Monday, May 13, 2013

On Bro's License, Name, and Logo

We are very excited to see all the interest that Bro has been generating recently, with many new deployments across networks of all sizes and people working to interface the system to their environments and hardware. Occasionally, however, we also notice a bit of confusion about Bro's licensing in terms of what exactly it permits and where it imposes constraints. To help clarify that, we have have created a new Licensing section in our FAQ, and a separate page with guidelines for using the Bro marks.

Here's the short version:

  • Bro's source code is, and will remain, open-source under the very permissive BSD license. The license allows for pretty much unrestricted distribution and use. Specifically, you are free to deploy any or all of the code in commercial products. You don't even need to tell us about it if you'd rather not.
  • All documentation and web page content is licensed under a Creative Commons NonCommercial license. This means that you can use, share, and adapt the material as long as you attribute the Bro Project as the source and do not use it for any commercial purposes.
  • Finally, we reserve all rights to the Bro name and logo. In many cases it will be fine for you to use our marks but we ask for a chance to review your case. In particular, we consider it important that we avoid any confusion on what the name "Bro" refers to. We have a simple rule of thumb for that: if it's called "Bro", it must be our "Bro" as found on You are free to derive your own versions from our code base, but you can't call it "Bro" unless we have signed off on your use. We believe that this is a fair constraint in the interest of Bro's users, and indeed not unusual in the open-source world.

See the above links for more information and feel free to contact us for further questions.