November 17th, 2004, 21:23
What are the limitations for making commercial software for BSD? If the application doesn't use any applications from ports, any libraries, but the base commands, is it ok to sell?

I'd like to understand this a little better for future reference. Also, if I remember correctly, it's fine to sell a system with the OS, and applications, as long as you are only selling the system and the service, and not the software itself. please correct me if I'm wrong.

November 17th, 2004, 21:40
I believe the BSD licnse allows you to do anything. Literally anything. Keep in mind that this excludes GNU licensed software in the base. BMW probably knows quite a bit about this. Care to weigh in Bruce?

November 17th, 2004, 21:45
KK, do you mean "sell the entire BSD system with the app preinstalled", ie as a "turnkey" system?

You can sell any combination of BSD, GNU and your own added software any way you like. The BSD licenses allows you to sell it as a binary-only system with no restrictions (beyond those in the BSD license), but if you statically link any GNU code to your own code in there, you need to publish your source code. If you alter any GNU code, you must publish your changes.

The BSD and GNU licenses don't restrict your ability to sell code based on them. The BSD license mainly protects the code originators (originally the Regents of the University of California at Berkely) from legal actions. They also forbid you from using their name in advertising without permission.

The GNU license goes further and enforces the GPL on their sources so you cannot use GNU code and keep it private.

November 17th, 2004, 21:56
I should quickly add: "I am not a lawyer". :-)

Depending on the BSD version, the "base system" may include GNU code. But that's not an issue if you don't tweak that code (or if you supply the sources).

OpenBSD is the most GNU-averse, so more of the base system is BSD-licensed or BSD-like. Notable exceptions include GCC and bash of course.

In the FreeBSD world, you can use their build tools to create a CD distribution (eg for installing a turnkey app). But the OpenBSD install CD is copyrighted, so it would be illegal to simply copy that and distribute it. The deal there is that the software is BSD licensed (free as in beer), but the distribution media is not.

November 17th, 2004, 23:25
For the time being, I think all it's going to be is PHP code, and some scripts. Of course, if I can't find some loop hole of being able to use a web server, then a lite HTTP server would be added as well. The systems themselves will be sold with the OpenBSD OS installed, and the application running on top of it. Selling the software seperately would be nice as well. Of course the application will be specific to OpenBSD (Might port to FreeBSD and NetBSD after 1.0).

November 19th, 2004, 01:00
Now what about a OS logo? I mean if I was to show that certain OSes were supported by my business? Could the Open blowfish of Free daemon be freely put on the side as long as it wasn't a part of the logo or something to that effect?

November 19th, 2004, 09:08
On the logo: ya got me there, KK! I can't even find the OpenBSD logos page this morning -- we ran out of "good" coffee here, so I guess that's impairing my searching abilities. Many *BSD logos are copyrighted, but seem to have terms of use that include your intended use.

But I ran across this link:
That clarifies some of the above earlier ramblings.

November 19th, 2004, 12:05
How about some straight shots of expresso? Will that help. :Eyecrazy:

Well, that's a good thing then. I was just wanting to put the logo on some production boxes. I want it to be known that our systems use OpenBSD, and not something most people would think it was run with.