Since the question has come up...

M. Warner Losh imp at
Mon Sep 20 14:39:21 PDT 2004

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

There's a legal definition of advertising, which is likely the one
that should be gone with.  It is somewhat vague, and you'll likely get
a lot of feedback on this.  I'm not qualified to render a legal

: 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?)

Short answer:
	No.  N/A.  N/A.  N/A

Long answer:

I'm not a lawyer, and the below should be reguarded as a layman's
explaination only.

The anthology copyright, found in /usr/src/COPYRIGHT, that the FreeBSD
project publishes its collective work under is perfectly legal, and
does not supercede anybody's rights.  The FreeBSD project is saying,
that as far as it is concerned, you can distribute the project's
releases under very liberal terms.  This does not obviate one from
complying with all of the other licenses in the tree.  It merely
grants permission to use the agregation that the project does as an

There's a concent in copyright law for an anthology copyright.  If you
go to a bookstore, at least in the US, and buy a book of short
stories, you'll find that the whole book is copyrighted by So and So
Publishing.  This copyright covers the collection as a whole, as well
as certain, protectable elements of how the collection is orgianized,
how it is presented, etc.  You'll also find that each and every short
story in that book will likely have an additional copyright notice
telling you the copyright for that story is owned by its author, or by
some company.  The indvidual stories still belong to its "author."
The individual authors have allowed their work to be included in the
larger anthology by granting permission to So and So Publishing to
print their work (likely in return for some form of compensation).

It is no different for FreeBSD.  The Anthology Copyright that the
project has is for the entire collection is similar to So and So
Publishing's copyright above.  The individual licenses that are in the
tree are the permission from the copyright holders, similar to how
each author in the above example gave permission to So and So
Publishing to print their story in the book.  The difference between
the above example and FreeBSD is that the works contained in the
"FreeBSD anthology" pass through permission to copy freely (for
different definitions of free, depending on the software) to the end
user.  The FreeBSD anthology copyright is the permission that the
project needs to grant its users to copy the anthology that is
FreeBSD.  However, they are not relieved from also following the
licenses of the constituent parts.

: 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)

I think this is an excellent idea.  In fact, I've been moving towards
having this available.  However, I've had trouble finding people to
help me with the grunt work of putting this together.  Volunteers are
most welcome.

[ speaking at just Warner Losh, not in any official capacity ]

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