Every article that I've read about BSD-Clause 2 and 3 pretty much said that the licensed software is free of restrictions/any purpose as long as you follow what the licenses say, but the actual license says mostly about permitting any kind of redistribution as long as you follow the guidelines, but there are no mentions of any purpose/free of restrictions. The 0 Clause BSD actually mentions "for any purpose".

Are licenses not required to explicitly state "for any purpose/without restrictions" and people can just do what they want with the licensed software and follow explicit guidelines in the license as long as the license itself doesn't explicitly state that those certain activities are prohibited (like commercial use)?

For example, I saw licenses like MIT or GNU explicitly state things like "without limitation the rights to use, copy, modify, merge, publish, distribute, sublicense, and/or sell copies of the Software" and "freedom to distribute copies of free software (and charge for this service if you wish)" but BSD Clause 2-3 doesn't. How come?

I know that the BSD license is listed on the open source initiative which has it in the definitions that the license cannot restrict any party from selling the software as a component of an aggregate software distribution. Since BSD is listed there, it should be following those rules so therefore commercial use would be fine, but why does clause 2 + 3 have that zero clause statement removed? Is it unnecessary to repeat it, because the website already has it in the definition?

1 Answer 1


Are licenses not required to explicitly state

Nah, not at all.

Licenses state whatever they want. There is no authority to compel license writers to include any particular statements.

In case a license you wanna use does not make sense, you either seek clarification or do not use it.

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .