[License-review] New legacy license for approval: BSD-1-Clause

Pedro Giffuni pfg at FreeBSD.org
Mon Jan 6 16:12:42 UTC 2020

(re-sent due to wrong list settings)

Hello and happy new year;

On 06/01/2020 00:43, Russell Nelson wrote:
> On 12/10/19 10:07 AM, pfg at FreeBSD.org (Pedro Giffuni) wrote:
>> Hello;
>> While doing a sweep through the FreeBSD code tree, I found yet another
>> variant of the BSD license which I have dubbed BSD-1-Clause license:
> Re-license it under the BSD LIcense and don't look back. 

The reason why I wanted as legacy is that I don't have any power of the 
license. The authors disappeared from the net and even if they were 
available, the company has changed hand a couple of times so it's 
unlikely  anyone can push such a change through. Pushing even simple 
changes (like dropping "All Rights Reserved" over an existing license is 
likely an impossible task.

> We really need to move to just one BSD[123]/MIT license (actually 
> Apache-2.0 but baby steps), and for any software that has a compatible 
> license, re-license it under that license, and tell the original 
> author that's necessary in order for it to be distributed. It will 
> preserve freedom and reduce license evaluation cost. Some companies 
> really *do* require a legal analysis of any license they want to use. 
> Reducing the number of licenses they have to look at will save them 
> money, and increase their use. More importantly it will increase their 
> reliance on open source software.
While we already have such a policy for new files, for existing code we 
are focusing our efforts on reducing license restrictions, rather than 
imposing new restrictions on software that is reasonably licensed. We 
still have plenty of code under 3-clause, 4-clause and even 5 or more 
clause BSD-like licenses that is not going to be changed anytime soon.

I cannot speak for the FreeBSD project but it is not in our agenda to 
impose licensing based on lies. Can you give an example on how adding  
the second clause of the BSD license is "necessary in order for it to be 

> Let's be clear here: we want people to acquire freedom, we want people 
> to enjoy freedom, and we want people to advance freedom. Having 
> multiple nearly identical licenses hinders that goal.
Off topic: you cannot force people to be free. Part of their freedom is 
indeed to be able to add or remove clauses to their license according to 
their needs. Have you ever wondered why people keep coming up with new 
licenses even when there is an existing variety of choices? Yes, you can 
try to reduce the number of recognized licenses but that is not going to 
stop people from using new licensing schemes.

-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
URL: <http://lists.opensource.org/pipermail/license-review_lists.opensource.org/attachments/20200106/33b1103e/attachment-0001.html>

More information about the License-review mailing list