Adds support for the atom:license element as an optional child of atom:feed or atom:entry. The intent is to provide a machine readable expression of the license under which the content of feed/entry is published. (proposed by JamesSnell)
The creator of a feed may wish that the content of the feed/entry be published/republished/used only under certain explicit conditions. This element would be used to allow the feed author to express, in a machine readable form, the license under which the feed or entry is being published. An example of such a claim may be a creative commons license.
4.x "atom:license" Element
The "atom:license" element is a Content construct that conveys a machine-readable license statement for the feed or entry. atom:feed and atom:entry elements MAY contain multiple atom:license element. Each instance of the license statement indicates a distinct separate license. Multiple license statements allow for a feed or entry to be dual-licensed for a variety of purposes.
The atom:license element SHOULD be used to convey machine-readable licensing information.
The atom:license may be assumed to apply to all entries contained by the feed except those entries which contain atom:license elements. The atom:license element MUST, if present, be considered to apply to the feed as a collection of entries.
* Improves the clarity and granularity of licensing claims in Atom feeds. * Potentially increases the complexity of generating, processing and presenting entries since greater granularity of licenses may need to be presented. * Provides a means for synthetic feed generators to pass forward licensing claims made in feeds from which entries may have been extracted.
I'd understand this if it required a particular syntax for licensing terms, but this seems to be a general bucket for anything vaguely related to licensing. As such, I don't see how it adds value over just (for example) a creative-commons-specific Atom extension.