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BSD licenses are a family of permissive free software licenses. The original license was used for the Berkeley Software Distribution (BSD), a Unix-like operating system after which it is named. The original owners of BSD were the Regents of the University of California because BSD was first written at the University of California, Berkeley. The first version of the license was revised, and the resulting licenses are more properly called modified BSD licenses. Two variants of the license, the New BSD License/Modified BSD License, and the Simplified BSD License/FreeBSD License have been verified as GPL-compatible free software licenses by the Free Software Foundation, and have been vetted as open source licenses by the Open Source Initiative, while the original, 4-clause license has not been accepted as an open source license and, although the original is considered to be a free software license by the FSF, the FSF does not consider it to be compatible with the GPL due to the advertising clause. The licenses have fewer restrictions on distribution compared to other free software licenses such as the GNU General Public License or even the default restrictions provided by copyright, putting works licensed under them relatively closer to the public domain. (Excerpt from Wikipedia article: BSD license)
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