[License-review] Approval: BSD + Patent License

Mike Milinkovich mike.milinkovich at eclipse.org
Fri Jan 15 16:15:14 UTC 2016

On 13/01/2016 1:57 PM, Smith, McCoy wrote:
> This license should be categorized as a “Special Purpose License,” or, alternatively, as an approved variant of the BSD 2-clause license.


I also like the direction that proposal is going in. I believe that such 
a license has the potential to be very useful and popular. Thank you for 
taking the initiative to put this together.

One criticism of the BSD-style license that I have heard in the past is 
that because it is an editable template, downstream consumers have an 
added compliance burden to ensure that the version that they are looking 
at is, in fact, an exact copy of the BSD.  Have you considered giving 
this license a name, and copyrighting it to help alleviate this issue? I 
would guess that some text similar to what I've pasted below from the 
EPL would be required. I am not sure who could be the license steward. I 
would suggest the OSI itself, but I don't know if that is too radical a 
departure from past practice.

    Everyone is permitted to copy and distribute copies of this
    Agreement, but in order to avoid inconsistency the Agreement is
    copyrighted and may only be modified in the following manner. The
    Agreement Steward reserves the right to publish new versions
    (including revisions) of this Agreement from time to time. No one
    other than the Agreement Steward has the right to modify this
    Agreement. The <<some organization>> is the initial Agreement
    Steward. The <<some organization>> may assign the responsibility to
    serve as the Agreement Steward to a suitable separate entity. Each
    new version of the Agreement will be given a distinguishing version
    number. The Program (including Contributions) may always be
    distributed subject to the version of the Agreement under which it
    was received. In addition, after a new version of the Agreement is
    published, Contributor may elect to distribute the Program
    (including its Contributions) under the new version.

Mike Milinkovich
Eclipse Foundation and OSI Director

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