Questions about the two-clause BSD license

Chuck Swiger chuck at
Sun Oct 18 22:28:27 UTC 2009


On Oct 18, 2009, at 2:47 PM, Pimm Hogeling wrote:
> Dag-Erling Smørgrav:
>> However, rather than worry about semantic details, why don't you just
>> include a copy of the license as a separate file in the distribution?
> I, personally, have no problem with that. However, as I want this
> library to be as widely spread as possible, I don't want to obligate
> the licensees more than I have to.

OK.  It's possible that the ISC license or the MIT/X11 license might  
suit you a little better, although the 2-clause BSD license is nearly  
identical in practical effect to those other alternatives.

> If I look at the two-clause BSD license really close, I believe it has
> more restrictions than I find necessary. Specifically the binary
> form-clause could be less restrictive.
> The clause states that binary forms must reproduce the copyright
> notice, the list of conditions, and the disclaimer. I could imagine
> that such an obligation will scare off some people.

I admire your imagination, but anyone with such concerns would be  
unlikely to use a computer all, since every operating system I'm aware  
of-- aside from the BSD flavors-- contains more restrictive licensing  
terms (usually much more: see the Windows and MacOS X EULAs, the GPL  
for Linux & derivatives, the CDDL for OpenSolaris, etc).

> I'd like to discuss how much of that clause is actually functional,  
> and what could
> be left out, putting less obligations on the licensees.

If you're talking about your own works, you are free to license them  
under whatever terms you please.  If you're talking about someone  
else's work which is already under the 2-clause BSD license, then all  
of the clauses are functional.

[ ... ]
> What are your thoughts on this?

You are worrying about a non-issue.  The obligation to keep the  
copyright statement intact is typically required by law (cf 17 USC  
section 506(c) or your local equivalent), and the obligation to keep  
the license terms & disclaimer intact is a common basic part of all  
(or nearly) all licenses.


More information about the License-discuss mailing list