2.2 The BSD License

   

The BSD License, which is only slightly more restrictive than the MIT License, exists in a number of substantially similar forms. The following example is the UCB/LBL form, named after the University of California at Berkeley and the Lawrence Berkeley Laboratory.

This license, like the MIT License, begins:

Copyright (c) <YEAR>, <OWNER>

All rights reserved.

Redistribution and use in source and binary forms, with or without modification, are permitted provided that the following conditions are met:

The copyright notice and the attribution are substantially the same as those in the MIT License. Again, the license should reflect the actual year of copyright and the correct name of the creator.

Prior to 1999, the BSD License contained the following provision:

All advertising materials mentioning features or use of this software must display the following acknowledgement: This product includes software developed by the University of California, Lawrence Berkeley Laboratory.

This provision seems relatively innocuous. It seems both reasonable and natural that the creator, having surrendered the exclusive right to commercially exploit a work, should receive credit not only in the acknowledgment of rights but in the advertising as well. It does not challenge the essential premises of open source, as it does not limit the scope of the use of the software in any direct way. Nonetheless, the pre-1999 BSD License sometimes causes problems because of this clause. The principles of open source endorse the commercial exploitation of software, including the sale of software, manuals, and support for profit. Such commercial exploitation very well may include advertising and when an open source project draws from a number of predecessors, the requirement of including such references can become a real burden. The BSD License, however, was amended in 1999 and this clause was removed. The University of California rescinded this clause and to the extent it may still be found in BSD files licensed by the University of California, it no longer has any legal effect.

The remainder of the license largely mirrors the effect of the provisions of the MIT License already described, by conditioning distribution whether in modified form or not on the maintenance of the conditions already described:

Redistribution and use in source and binary forms, with or without modification, are permitted provided that the following conditions are met:

Redistributions of source code must retain the above copyright notice, this list of conditions and the following disclaimer.

Redistributions in binary form must reproduce the above copyright notice, this list of conditions and the following disclaimer in the documentation and/or other materials provided with the distribution.

Neither the name of the <ORGANIZATION> nor the names of its contributors may be used to endorse or promote products derived from this software without specific prior written permission.

With the clause about advertising removed (formerly, the third clause in the license), the only substantial difference between this license and the MIT License is the non-attribution provision in the last clause. This provision requires prior permission for use of the name of the creator, and it protects the reputation of the creator from being explicitly associated with derivative versions of the program. Such restrictions permit creators to protect themselves from the injury to their reputations that can result from association with a defective or poorly written program, while still allowing others to use or modify a work.

The final provision is a disclaimer of warranties:

THIS SOFTWARE IS PROVIDED BY THE REGENTS AND CONTRIBUTORS "AS IS" AND ANY EXPRESS OR IMPLIED WARRANTIES, INCLUDING, BUT NOT LIMITED TO, THE IMPLIED WARRANTIES OF MERCHANTABILITY AND FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE ARE DISCLAIMED. IN NO EVENT SHALL THE REGENTS OR CONTRIBUTORS BE LIABLE FOR ANY DIRECT, INDIRECT, INCIDENTAL, SPECIAL, EXEMPLARY, OR CONSEQUENTIAL DAMAGES (INCLUDING, BUT NOT LIMITED TO, PROCUREMENT OF SUBSTITUTE GOODS OR SERVICES; LOSS OF USE, DATA, OR PROFITS; OR BUSINESS INTERRUPTION) HOWEVER CAUSED AND ON ANY THEORY OF LIABILITY, WHETHER IN CONTRACT, STRICT LIABILITY, OR TORT (INCLUDING NEGLIGENCE OR OTHERWISE) ARISING IN ANY WAY OUT OF THE USE OF THIS SOFTWARE, EVEN IF ADVISED OF THE POSSIBILITY OF SUCH DAMAGE.

This provision specifically disclaims any express warranty, as well as the warranties of merchantability and fitness for a particular purpose, and it operates much like the disclaimer in the MIT License.



Open Source and Free Software Licensing
Understanding Open Source and Free Software Licensing
ISBN: 0596005814
EAN: 2147483647
Year: 2003
Pages: 78

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