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I have successfully developed an Android App in Android Studio but the final thing which is disturbing me is that, my app contains code from a GitHub repository that has BSD license as given below:

BSD License

For WhatsApp Stickers software

Copyright (c) WhatsApp Inc. and its affiliates. All rights reserved.

Redistribution and use in source and binary forms, with or without modification,
are permitted provided that the following conditions are met:

 * Redistributions of source code must retain the above copyright notice, this
   list of conditions and the following disclaimer.

 * Redistributions in binary form must reproduce the above copyright notice,
   this list of conditions and the following disclaimer in the documentation
   and/or other materials provided with the distribution.

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

THIS SOFTWARE IS PROVIDED BY THE COPYRIGHT HOLDERS AND CONTRIBUTORS "AS IS" AND
ANY EXPRESS OR IMPLIED WARRANTIES, INCLUDING, BUT NOT LIMITED TO, THE IMPLIED
WARRANTIES OF MERCHANTABILITY AND FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE ARE
DISCLAIMED. IN NO EVENT SHALL THE COPYRIGHT HOLDER OR CONTRIBUTORS BE LIABLE FOR
ANY DIRECT, INDIRECT, INCIDENTAL, SPECIAL, EXEMPLARY, OR CONSEQUENTIAL DAMAGES
(INCLUDING, BUT NOT LIMITED TO, PROCUREMENT OF SUBSTITUTE GOODS OR SERVICES;
LOSS OF USE, DATA, OR PROFITS; OR BUSINESS INTERRUPTION) HOWEVER CAUSED AND ON
ANY THEORY OF LIABILITY, WHETHER IN CONTRACT, STRICT LIABILITY, OR TORT
(INCLUDING NEGLIGENCE OR OTHERWISE) ARISING IN ANY WAY OUT OF THE USE OF THIS
SOFTWARE, EVEN IF ADVISED OF THE POSSIBILITY OF SUCH DAMAGE.

How to use this above BSD License.

Question # 1:

Can i write Eg: Copyright 2022 · Company Name · All Rights Reserved or Some Rights Reserved in my app About section/activity. Because i do not hold whole app copyright, some code is resued from a GitHub repository.

Question # 2:

Should i have to provide this above BSD License in my app and have to mention the link of the GitHub repository from where i have taken the code.

Question # 3:

Should i also have to publish my app on a BSD License or do I have a right to decide for myself as I wish?

Question # 4:

What if I violate BSD License, will my Google Play Console (Developer Account) license will be terminated permanently?

1 Answer 1

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  1. You can and should add your own copyright notice, alongside the existing copyright notice which you should maintain. The presence of both copyright notices will show that multiple authors have a copyright interest in the resulting work, which you do. You shouldn't, and neither should the original authors, add "All rights reserved"; we discuss that elsewhere here, but the upshot it that it's a holdover from an early global copyright convention which has been entirely superseded, and is now seen as being actively unhelpful.

  2. You must preserve the license text, as that is one of the conditions on the BSD licence's copyright grant. You do not need to link to upstream, though no harm is done if you choose to do so.

  3. You have no power to waive the conditions on upstream's grant, so you can't publish under eg CC0. But you may add more conditions, so as I read it you may publish the whole resulting work under eg GPL if you wish to. This is discussed in more length elsewhere.

  4. Your developer account may doubtless be terminated for all sorts of reasons, some of which will be outlined in the agreement you have with Google. Whether Google would choose to exercise these powers because you violated the BSD licence conditions, nobody here can say; it's up to them.

  5. In general, you shouldn't ask large, multi-part questions here, but I do congratulate you on a clearly-written first question.

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  • Thanks for your detailed explanation, it helped me a lot. May GOD bless you and you live long... Oct 6, 2022 at 11:11
  • On point 1, if you write your own complete software, then I agree that there is no reason to add "All rights reserved" and you should avoid it. However, in this case, the software appears to already include that phrase as part of the copyright notice, and since these licenses literally require "to preserve the above copyright notice", it seems technically wrong to remove that phrase if it's already placed there by someone else. So, I'd say you should add your own notice sans "All rights reserved" but you must keep the phrase intact on the existing notice(s) that include it.
    – Brandin
    Oct 6, 2022 at 12:13
  • @Brandin I wouldn't say that that's part of the copyright notice, any more than if I were to write "(c) Madhatter 2022 and President Bartlet is a thief!" and expect people to preserve the insult intact. I can, however, see the matter is capable of argument, and that it's probably wiser to leave the pre-existing one be. I note also that I didn't advocate removing it, either.
    – MadHatter
    Oct 6, 2022 at 16:36

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