Subject: Re: Communication skills
From: "Ben Tilly" <>
Date: Thu, 15 Nov 2007 11:46:51 -0800

On Nov 15, 2007 11:36 AM, Chris Travers <> wrote:
> On Nov 15, 2007 11:27 AM, Zak Greant <> wrote:
> > Yes.
> >
> > FreeBSD has used more than one license in it's history (IIRC) and its
> > various components are not all coherently licensed.
> Ok so what do you do when someone asks whether the FreeBSD License is
> OSI approved?

Ask which FreeBSD license they are talking about. :-P

> Do you object to Russ's proposal as well?

Speaking as a disinterested party, *I* object to following Russ'
proposal right now.  The license was put forth.  The submitter has a
strong opinion on the name.  Nobody has actually asked that it be
presented with the name FreeBSD License.

If we really care about what the FreeBSD folks think, why not point
out that a variant of the BSD license that they use heavily has been
submitted under the name Simplified BSD License, and ask if they have
any objections to it being approved under that name.  If they don't
care (I'm guessing that they probably won't), then approve it under
the Simplified BSD License name.  If they do care, then bring some of
them here, and let them argue it out the relative merits of different

(Frankly for me the fact that OpenBSD used the same license before
FreeBSD is enough to convince me that it shouldn't be called the
FreeBSD License.)

> > We clearly understand the problems associated with naming a license
> > after an organization or product when there are multiple licenses that
> > could validly be called by that name.
> While we are on that topic, maybe we should change the web site from
> "GNU General Public License" to "GNU General Public License version
> 2?"  (BTW, that is a serious suggestion.)

Given that there are 3, and 2 have considerable mindshare, I'd second
that suggestion.  But I'd shorten "version 2" to "v2".

> > Choosing the name, "Simplified BSD License" provides a relatively
> > clear description of what the license is - assuming that the audience
> > knows what the BSD license is.
> >
> But it still leads to community confusion.  At very least, we need an
> acknowledgement that this license is sometimes called the FreeBSD
> License.

Honestly, who in the community seriously doubts that any BSD variant
is truly open source, no matter what the OSI says?