Legacy approval request - BSD license (PostgreSQL variant)

Dave Page dpage at pgadmin.org
Fri Sep 25 10:55:44 UTC 2009

2009/9/25 Dag-Erling Smørgrav <des at des.no>:
> Dave Page <dpage at pgadmin.org> writes:
>> The PostgreSQL project (http://www.postgresql.org/) originates from
>> Michael Stonebraker's database group at UC Berkeley. The project began
>> in 1986, and was released by the Regents of the University of
>> California in 1996 under a variant of their BSD licence, a copy of
>> which is attached to this message.
> It is not "a variant of their BSD license"; it is a completely different
> text, much closer in spirit to the MIT license.

Poor choice of words on my part. We consider it a variant in the sense
that it is an alternate license prescribed for use on their software
by UC Berkeley. It may not be the recognised BSD licence, and it's
hard to deny that it is more like the MIT text, however it is
definitely a Berkeley licence.

> The practical
> difference may be small, but calling it "the BSD license" without
> further qualification (see e.g. http://www.postgresql.org/about/) is
> misleading at best.

I don't think anyone realised that Berkeley had given us a different
license until very recently. That's why I'm requesting the review - to
clarify and recognise the text we inherited from them for the benefit
of our current and future users. The PostgreSQL project is very proud
of it's academic heritage, and is keen to accurately reflect that
whilst avoiding confusion caused by similarities with licenses from
other institutions.

> BTW, have you discussed this license with a lawyer?  Did they point out
> to you that the warranty and liability disclaimers apply only to the
> University of California and not to the PostgreSQL Global Development
> Group?

I haven't discussed that particular point, no. I will do however - thanks.

Do OSI consider addition of entities in that fashion to change the
license? I.e. if we are able to change that, would I need to resubmit?

Regards, Dave

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