[REUSE] Handling of template licenses (think BSD, MIT)

Max Mehl max.mehl at fsfe.org
Thu Oct 8 16:20:59 UTC 2020

Hi Kai,

~ Kai Köhne [2020-10-08 18:07 +0200]:
> I'm currently evaluating if we can adapt Reuse also for the Qt Project
> (qt.io), but want to understand Reuse better before proposing it to
> the whole project.

Great, thanks for considering that!

> Is there any common practice to handle this? I could think of
> A) Creating variants like LicenseRef-BSD-3-Clause-xxx.txt that exactly match the original text.
> B) Keeping the original text in the source files, and have a SPDX-LicenseIdentifier: BSD-3-clause line in addition.
> C) Just ignoring the 'data loss'
> IMO A) arguably defeats the purpose of the Reuse standard. B) preserves all information, but then consumers might still need to parse the source files ...
> Does Reuse have any recommendations regarding this?

We are currently working on this. There is a summary of ideas for
recommendations in one issue:


Gist: there is no perfect way, and it depends on how many different
BSD-3 licenses you have, and the risk you want to take.

A) would be perfectly fine from the REUSE perspective, but of course a
bit confusing for beginners. B) would be my least favourite option
personally. C) is the cleanest solution, but of course this involves a
certain amount of risk. At least you can "transfer" the
copyright/author-relevant information to the Copyright lines in your
source code, so you would not erase this information.

Feel welcome to share your opinion in the issue tracker so we can
explain this problem in an FAQ entry.


Max Mehl - Programme Manager - Free Software Foundation Europe
Contact and information: https://fsfe.org/about/mehl | @mxmehl
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