Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Licensing Obligations - Endorsement Restrictions

Endorsement Restrictions:  It is very common for an open source license to restrict use of the various contributor names, companies and or product names which may be associated with the creation of or enhancement to an open source project.  This restriction allows people and entities to freely participate in the community driven development process without concern that downstream consumers or re-distributors might misappropriate or cause market confusion with valuable, often trademark protected intellectual property.

I have found an obligation statement similar to the following, modeled after the 3rd clause in the BSD 3-Clause license, satisfies or exceeds the majority of license terms in this category and is easily understood by business and technology resources:

"Neither the organization nor the names of contributors to the components may be used to endorse or promote products derived from  the components without specific prior written permission."

Next up, source code availability requirements.

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