How to declare a license for a Gradle project?

Is there a canonical way to declare a license as part of Gradle build files, in a similar way how I can add a <licenses> tag to maven POMs? In particular, I’m looking for a solution that is independent of any Gradle plugins (like POM export), and that can be queried programmatically e.g. via the tooling API.

Of course, I could simply add a LICENSE net to my root build.gradle file. I was just wondering whether there is also some dedicated meta-data field for this, to e.g. put the concise SPDX identifier in, instead of having to parse the LICENSE file.

There are a number of plugins dealing with licenses:

What do you want to do with this metadata? The simplest thing is to just add a property in your project’s or just put the license in a well-known file.

I did the same search, but most of these deal with licenses of (transitive) dependencies.

Using “a property” is not standardized, i.e. WRT the name of the property. And like I said initially, of course I could put e.g. the Apache 2.0 license text into a LICENSE file. But that means I’d still need to use some tool (like that is able to recognize the Apache 2.0 license text and output the SPDX identifier for it.

It would be much more convenient if there was a Gradle built-in property / API that is supposed to hold the SPDX identifier for the declared license that could be queried programmatically.

I always add licenses to my projects which I publish on Maven Central as that’s mandatory… See how I do it here: for example. I believe this config is added by the Maven plugin, and the generated pom.xml will contain the expected licenses tag Maven repos expect.

Any particular reason why you’re using the Maven plugin instead of the Maven-Publish plugin?

The pom.xml looks correct with the maven plugin, but with maven-publish, last I tried, it looked broken and missed stuff. Is there any reason maven-publish should be used instead? I haven’t had problems with maven so far.

I don’t know as I’ve used neither so far, but the maven-publish just looked more recent / like the successor of the maven plugin to me.