[Haskell-cafe] Problems trying to understand the BSD license
brianh at metamilk.com
Sun Sep 3 14:45:50 EDT 2006
I'm not sure if this is the right place to ask this question but since a lot
of Haskell code is under the BSD license I think the answer could be useful
for other people as well.
The question I have is if I want to redistribute a binary executable under
my own proprietary license that uses code from various BSD libraries, what
exact text do I need to add to my license to satisfy the BSD licenses that
came with the libraries?
Is the code that is part of the executable considered to be a redistribution
of the library in binary form?
Also consider this apparent contradiction:
Copyright (c) 1988 XYZ ...
1) Redistributions of source code...
2) 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.
3) Neither the name of XYZ nor the names of its
contributors may be used to endorse or promote
products derived from this software without
specific prior written permission.
In order to comply with 2), it suggests I'd need to insert something along
the lines of:
Portions of this software are copyrighted by XYZ, PQR, STU, ...
Portions of this software are provided by XYZ, ..., "as is" and
any express or implied warranties ...
but does this infringe on 3), which states that the name of XYZ should not
be used to endorse the product? Ie is the mention of XYZ's name in the
license considered to *not* be an endorsement?
And what about "this list of conditions"? Does that also include the first
condition ("Redistributions of source code ...") even though only a binary
executable is being supplied to the licensee? I also don't want the licensee
to get confused and think the whole executable is being distributed under
Also what about the application's "about" dialog or help pages? Would an
acknowledgement of libraries used in the code and their authors be
considered to be using them to endorse my product or would it be regarded as
a welcome acknowledgement for their hard work in making the libraries
available? Is this required or prohibited by the BSD license?
Surprisingly, although I have looked at several websites which discuss the
BSD license, none of them actually say what the practical down to earth text
of a proprietary license of a binary executable using BSD licensed
components is supposed to look like.
Logic empowers us and Love gives us purpose.
Yet still phantoms restless for eras long past,
congealed in the present in unthought forms,
strive mightily unseen to destroy us.
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