The NetBSD Foundation Moves to a Two Clause BSD License

Duncan Coutts duncan.coutts at
Mon Jul 21 06:43:03 EDT 2008

On Mon, 2008-07-21 at 13:35 +0900, Curt Sampson wrote:
> On 2008-06-20 23:44 +0100 (Fri), Duncan Coutts wrote:
> > It makes sense for NetBSD to go from BSD3 to BSD2 given its historical
> > connection with the BSD license but perhaps other projects are better
> > off with the MIT license if they do not like the 3rd clause in the
> > BSD3 license.
> As a NetBSD developer, I was involved in the voting on this issue. There
> seemed to be several reasons why we did things this way:
> 1. There were several options on the table for what clauses we should
> remove, some of which would have brought us to "MIT-equivalant" status
> and some of which would not have done so.
> 2. Staying with BSD meant that some licenses that we could not change
> (becuase The NetBSD Foundation doesn't own copyright to the code) would
> "become standard," as it were, because they already happened to have the
> same number of clauses that we decided on.
> 3. And yes, there is the historical thing, too.
> Also, propsoing a wholesale license away from the BSD license would
> likely have initiated a flamewar on the developer list of unbelievable
> proportions. :-)
> Personally, even though I've been a BSD developer for more than ten
> years, and a BSD user for close to twenty-five, I picked MIT license for
> my recent open source projects. It just seemed simpler than deciding
> which clauses I wanted. So I'm all in favour of that.

Thanks Curt, that was enlightening.


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