Re: License List 1.4 posted on SPDX site

Tom Incorvia

Hi Jilayne,


Thanks for getting the next rev of the license list out!


Regarding the BSD licenses: I did some of the original work on the BSD licenses.  Below is the post from June 2010.  Fine if we rethink, but FYI below is the logic that the “early” team used to come up with the long names. 


The key issue that we tried to address was that the BSD licenses are inconsistently referred to with adjectives including “Original”, “New”, “Old”, “Modified”, “Simplified” and “Free”. 


These adjectives are also often combined inconsistently or outright incorrectly causing additional confusion.  We agreed on the # clauses as being definitive for the short names.  The current long names that were chosen were a compromise to have the names be as distinct as possible while retaining as much of the naming “lineage” as possible.


The June emails on this topic is below.




From: Tom Incorvia
Sent: Thursday, June 17, 2010 9:40 AM
To: package-facts@...
Subject: BSD Short and Long Name Recommendations


One of my tasks from the last call was to propose BSD license long and short names.


Here are the names and logic.  These have been integrated into Kate’s list.


BSD License Naming:


Lots of confusion has resulted from the BSD licenses being named with various adjectives including Original, New, Old, Modified, Simplified and Free.  These adjectives are also combined, often, and incorrectly, causing additional confusion. 


Suffixing with the number of clauses ,however, is quite consistent, so I propose that we do that for the short names as specified below. 


-          BSD-4-Clause

-          BSD-3-Clause

-          BSD-2-Clause


Regarding the long names, to limit the confusion we include accepted, non-overlapping adjectives for each.  The long names below reflect the most consistent use of the adjectives historically used to describe the BSD.  The only exception is that “New and Simplified” is NOT used in the long name.  This combination, although somewhat common, consistently obscures whether the license is the “New” (3-clause) or  “Simplified FreeBSD” (2-Clause).  Best to avoid this phrase.


Proposed long names are below:


-          BSD 4-Clause “Original” or “Old” License

-          BSD 3-Clause “New” or  “Revised” License

-          BSD 2-Clause “Simplified” or “FreeBSD” License






Tom Incorvia


Direct:  (512) 340-1336

Mobile: (408) 499 6850

From: spdx-bounces@... [mailto:spdx-bounces@...] On Behalf Of Jilayne Lovejoy
Sent: Thursday, December 23, 2010 5:23 PM
To: spdx@...
Subject: License List 1.4 posted on SPDX site


Items of note:

Older versions of various licenses have been added.

Zlib and libpng licenses are both included.


Only remaining issue that I don’t think we addressed was the naming of the BSD licenses.  Currently the long title includes the various common names, e.g. “BSD 3-clause "New" or "Revised" License”

This is certainly makes it most identifiable and I didn’t have any better idea of how to handle the various ways these licenses are referred to, so I left as-is.


Happy Holidays!


Jilayne Lovejoy  |  Corporate Counsel



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