Since the question has come up...

Chris Pressey cpressey at
Sun Sep 19 18:47:30 PDT 2004

What *is* the definition of "advertising" as intended by the
"no-advertising" clause?

According to, an advertisement is:

   "2. A notice, such as a poster or a paid announcement in the print,
broadcast, or electronic media, designed to attract public attention or

Not to troll, of course, but it seems very arguable that the front page
of falls under this definition.  It also unquestionably
*reads* like an advertisment, touting reasons to use it and so forth.  I
looked under the 'legal' link but only the FreeBSD, BSD, and GNU public
licenses are given.  Even disregarding the "no-advertising clause", and
going solely on clause #2, I was sort of expecting to find a list of all
"reproductions of the above copyright notice, this list of conditions
and the following disclaimer", so to speak, on the 'legal' page.

Have all these copyright notices been lumped together into "Copyright
1994-2004 The FreeBSD Project"?  Is there legal grounds for this?  Did
the individual copyright holders consent to having their names removed? 
What about where the disclaimers and lists of conditions differ (even
slightly - for example is there any MIT-licensed code in the tree?)

Lacking a comprehensive summary of all licenses, it might be a good idea
to have a link on the 'legal' page pointing to the CVSWeb interface,
saying that the license specifics for each specific component of the
system are buried in there somewhere.  In other words, a release CD
image might be a "binary distribution", but CVSWeb is a "material
provided with the distribution", or something along those lines, which
seems like better legal ground to me (disclaimer: IANAL)

Again, I'm really really not trying to troll here, and if it comes off
that way, I apologize.  I genuinely am interested to know what the
answers to these questions are, because I think this is potentially an
important issue for advocacy purposes (since most posters, brochures,
pamphlets etc, could easily be considered advertising.)


More information about the freebsd-advocacy mailing list