The FSFE is running this project to develop and raise awareness of best practices for the expression of license and copyright information in free and open source projects. The project is intended to facilitate management of source code by making licensing and copyright information more consistent in how it is added to source code in ways which allow for automating many of the processes involved.

This is a concern for any free and open source software developer, user or distributor. Incorrect license and copyright information can lead to situations where software developers are not credited for the work they have done, where the license or copyright information is misunderstood or where using a software project becomes a burdensome process due to the inability to use automated tools.

The best practices we’ve identified and worked to describe in this text are based on existing sources for best practices, but we have identified and revised the practices which can facilitate automation.

We’ve also sought to identify practices which will be easy for software developers to adopt and will work more on this to develop material suitable for anyone wishing to help us make copyrights and licensing information computer readable.

You can view the best practices and related material on our REUSE web site.