I've noticed that some OSS projects list themselves as licensed under a variant of a BSD N-Clause License. Yet if you would look closely at the license, you would notice they changed it was in the beginning:

-* Neither the name of John Doe nor the names of its
+* Neither the name of the copyright holder nor the names of its

No surprises here GitHub won't recognize this license. Sure, this modified license bears all other promises, and grants expected rights, but it is not exactly verbatim.

Can this be considered a normal practice?

Are there any consideration against?

  • 2
    The normal practice is to modify only the line which says "Copyright <YEAR> <COPYRIGHT HOLDER>." It's possible someone also interpreted that to mean that he should fill in "the copyright holder" with his actual name. Besides the fact that GitHub does not automatically scan it (which is not really an issue in my opinion), the issue would be to avoid opportunities for mistakes. If you have to customize information in two places instead of one, then there are now two opportunities for errors instead of one opportunity for error. – Brandin Mar 26 '18 at 11:04
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    The actual text of the license may also be copyrighted, and possibly not under a Free (to modify, etc) license. I think the GPL is like this - you can use the GPLv2 license as-is, but you can't change it. – ivanivan Mar 29 '18 at 11:51

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