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

From: Maciej Stachowiak <mjs@apple.com>
Date: Fri, 26 Jun 2009 17:36:15 -0700
Cc: public-webapps WG <public-webapps@w3.org>, Jeremy Orlow <jorlow@chromium.org>, "L. David Baron" <dbaron@dbaron.org>
Message-id: <FE820E24-6A1F-4C1E-A2FD-F2D2D306B4BF@apple.com>
To: "Nikunj R. Mehta" <nikunj.mehta@oracle.com>

On Jun 26, 2009, at 3:46 PM, Nikunj R. Mehta wrote:

> 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.

The issue I see with using Berkeley DB for implementation (which I  
think is only a side issue to design of the spec itself) is as  
follows: Clause 3 of the first license (the one with the Oracle  
copyright notice) appears to have stricter source release requirements  
than LGPL. It's not clear to me what exactly the scope of the  
requirement is, but it doesn't seem to have the dynamic linking or  
relinkable object file exceptions of LGPL. That would be a problem for  
projects like WebKit or Gecko that don't want to impost any  
constraints that go beyond the LGPL in their license terms.

I don't want to start a huge debate over this, I just wanted to  
clarify the issue I see.

Regards,
Maciej
Received on Saturday, 27 June 2009 00:37:00 GMT

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