When talking about BSD license, you have to be aware that there is not one, but actually three different BSD licenses. The most basic is the two-clause BSD license:
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
The three-clause BSD license adds this clause:
Neither the name of the [organization] nor the
names of its contributors may be used to endorse or promote products
derived from this software without specific prior written permission.
And the four-clause BSD license also this clause:
All advertising materials mentioning features or use of this software
must display the following acknowledgement:
This product includes software developed by the [organization].
The MIT license does not contain any clauses regarding promotion and advertising material, so it is most similar to the 2-clause BSD license:
Permission is hereby granted, free of charge, to any person obtaining a copy of this software and associated documentation files (the "Software"), to deal in the Software without restriction, including without limitation the rights to use, copy, modify, merge, publish, distribute, sublicense, and/or sell copies of the Software, and to permit persons to whom the Software is furnished to do so, subject to the following conditions:
The above copyright notice and this permission notice shall be included in all copies or substantial portions of the Software.
So what both the 2-clause BSD license and the MIT license have in common are:
- Permits use
- Permits redistribution
- Permits redistribution with modification
- Provision to retain the copyright notice and warranty disclaimer
In addition the MIT license also explicitly allows:
However, all these freedoms are implied by the BSD license, because all these activities can be considered "use" and/or "redistribution" of the software.
The practical differences between the 2-clause BSD license and the MIT license are marginal. Which one to pick is mostly up to personal taste. Especially considering that both licenses are considered compatible, so you can take code under one license and use it in a project under the other, as long as you keep the license text around.