Minimum standard - SML2
Expected standard - SML3
Excellent standard - SML5
SML1 - Initial usability: Software developers have been identified and their responsibilities have been determined. Relevant policies of developer organisation(s) or developers have been reviewed for applicability to intellectual property rights. There may be evidence of a draft intellectual property rights agreement that would result from cooperative activities with other developer organisations or developers. Rights are not specified internally in the source code or externally in documentation. Usage rights or limitations have not been specified.
SML2 - Use is feasible: Developer organisation(s) or developers have an agreement that addresses any potential conflicts in the proposed intellectual property rights and responsibilities for development. A limited rights statement has been drafted, and applied inconsistently in documentation or/and source code. Developer organisation(s) or developers can be contacted to negotiate rights for use.
SML3 - Use is possible by most users: Agreements on development responsibilities, the list of developers, a recommended citation, and intellectual property rights statements, offering limited rights for use, are available, perhaps upon request for review. Developer organisations(s) or developers can be contacted through a single point to obtain formal statements on restricted rights or to negotiate any additional rights.
SML4 - Software is usable: There is evidence that all developer organisation(s) or developers have confirmed that the list of developers, recommended citation and intellectual property rights statements (including limited rights for use, in the software source code, documentation, and in the expression of the software upon execution) conform to their institutional policies and agreements. These include any legal language that has been approved by all parties or their representatives, machine-readable code expressing intellectual property and concise statements in language that can be understood by laypersons, such as a pre-written, recognisable license. Brief statements are available describing limited rights, restrictions, and conditions for use. Developer organisations(s) or developers can be contacted through a single point to obtain formal statements on restricted rights or to negotiate any additional rights.
SML5 - Demonstrable usability: There are multiple statements embedded into the software product describing unrestricted rights and any conditions for use, including commercial and non-commercial use, and the recommended citation. The list of developers is embedded in the source code of the product, in the documentation, or/and in the expression of the software upon execution. The intellectual property rights statements are expressed in legal language, machine-readable code, and in concise statements in language that can be understood by laypersons, such as a pre-written, recognisable license.