We are very excited to inform you that we have introduced our new software licenses with the release of SDK v13.0. The new licenses are based on the well-known BSD license class and give more flexibility and freedom to customers while still protecting Nordic Semiconductor’s intellectual property and brand.
Software licenses are usually not the most riveting of reads and most people tend to click the ‘I Agree’ button without reading what they have agreed to. The licenses we have now introduced are very easy to read and understand, so take a few minutes to read through them. I think you will be pleasantly surprised at how clean and clear we have made them.
The three new software licenses we have introduced are:
This is a very common permissive open source license.
As a user of 3-Clause BSD licensed software, you are allowed to use the software for commercial projects, and are allowed to redistribute and modify it.
Keep in mind that the license and copyright notice needs to be kept when redistributed in source or binary.
All Nordic mobile application examples (with the exception of nRF Connect) use this type of license agreement.
This is a special Nordic software license that has many similarities to 3-Clause BSD License, but with some important changes and additions:
nRF5 SDK for HomeKit, nRF5 SDK for Airfuel, nRF Connect for Desktop use this license agreement.
This is another special Nordic software license that is also based on the to 3-Clause BSD License, with the following exceptions:
Most software from Nordic uses this license agreement, including nRF5 SDK and nRF5 BLE SoftDevices.
All new software releases developed in-house by Nordic will be released with one of the new licenses. Previously released software with “legacy” licenses will not be updated with a new license.
We are aware of the great open source software initiatives that are targeting the nRF5 family. To make it easier for these initiatives to support nRF5 devices, we are in the process of open sourcing our nRF5x low level drivers to GitHub. We will keep you up-to-date on the progress of this.
I hope that you found this informative, and are as excited as we are to introduce new licenses that are very customer friendly and easy to read. Do not hesitate to comment or ask questions here or through our support channels.
Also check out our comic made for the new license texts at the Get Connected Blog. And yes, we actually had a cake with the license text printed.