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SubjectRe: [PATCH v6] checkpatch.pl: Add SPDX license tag check
Joe,

On Thu, Feb 8, 2018 at 6:24 PM, Joe Perches <joe@perches.com> wrote:
> On Thu, 2018-02-08 at 15:35 +0100, Philippe Ombredanne wrote:
>> However checking that licenses ids are known and listed in the kernel
>> doc is essential IMHO to avoid drift and insulate the kernel from SPDX
>> updates. Case in point the new SPDX "GPL-2.0-only" is NOT what was
>> documented by tglx and therefore should not be used and banned until
>> we update the doc accordingly. and until we update ALL the GPL-2.0 to
>> GPL-2.0-only eventually which is best done at once.
>
> Agree and I've attached what I believe to be a
> reasonable script for that conversion only after
> LICENSE directories are updated with the
> appropriate and license files and after
> Documentation/process/license-rules.rst is modified.

Excellent and clean!

>> Otherwise, this is
>> going to be a total mess on top of a complicated topic that requires
>> quite a bit of maintainer energy!
>
> There will always be some energy requirement and
> no doubt some legal advice involvement too.
>
> In another vein:
>
> The existing license files in spdx.org seem
> somewhat sloppily edited and perhaps have less
> clarity and precision than desired.
>
> For instance:
>
> If the newer SPDX descriptor "GPL-2.0-only" is to
> be used, why does this license URL:
>
> https://spdx.org/licenses/GPL-2.0-only.html
>
> still contain the phrase ", or (at your option) any later version".
>
> The current diff between GPL-2.0-only and GPL-2.0-or-later:
>
> $ wget -q https://spdx.org/licenses/GPL-2.0-only.html
> $ wget -q https://spdx.org/licenses/GPL-2.0-or-later.html
> $ diff -U0 GPL-2.0-only.html GPL-2.0-or-later.html
> --- GPL-2.0-only.html 2017-12-28 12:17:20.000000000 -0800
> +++ GPL-2.0-or-later.html 2017-12-28 12:17:22.000000000 -0800
> @@ -15 +15 @@
> - <title>GNU General Public License v2.0 only | Software Package Data Exchange (SPDX)</title>
> + <title>GNU General Public License v2.0 or later | Software Package Data Exchange (SPDX)</title>
> @@ -141 +141 @@
> - <h1 property="dc:title">GNU General Public License v2.0 only</h1>
> + <h1 property="dc:title">GNU General Public License v2.0 or later</h1>
> @@ -144 +144 @@
> - <p style="margin-left: 20px;"><code property="spdx:name">GNU General Public License v2.0 only</code></p>
> + <p style="margin-left: 20px;"><code property="spdx:name">GNU General Public License v2.0 or later</code></p>
> @@ -147 +147 @@
> - <p style="margin-left: 20px;"><code property="spdx:licenseId">GPL-2.0-only</code></p>
> + <p style="margin-left: 20px;"><code property="spdx:licenseId">GPL-2.0-or-later</code></p>
> @@ -160 +160 @@
> - <p style="margin-left: 20px;">This license was released: June 1991 This refers to when this GPL 2.0 only is being used (as opposed to GPLv2 or later).</p>
> + <p style="margin-left: 20px;">This license was released: June 1991</p>
> @@ -679 +679,2 @@
> - as published by the Free Software Foundation; version 2.
> + as published by the Free Software Foundation; version 2
> + or any later version.
>
>
> I am not a lawyer, this is not legal advice, etc... but:
>
> The "1991 This" use in the -only file seems be missing
> a period.
>
> In any case it is awkwardly phrased as "or later" perhaps
> should not be referenced at all.
>
> The GPL 2.0 license as published by the Free Software
> Foundation includes the option for using later versions.
>
> Perhaps the SPDX -only licenses should be more specific
> when it uses the phrase "as published by the Free
> Software Foundation; version <n>." to specifically
> exclude the option of any later version.

Good points and this is why we have and need to use the kernel doc as
the stable reference IMHO.

FWIW, I have raised a ticket with SPDX [2] so that the issue you have
found can be properly fixed there. Also, I think this (the new -only
license ids that I think we should not yet use) has been reviewed in
details by the SPDX legal group and by the FSF. At least rms posted an
article about it last December [2] ?

[1] https://github.com/spdx/license-list-XML/issues/610
[2] https://web.archive.org/web/20171221220428/https://www.gnu.org/licenses/identify-licenses-clearly.html

--
Cordially
Philippe Ombredanne

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