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Re: Berkeley DB license (was Re: Points of order on this WG)

From: Nikunj R. Mehta <nikunj.mehta@oracle.com>
Date: Fri, 26 Jun 2009 15:46:24 -0700
Cc: Maciej Stachowiak <mjs@apple.com>, Jeremy Orlow <jorlow@chromium.org>, "L. David Baron" <dbaron@dbaron.org>
Message-Id: <DBDE77A5-2613-4840-9A98-CAC87333080C@oracle.com>
To: public-webapps WG <public-webapps@w3.org>
FWIW, I came across two pieces about Oracle's open source licensing of  
Berkeley DB that might help clear the air around the licensing issues.

First, Oracle's license [1] is word-for-word identical to the  
erstwhile SleepyCat license [2]. Secondly, SleepyCat license  
"qualifies as a free software license, and is compatible with the GNU  
General Public License." [3]. Thirdly, the license is OSI approved [4].

I am not sure if this resolves issues. It would help if you had  
comments on the above so that I can keep that in my context while  
discussing with our legal staff.

Nikunj
http://o-micron.blogspot.com

[1] http://www.oracle.com/technology/software/products/berkeley-db/htdocs/oslicense.html
[2] http://opensource.org/licenses/sleepycat.php
[3] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sleepycat_License
[4] http://opensource.org/trademark

On Jun 26, 2009, at 3:27 PM, Nikunj R. Mehta wrote:

> Maciej, David, Jeremy, Doug, others,
>
> I understand the interest in using Berkeley DB in browsers provided  
> appropriate licensing freedom were available. I am beginning to  
> understand your concerns vis--vis Berkeley DB's license.
>
> I have asked our legal team to clarify what they mean by the last  
> para of the 3rd clause of the first license. As I understand it, it  
> is the following text that appears problematic:
>
>> For an executable file, complete source code means the source code  
>> for all modules it contains.
>
>
> Although it might be ideal, at this time, I cannot commit to having  
> Berkeley DB be offered under a third (besides commercial and its  
> current "open source") license. I can only suggest that we move  
> forward one step at a time. I will try my best to get this issue  
> clarified in the quickest possible time. I also reaffirm the  
> approach that it should not be necessary to use Berkeley DB to  
> implement the structured storage API Oracle is proposing.
>
> I hope this helps. Feel free to suggest other licensing terms that  
> appear problematic.
>
> Nikunj
> http://o-micron.blogspot.com
>
> On Jun 26, 2009, at 12:42 PM, L. David Baron wrote:
>
>> On Friday 2009-06-26 11:27 -0700, Jonas Sicking wrote:
>>> Note that mozilla has since long made a commitment not to ship code
>>> that is not compatible with all of GPL, LGPL *and* MPL. So unless  
>>> the
>>> BDB license is compatible with all those three we couldn't use BDB.
>>
>> I think our (Mozilla's) requirement is actually slightly stronger
>> than license compatibility, at least as defined by
>> http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/License_compatibility .  Rather, I
>> think we require that the licenses don't impose any restrictions in
>> addition to those imposed by the MPL, the LGPL, or the GPL.  (In
>> other words, that the license is less restrictive than *each* of
>> those licenses.)
>>
>> For what it's worth, the license document in question, located at
>> http://www.oracle.com/technology/software/products/berkeley-db/htdocs/oslicense.html
>> appears to suggest that the files in the source code are covered
>> under three different licenses (although it's not entirely clear to
>> me what is meant by the concatenation of three licenses, my initial
>> guess is that it means different parts are covered under different
>> licenses).  The second and third given appear to me to be the
>> three-part BSD license (varying by whether the copyright holder is
>> the UC Regents or Harvard University).  If my quick glance is
>> correct and this is identical to the three-part BSD license, then I
>> suspect the second and third licenses are unlikely to be a problem
>> for Mozilla; we already include code licensed under the three-part
>> BSD license (see http://opensource.org/licenses/bsd-license.php ).
>>
>> The first license, on the other hand, appears to be a modified
>> version of the BSD license, with the third claused replaced by an
>> entirely different one.  I don't recognize this clause, and I
>> suspect it would require legal analysis to determine whether it's
>> less restrictive than the MPL, LGPL, and GPL.  (Though the part that
>> says "For an executable file, complete source code means the source
>> code for all modules it contains." seems pretty restrictive to my
>> untrained eyes.)
>>
>> -David
>>
>> -- 
>> L. David Baron                                 http://dbaron.org/
>> Mozilla Corporation                       http://www.mozilla.com/
>>
>
>
Received on Friday, 26 June 2009 22:48:43 GMT

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