Subject: Re: Simplified BSD license
From: Chuck Swiger <>
Date: Tue, 5 Jun 2007 11:31:02 -0700

On Jun 5, 2007, at 11:02 AM, John Cowan wrote:
> That refers to clause 3 of the original or 4-clause BSD, the  
> "obnoxious"
> required-advertising clause, which made it incompatible (according to
> the FSF) with the GPL:
>       * 3. All advertising materials mentioning features or use of  
> this software
>       *    must display the following acknowledgement:
>       *    This product includes software developed by the  
> University of
>       *    California, Berkeley and its contributors.
> Anything licensed by UCB itself under the 4-clause BSD is now as if
> it were licensed under the 3-clause BSD, and it's the latter which is
> explicitly OSI certified.

You're absolutely right.

> That says nothing about the use of the 4-clause
> BSD by other licensors (the NetBSD Foundation uses it on their code),
> or about the 2-clause BSD which is the subject of the current  
> proposal.

The removal of the advertising clause as far as UCal/Berkeley is  
concerned does not affect third-parties who choose to use the 4- 
clause version and intend for the advertising clause to be in  
effect.  I wouldn't say that the NetBSD Foundation is entirely  
independent from using sources which came from UCal/Berkeley, but  
they've certainly created lots of new code themselves which they can  
license under the 4-clause BSDL, or however else they wish.

> My view is that both the 2-clause and the 4-clause BSD are  
> obviously Open
> Source, and that the 2-clause should be certified, since it is  
> known to
> be in use and someone has requested it.

I agree that all of the BSDL variants mentioned above are Open  
Source; the question was whether we ought to certify all of these  
variants explicitly.  I don't see any harm in doing so, any more than  
the slight textual variations of the BSDL one might find seem to  
constitute a problem.