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All projects hosted at the LF AI and Data Foundation will have quarterly license scans completed to assist with license compliance and project IP policies. This is done as a service of the Linux Foundation.project support program from the Linux Foundation.

Support to be provided by: Steve Winslow <>

Support Program detail

For the projects described below, the following actions will be performed:

  1. Run recurring scans, on the schedule described below, of the project’s codebases using Fossology
  2. Analyze and clear licenses, notices and copyright statements contained in the project codebases
  3. Publish SPDX documents with the license conclusions and copyright statements at (or a similar public location), for broader community use in their own compliance processes
  4. Produce summary reports for project leads / maintainers, with limited public visibility (or optionally public at the project’s discretion) with the following:
    1. catalog and summary of licenses detected, categorized and identifying corresponding files
    2. description of key findings, particularly relating to incompatibility with project licenses and project IP policies
    3. recommendations for remediation where necessary
    4. guidance for best practices to improve project licensing notices and add statements to files without existing notices
  5. Correspond with developers to address questions about findings, where possible without providing legal advice (see “Notes” section below)
  6. For Acumos: On a recurring basis, review results of dependency scans using the instance of Sonatype Nexus IQ that is managed by LF IT; clear scanning results and research potentially concerning findings as appropriate; and flag key issues to the project leads / maintainers
  7. Upon request from the project, up to approximately two times per year (such as prior to significant releases), assist with formal IP policy approvals under the project’s charter:
    1. document the license scan findings as “license exceptions” for approval by the Governing Board

      or technical leadership committee, as applicable

    2. prepare a summary slide deck describing the requested exceptions

    3. present to project Legal Committee or similar leadership body to describe the requested exceptions and facilitate approvals under the charter

Stretch goals: will perform where feasible, subject to available resources and time:

  1. Run “red flag” pre-intake scans, for net new projects:

    1. Run Fossology scan of the incoming codebase, prior to importing into a project-controlled repository

    2. Identify any “red flag” or “high priority” issues that would be likely to present a significant problem for license compatibility

    3. Correspond with developers regarding these issues where remediation is recommended

  2. Parallel to Fossology scans, also run dependency scans using WhiteSource:

    1. review and clear scanning results, researching potentially concerning findings as appropriate;

    2. flag key issues to the project leads / maintainers;

    3. work towards providing standardized reports of all dependencies; and

    4. work towards providing vulnerability findings as part of results.

Note that WhiteSource has recently been incorporated into the license scanning workflow, so some of this functionality will be subject to continued development of the scanning workflow automation.


  • The Linux Foundation is not able to provide legal advice to project community members. The support program is focused on providing transparency about identified project licenses, and where possible describing general community understandings of license requirements. However, questions about e.g. whether a license is legally okay to use must be directed to the contributor’s own legal counsel and/or a project’s Legal Committee.

  • The support program utilizes various automated tools supplemented by manual reviews. However, like any other scanning tool or process, the LF cannot guarantee the completeness or accuracy of the license scanning results and does not guarantee that all possible license issues in a scanned codebase will be identified.

Dependencies on other LF and project teams:

  • Will periodically need assistance from the project manager or similar project staff support, to coordinate on preferred methods for communications with appropriate project community members.

  • May periodically need LF IT assistance for configuring certain types of scans, for those that are dependent of CI/CD processes that are managed by LF IT. 

    • Acumos: LF IT manages configuration for Sonatype NexusIQ tooling

Full details of the program are also outlined in this PDF.

Schedule for scanning for 2021

Cycle 1: January, April, July, October


  • Amundsen
  • EDL
  • Egeria
  • Horovod
  • Ludwig
  • Marquez
  • NNStreamer

Anticipate up to approximately 10 new small-to-medium projects to come in during 2021. Will perform pre-intake scans and allocate to cycles based on project sizing.