[License-discuss] A modest proposal to reduce the number of BSD licenses

Atwood, Mark atwoodm at amazon.com
Thu Aug 20 23:53:11 UTC 2020



If anyone can find cases were Amazon or an Amazon company is publishing open source under a non-standard BSD license, please let me know, and we will fix it.


If anyone gets involved in formally step by step relicensing an open source project and there are commits to it from Amazon staff, again, please let me know, and we may can help you.


Amazon’s preferred permissive license is Apache 2.0.  In part because it doesn’t have this “dozens and dozens of pointless minor variants” problem.





Mark Atwood < <mailto:atwoodm at amazon.com> atwoodm at amazon.com>

Principal, Open Source





From: License-discuss <license-discuss-bounces at lists.opensource.org> On Behalf Of Russell Nelson
Sent: Monday, August 17, 2020 8:13 PM
To: license-discuss at lists.opensource.org
Subject: [EXTERNAL] [License-discuss] A modest proposal to reduce the number of BSD licenses


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We've all seen the vast variety of BSD licenses. You know the ones I mean: "Do what you want with the code, but if you change it, you can't mis-represent it as the same thing. We don't include any warranty because you didn't pay us for one."

I propose that we find two things:

1.	A pair of BSD-like licenses which are so near to each other as to be practically the same in effect, and 
2.	A party that is using one of these licenses and is willing to relicense under the other. 

The problem has always been that open source project accumulate licensors and patches in equal number, and in theory to relicense something requires assent from all licensors. I'm saying that we don't have to worry about them because they are suffering no harm because of #1.

This has been proposed before. What is different now is that the Public Software Fund is going to stand behind this process, and defend the project's editor against lawsuits by any licensors who object to this relicense.

Doesn't matter which license is primary to the other because this is just a test case. I believe that once people see that a relicense of no significant effect is easy, and lets the OSI make open source licensing less complicated -- which is the organization's long-term goal.

Suggestions for #1 and #2?

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