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Re: put appropriate license notices in source files

From: Simon Josefsson
Subject: Re: put appropriate license notices in source files
Date: Mon, 07 Jun 2021 12:13:43 +0200
User-agent: Gnus/5.13 (Gnus v5.13) Emacs/26.1 (gnu/linux)

Eric Blake <eblake@redhat.com> writes:

> Speaking of tools, should we include SPDX tags alongside the full text
> of all our licenses, as that is yet another thing that aids
> license-checking tools?
> https://spdx.github.io/spdx-spec/appendix-V-using-SPDX-short-identifiers-in-source-files/

I'm not a big fan of doing that -- to me it is yet another way we patch
source code to solve external tooling problems, and this tool is not
even used for technical purposes.  I believe we've seen that over time
that is a bad approach, even if a good case can be made for each
improvement (like this).

Another problem is that SPDX introduce the possibility of mismatch
between the license mentioned by a SPDX tag and the license boiler plate
(which is GNU policy and standard legal behaviour).  Given that we
already have some of that complexity in gnulib ('License:' clause in
modules file), I'm not sure I would want to make the situation even more

OTOH, I don't think there needs to be a firm catch-all rule on this, if
someone wants to include and maintain SPDX tags in some files.


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