License List

The SPDX License List is a list of commonly found licenses and exceptions used for open source and other collaborative software.  The purpose of the SPDX License List is to enable easy and efficient identification of such licenses and exceptions in an SPDX document (or elsewhere). The SPDX License List includes a standardized short identifier, full name, vetted license text, other basic information, and a canonical permanent URL for each license and exception. By providing a short identifier, users can efficiently refer to a license without having to redundantly reproduce the full license. License exceptions can be used with the SPDX License Expression operator, "WITH" to identify a license with an exception.

SPDX License List links:

  • Overview: For general information about the SPDX License List, including principles for inclusion of a license and an explanation of the field contained on the list.
  • SPDX License List: The list of commonly found open source licenses for the purposes of being able to easily and efficiently identify such licenses.
  • License Exceptions: The list of commonly found exceptions to open source licenses, which can be used with the SPDX License Expression (starting with the 2.0 specification version) operator, "WITH" to identify a license with an exception. operator.
  • Master Files: The HTML pages you see at are generated from the master files for the SPDX License List. The master files include a spreadsheet listing all the licenses, deprecated licenses, and license exceptions; and the text for each license in a .txt file. 
  • Matching Guidelines: Guidelines for what constitutes a license match to the SPDX License List. For licenses that include markup, the license text on the HTML pages at will display omitable text in blue and replaceable text in red (see Guideline #2 for more information).
  • Request New License or Exception: For instructions on how to propose additional licenses or license exceptions be added to the SPDX License List.