February 9th, 2010

  • evan

bsd license advertising

Did you know that the 3-clause BSD (that is, the one with the "advertising" clause stripped) license still has an advertising requirement? Read it for yourself: "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."

That is, it's not just that you must preserve the copyright and license on the code, you must make extra effort to reproduce it when making binary distributions of it.

I learned about this by a request from an author of a BSD-licensed library, who asked why Chrome didn't include his name in its credits. (Ironically, I had initially suggested we avoid using this library due to its historically aggressively advertising license, only to embarrass myself because it no longer used that license. I was wrong at that time since the old license no longer applied, but in the end I was kind of right!)

PS: check out about:credits in Chrome and expand the "webkit" section. We actually have to list every contributor by name. Now that I look I bet that list is out of date. :(