2

If a company wants to use an application that is distributed under the BSD license with this text below.

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 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.

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 <COPYRIGHT HOLDER> 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.

The commercial company wants to use the software in binary form.

Do you need to contact the author in order to use the software, in binary form, for a commercial product?

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  • No, you don't need to contact the author for permission. – Robert Harvey Sep 21 '16 at 14:14
6

For the BSD license, there is no need to contact the author for permission or approval to use or include a binary of the software. If you package or use the binary of this software in your product, commercial or otherwise, you must include their license along with your product.

In the case of Java, much of this software is packaged in modules that already contain the license so you are compliant with BSD simply by including the dependent modules within your package.

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

This is basically saying that if Linus Torvalds is the author of a library you are using in your commercial application, you cannot go and make a commercial advertisement claiming that Linus Torvalds endorses your software.

The rest of the BSD text just is legalese absolving the authors of the software of any responsibility to you, even if you choose not to modify the source code of the software you are using.

  • By the way, this answer would be true for any open-source license. Having a requirement to contact the author or ask for permission would be contrary to basic open-source / free software principles. – Zimm i48 Oct 18 '16 at 8:02
4

I don't see anything in the license that says that. It simply says that someone who uses the code in binary form "must reproduce the above copyright notice, this list of conditions and the following disclaimer" with their product.

3

No, you do not need to contact the author. You automatically have a license to use the software in commerical products as long as the three conditions listed are met. Those conditions do not say anything about contacting the author.

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