ISC license

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ISC license
Publisher Internet Systems Consortium
DFSG compatible Yes[1]
FSF approved Yes[2]
OSI approved Yes[3]
GPL compatible Yes[2]
Copyleft No[2]
Linking from code with a different license Yes
Website www.isc.org/downloads/software-support-policy/isc-license/

The ISC license is a permissive free software license published by the Internet Systems Consortium (ISC). It is functionally equivalent to the simplified BSD and MIT licenses, differing in its removal of language deemed unnecessary following the global adoption of the Berne Convention.[nb 1][nb 2]

Originally used for ISC software such as BIND and dig, it has since become the preferred license for contributions to OpenBSD[6] and the default license for Node.js packages.[7][8] The ISC license is also used for Linux wireless drivers contributed to the kernel by Qualcomm Atheros.[9]

License terms

The original ISC license is as follows:[10]

Copyright <YEAR> <OWNER>

Permission to use, copy, modify, and/or distribute this software for any purpose with or without fee is hereby granted, provided that the above copyright notice and this permission notice appear in all copies.

THE SOFTWARE IS PROVIDED "AS IS" AND THE AUTHOR DISCLAIMS ALL WARRANTIES WITH REGARD TO THIS SOFTWARE INCLUDING ALL IMPLIED WARRANTIES OF MERCHANTABILITY AND FITNESS. IN NO EVENT SHALL THE AUTHOR BE LIABLE FOR ANY SPECIAL, DIRECT, INDIRECT, OR CONSEQUENTIAL DAMAGES OR ANY DAMAGES WHATSOEVER RESULTING FROM LOSS OF USE, DATA OR PROFITS, WHETHER IN AN ACTION OF CONTRACT, NEGLIGENCE OR OTHER TORTIOUS ACTION, ARISING OUT OF OR IN CONNECTION WITH THE USE OR PERFORMANCE OF THIS SOFTWARE.

OpenBSD license

According to the Free Software Foundation, OpenBSD updated the ISC license to remove the ambiguous term "and/or."[2] The license text is as follows:[6]

Copyright (c) YYYY YOUR NAME HERE <[email protected]>

Permission to use, copy, modify, and distribute this software for any
purpose with or without fee is hereby granted, provided that the above
copyright notice and this permission notice appear in all copies.

THE SOFTWARE IS PROVIDED "AS IS" AND THE AUTHOR DISCLAIMS ALL WARRANTIES
WITH REGARD TO THIS SOFTWARE INCLUDING ALL IMPLIED WARRANTIES OF
MERCHANTABILITY AND FITNESS. IN NO EVENT SHALL THE AUTHOR BE LIABLE FOR
ANY SPECIAL, DIRECT, INDIRECT, OR CONSEQUENTIAL DAMAGES OR ANY DAMAGES
WHATSOEVER RESULTING FROM LOSS OF USE, DATA OR PROFITS, WHETHER IN AN
ACTION OF CONTRACT, NEGLIGENCE OR OTHER TORTIOUS ACTION, ARISING OUT OF
OR IN CONNECTION WITH THE USE OR PERFORMANCE OF THIS SOFTWARE.

Paul Vixie stated on the BIND mailing list that the ISC license used the term "and/or" to avoid controversy similar to the events surrounding the University of Washington's refusal to allow distribution of the Pine email software.[11] However, Theo de Raadt chose to retain the wording originally used by the University of California at Berkeley, which allowed free redistribution in either commercial or open source software.[5] Both licenses are considered acceptable by the Free Software Foundation, and compatible with the GNU GPL.[2]

See also

Footnotes

  1. ^ "The ISC copyright is functionally equivalent to a two-term BSD copyright with language removed that is made unnecessary by the Berne convention."[4]
  2. ^ "In OpenBSD we use an ISC-style copyright text [...] that is enough to satisfy every legal system on the planet which follows the Berne Convention."[5]

References

  1. ^ "License information". The Debian Project. Software in the Public Interest (published 2017-07-12). 1997–2017. Archived from the original on 2017-07-20. Retrieved 2017-07-20. ... This page presents the opinion of some debian-legal contributors on how certain licenses follow the Debian Free Software Guidelines (DFSG). ... Licenses currently found in Debian main include:
    • ...
    • Expat/MIT-style licenses
    • ...
     
  2. ^ a b c d e "Various Licenses and Comments about Them". The GNU Project. Free Software Foundation (published 2017-04-04). 2014–2017. ISC License. Archived from the original on 2017-07-20. Retrieved 2017-07-20. ... This is a lax, permissive free software license, and compatible with the GNU GPL. ... This license is sometimes also known as the OpenBSD License, although there is one minor difference between the two licenses. The OpenBSD license was updated to remove the ambiguous term: "and/or". ... At the time the ISC license was released, the use of "and/or" construct was a concern because it is similar language used in the license of Pine that the University of Washington later claimed prohibited people from distributing modified versions of the software. ... 
  3. ^ "Licenses by Name". Open Source Initiative. n.d. Archived from the original on 2017-07-20. Retrieved 2017-07-20. ... The following licenses have been approved by the OSI. ...
    • ...
    • ISC License (ISC)
    • ...
     
  4. ^ "Copyright Policy". OpenBSD. Retrieved 6 June 2016. 
  5. ^ a b de Raadt, Theo (21 March 2008). "Re: BSD Documentation License?". openbsd-misc (Mailing list). Retrieved 17 March 2017. 
  6. ^ a b "OpenBSD license template". Retrieved 17 March 2017. 
  7. ^ "init-license". npm-config manpage. Retrieved 17 March 2017. 
  8. ^ Oxley, Tim (8 January 2014). "Update default license to ISC". npm/init-package-json. Pull Request #9. Retrieved 17 March 2017. 
  9. ^ "en/users/Drivers/Atheros - Linux Wireless". linuxwireless.org. Retrieved 2017-07-15. 
  10. ^ "ISC License (ISC) | Open Source Initiative". opensource.org. Retrieved 2017-07-15. 
  11. ^ "Google Groups". groups.google.com. Retrieved 2017-07-15. 

External links

  • Internet Systems Consortium's License Text
  • License template at the Open Source Initiative
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