The license is very similar to the 2-clause Simplified BSD License used by the rest of FreeBSD, however, it makes the meanings of "source code" and "compile" less ambiguous in the context of documentation. It also includes a mandatory disclaimer about IEEE and Open Group text in some manual pages.
The FreeBSD Documentation License
Copyright 1994-2015 The FreeBSD Project. All rights reserved.
Redistribution and use in source (SGML DocBook) and 'compiled' forms (SGML, HTML, PDF, PostScript,
RTF and so forth) with or without modification, are permitted provided that the following conditions are
1. Redistributions of source code (SGML DocBook) must retain the above copyright notice, this list of
conditions and the following disclaimer as the first lines of this file unmodified.
2. Redistributions in compiled form (transformed to other DTDs, converted to PDF, PostScript, RTF
and other formats) must reproduce the above copyright notice, this list of conditions and the
following disclaimer in the documentation and/or other materials provided with the distribution.
THIS DOCUMENTATION IS PROVIDED BY THE FREEBSD DOCUMENTATION PROJECT "AS IS"
AND ANY EXPRESS OR IMPLIED WARRANTIES, INCLUDING, BUT NOT LIMITED TO, THE IMPLIED WARRANTIES OF
MERCHANTABILITY AND FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE ARE DISCLAIMED. IN NO EVENT SHALL
THE FREEBSD DOCUMENTATION PROJECT BE LIABLE FOR ANY DIRECT, INDIRECT, INCIDENTAL, SPECIAL,
EXEMPLARY, OR CONSEQUENTIAL DAMAGES (INCLUDING, BUT NOT LIMITED TO, PROCUREMENT OF
SUBSTITUTE GOODS OR SERVICES; LOSS OF USE, DATA, OR PROFITS; OR BUSINESS INTERRUPTION)
HOWEVER CAUSED AND ON ANY THEORY OF LIABILITY, WHETHER IN CONTRACT, STRICT LIABILITY, OR
TORT (INCLUDING NEGLIGENCE OR OTHERWISE) ARISING IN ANY WAY OUT OF THE USE OF THIS
DOCUMENTATION, EVEN IF ADVISED OF THE POSSIBILITY OF SUCH DAMAGE.
Some FreeBSD manual pages contain text from the IEEE Std 1003.1, 2004 Edition, Standard for
Information Technology -- Portable Operating System Interface (POSIX®) specification. These manual
pages are subject to the following terms:
The Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers and The Open Group, have given us
permission to reprint portions of their documentation.
In the following statement, the phrase ``this text'' refers to portions of the system
Portions of this text are reprinted and reproduced in electronic form in the FreeBSD manual
pages, from IEEE Std 1003.1, 2004 Edition, Standard for Information Technology --
Portable Operating System Interface (POSIX), The Open Group Base Specifications Issue
6, Copyright (C) 2001-2004 by the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, Inc and
The Open Group. In the event of any discrepancy between these versions and the original
IEEE and The Open Group Standard, the original IEEE and The Open Group Standard is the
referee document. The original Standard can be obtained online at
This notice shall appear on any product containing this material.
Based on the FreeBSD Documentation License, the BSD Documentation License was created to contain terms more generic to most projects as well as reintroducing the 3rd clause that restricts the use of documentation for endorsement purposes (as shown in the New BSD License).