Subject: Re: For Approval: The Simplified BSD License
From: "Zac Bowling" <>
Date: Sat, 8 Sep 2007 20:16:26 -0500

I suggest non approval. This is the "FreeBSD license"
( It's close
enough to Modified BSD/MIT/X11 and offers no new novel features or
concepts. Because a license is compatible or not with the GPL should
not beat the non mass license proliferation goals of the OSI.

The no endorsements is something you that you already have some
protection for under US law already. Using someone's name is protected
in the same way a trademark is protected. Employees of the FSF have
even commented that they believe that modified BSD (3 clause BSD) is
functionally compatbile with the GPLv2 if you remove the advertising

GPLv2 says in the preamble, "If the software is modified by someone
else and passed on, we want its recipients to know that what they have
is not the original, so that any problems introduced by others will
not reflect on the original authors' reputations.". IANAL , but the
"no endorsements" of Modified BSD fits with the intent of the preamble
and I don't believe that the no endorcements clause does adds an extra
restriction on the terms of the GPL that are not already required when
you have to notify the user that you modified it. They both pretty
much prevent you from saying "Mozilla's Firefox" if you modified it
and added a bunch of new features.

The GPLv3 clarifies it by explicitily allowing you to include a
"no-endorsement" clause without issue.

"Notwithstanding any other provision of this License, for material you
add to a covered work, you may (if authorized by the copyright holders
of that material) supplement the terms of this License with terms:
d) Limiting the use for publicity purposes of names of licensors or
authors of the material; or
e) Declining to grant rights under trademark law for use of some trade
names, trademarks, or service marks; or


On 9/8/07, Chuck Swiger <> wrote:
> Donovan Hawkins wrote:
> > On Fri, 7 Sep 2007, Matthew Flaschen wrote:
> >> ...and some BSD licensors are unwilling to use MIT...
> >
> > Why is that exactly? The proliferation of BSD-like licenses is enormous,
> > and I don't quite understand the reason for it when so many of the
> > licenses are so similar.
> You're certainly right-- the last time I checked, there were over thirty minor
> textual variants of the BSD license in the standard C library sources.
> However, all of these variants are simple, permissive licenses which are
> compatible with each other and all (or pretty much all) of the OSI-approved
> licenses, so this type of license proliferation doesn't seem to be doing any
> real harm in the way that having less permissive licenses interact might.
> --
> -Chuck

Zac Bowling

I support Mozilla Firefox.