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Licensing

U-Boot is Free Software. It is copyrighted by Wolfgang Denk and many others who contributed code (see the actual source code and the git commit messages for details). You can redistribute U-Boot and/or modify it under the terms of version 2 of the GNU General Public License as published by the Free Software Foundation. Most of it can also be distributed, at your option, under any later version of the GNU General Public License -- see individual files for exceptions.

NOTE! This license does not cover the so-called "standalone" applications that use U-Boot services by means of the jump table provided by U-Boot exactly for this purpose - this is merely considered normal use of U-Boot, and does not fall under the heading of "derived work" -- see file Licenses/Exceptions for details.

Also note that the GPL and the other licenses are copyrighted by the Free Software Foundation and other organizations, but the instance of code that they refer to (the U-Boot source code) is copyrighted by me and others who actually wrote it.
-- Wolfgang Denk

Like many other projects, U-Boot had a tradition of including big blocks of License headers in all files. This not only blew up the source code with mostly redundant information, but also made it very difficult to generate License Clearing Reports. An additional problem was that even the same lincenses were referred to by a number of slightly varying text blocks (full, abbreviated, different indentation, line wrapping and/or white space, with obsolete address information, ...) which made automatic processing a nightmare.

To make this easier, such license headers in the source files have been replaced with a single line reference to Unique Lincense Identifiers as defined by the Linux Foundation's SPDX project [1]. For example, in a source file the full "GPL v2.0 or later" header text was replaced by a single line:

SPDX-License-Identifier:        GPL-2.0+

We use the SPDX Unique Lincense Identifiers here; these are available at [2].

[1] http://spdx.org/
[2] http://spdx.org/licenses/