File Exchange Licensing Transition FAQ

Why is the File Exchange adding licensing?
What is the BSD license?
Why was the BSD license chosen?
How do I update my existing File Exchange submissions to the BSD license?
How do I post a new File Exchange submission?
Why is only one license being considered?
Can I ask you to consider [my favorite license]?
Can I modify the text or terms of the BSD license?
What happens if I don't do anything? Do I have to put a license on my code?
Do I have to name an "Organization" associated with the license?
What copyright year should I use?
Do I have to ask an author's permission to use BSD-licensed code?
Do I have to acknowledge the author of code I'm reusing?
How do I change the details of my license after I've submitted it?

Why is the File Exchange adding licensing?

Licensing clarifies the rights you have as an author and as a user of the code available on the File Exchange. Licensing details how the file can be used and addresses common questions around rights to modification, distribution, and commercial use.

What is the BSD license?

The text of the BSD license is available on the Open Source Initiative site.

Why was the BSD license chosen?

The BSD license is simple, well-known, open source, and permissive. It is one of the most widely used licenses approved by the Open Source Initiative. At 219 words, it is short enough to fit on an index card. And, if you don't use the Organization clause, the BSD license becomes functionally equivalent to the MIT license.

How do I update my existing File Exchange submissions to the BSD license?

  • If your existing submission contains no license information, simply use the
    online conversion tool.
  • If your existing submission does contain a license, please remove the existing license information and resubmit the file as an update. The license information will be added automatically, as described in How do I post a new File Exchange submission?

How do I post a new File Exchange submission?

The File Exchange submission page now includes a place to enter license details such as the copyright date and owner. If you agree to the BSD license terms, the license text file will be generated and added to your submission automatically. You don't have to do anything else. Because your license text is generated dynamically, please don't include any other license information with your new submission, BSD or otherwise. Since file updates will be handled the same way, please remove any existing license information when you resubmit your updated files. Any existing license.txt file generated by a previous File Exchange submission process will be overwritten with a new one when you resubmit.

Why is only one license being considered?

When everyone uses the same license, it is a simple matter to re-use and re-license code. If more than one license is used, re-releasing the code under a different license raises potential conflicts in the terms of use.

Can I ask you to consider [my favorite license]?

No. For consistency, the BSD license will be the standard for the File Exchange.

Can I modify the text or terms of the BSD license?

No. The license text will be generated when you upload or update a file, and must not be altered in order to remain valid for the File Exchange.

What happens if I don't do anything? Do I have to put a license on my code?

We have no plans to remove unlicensed submissions, but they will be prominently marked as unlicensed. In addition, unlicensed contributions will not be available for use with any future tools that access the File Exchange from within MathWorks products.

Do I have to name an "Organization" associated with the license?

No. Entering an organization name is optional.

If you choose to enter an organization name, it will be inserted in the following paragraph in the license:

Neither the name of the <ORGANIZATION> nor the names of its contributors may be used to endorse or promote products derived from this software without specific prior written permission.

If you do not enter an organization name, the paragraph will not appear in the license.

As noted on the OSI site: You may optionally omit clause 3 and still be OSD conformant.

What copyright year should I use? This year or the year in which I originally created the file?

Use the year in which the file was actually published.

Do I have to ask an author's permission to use BSD-licensed code?

No. Permission to use the code is granted in the license.

Do I have to acknowledge the author of code I'm reusing?

No, but you do have to keep the original BSD license attached to the code and include it with any derivative work you create.

How do I change the details of my license after I've submitted it?

Use the regular update process on the File Exchange. You'll find an "update" link on the file detail page for each of your existing submissions. Change the relevant license details in the License and Acknowledgements section of the update page, and resubmit.