about for future?
    • would be great if in new repo on Github, can use tool to put SPDX identifier in all source files. This is what Reuse project suggests and has some tooling there. Could be a nice cross-collaboration effort b/w Reuse, Github, and SPDX. Also could be integrated with Gitlab and other source repos. Need to contact people at each project to see if we can get this going. Karen S has contact at Gitlab, Matija to sort out right person at Reuse. Jilayne to send email to all and copy Gary
  • Alan joined and so Gary recapped ideas for integration with his license diff tool

2) Process for new license requests for 2019:

  • make sure any that any new license requests that come via email are moved to issue in Github and submitter is informed of such (Jilayne to do this for now)
  • different people on SPDX Legal team to volunteer to shepherd submission through process: make sure all info is gathered, record any discussion/decision in Github issue, update labels accordingly, create XML file if license to be added. We may need to write-up some documentation for this, so people have a guide (CONTRIBUTING page is more focused on perspective of submitter)
    • Mark offered to help on this :)

Action items from call

  1. Gary and Alan to write up idea for GSoC re: functionality in license compare and license diff tool integration
  2. Jilayne to send initial email to Github, Gitlab, ReUse contacts re: potential collaboration there (copy Gary); Karen S to provide contact for Gitlab; Matija to provide contact for ReUse
  3. Jilayne to move any existing license requests into Github issues
  4. Everyone: to review license submissions in repo, and comment on add-ability of licenses and assign any that are unassigned