Software Package Data Exchange
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Software Package Data Exchange (SPDX)[1] is a file format used to document information on the software licenses under which a given piece of computer software is distributed. SPDX is authored by the SPDX Working Group, which represents more than twenty different organizations, under the auspices of the Linux Foundation.[2]

SPDX attempts to standardize the way in which organizations publish their metadata on software licenses and components in bills of material.[3]

SPDX describes the exact terms under which a piece of software is licensed. It does not attempt to categorize licenses by type, for instance by describing licenses with similar terms to the BSD License as "BSD-like".[1]

The current version of the standard is 2.2.[4]

Version history

The current version of the standard is 2.2 and was ratified in May 2020.[5]

The version 2.1 was ratified in November 2016.[6]

License syntax

Each license is identified by a full name, such as "Mozilla Public License 2.0" and a short identifier, here "MPL-2.0". Licenses can be combined by operators AND and OR, and grouping (, ).

For example, (Apache-2.0 OR MIT) means that one can choose between Apache-2.0 (Apache License) or MIT (MIT license). On the other hand, (Apache-2.0 AND MIT) means that both licenses apply.

There is also a "+" operator, when applied to a license, means that future versions of the license apply as well. For example, Apache-1.1+ means that Apache-1.1 and Apache-2.0 may apply (and future versions if any).

In 2020, the European Commission publishes its Joinup Licensing Assistant,[7] which makes possible the selection and comparison of more than 50 licenses, with access to their SPDX identifier and full text.

Deprecated license identifiers

The GNU family of licenses (e.g., GNU General Public License 2.0) have the choice of choosing a later version of the license built in. Sometimes, it was not clear, whether the SPDX expression GPL-2.0 meant "exactly GPL version 2.0" or "GPL version 2.0 or any later version".[8] Thus, since version 3.0 of the SPDX License List, the GNU family of licenses got new names.[9] GPL-2.0-only means "exactly version 2.0" and GPL-2.0-or-later means "version 2.0 or any later version".

See also


  1. ^ a b Odence, Phil (2010-06-23). "The Software Package Data Exchange (SPDX) Format". Dr Dobb's. Retrieved .
  2. ^ Stewart, Kate; Odence, Phil; Rockett, Esteban. "Software Package Data Exchange (SPDX(TM)) Specification". International Free and Open Source Software Law Review. 2 (2). doi:10.5033/ifosslr.v2i2.45 (inactive 31 May 2021).CS1 maint: DOI inactive as of May 2021 (link)
  3. ^ Vaughan-Nichols, Steven (August 10, 2010). "Linux Foundation launches major open-source license compliance program". Computerworld. Retrieved .
  4. ^ "SPDX Current version". Retrieved .
  5. ^ "General Meeting/Minutes/2020-05-07 - SPDX Wiki". Retrieved .
  6. ^ "General Meeting/Minutes/2016-11-03 - SPDX Wiki".
  7. ^ "Joinup Licensing Assistant". Retrieved 2020.
  8. ^ Richard Stallman. "For Clarity's Sake, Please Don't Say "Licensed under GNU GPL 2"!". Retrieved .
  9. ^ Jilayne Lovejoy. "License List 3.0 Released!". Archived from the original on 2018-01-05. Retrieved .

External links

  This article uses material from the Wikipedia page available here. It is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.



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