BSD-3 License

A permissive license similar to the BSD 2-Clause License, but with a 3rd clause that prohibits others from using the name of the project or its contributors to promote derived products without written consent.

We have such a scenario, project A (AGPL license) does not interfere in any way and does not use the source code of the project B (BSD-3 license). Project A has the functionality of parsing and analyzing JSON, CSV files generated by the project B. Do we break the BSD-3 license when mentioning the project B in the readme file of the project A, i.e. when the name of the project is used?

1 Answer 1


For reference, the actual clause in the license is this:

  1. Neither the name of the copyright holder nor the names of its contributors may be used to endorse or promote products derived from this software without specific prior written permission.

This doesn't prevent you using the name per se, but does mean you need to be careful about how you use it. You can almost certainly say

A parses the files produced by B

but would have to be careful about saying something like

A is the recommended tool to parse files produced by B

as that could be taken to be an endorsement of A. There is no "bright line" here as to what is endorsement or promotion - just make sure you phrase your wording so a reasonable person couldn't think that B has in any way endorsed your project.

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