On 11/09/2012 05:27 PM, Mike Linksvayer wrote:
BDB/Sleepycat is a pretty unusual license -- it doesn't have a
use-the-same-license condition, but does have a source condition, and
a really aggressive one at that ("complete source code for the DB
software and any accompanying software that uses the DB software").
I'm not certain how this can be GPL compatible or OSD compliant,
unless "uses" is interpreted in a way that just happens to be less
than or equal in scope to the GPL's conception of derivative works --
see section 9 of http://opensource.org/osd-annotated
I'm sure these have been discussed extensively but I wish the FSF and
OSI provided references on the relevant pages. :)
I can't locate it at the moment, but there is or has been an
informational webpage at oracle.com
on the Sleepycat License that
notes that it is GPL-compatible. I have interpreted that, plus the
FSF's assessment, to mean that the Sleepycat License must be read in
such a way that it is GPL-compatible; therefore the scope implied by
"any accompanying software that uses" can be no broader than the scope
implied by the GPL (whatever that might be).
The OSI decision would follow from the assumption of GPL
compatibility, though I suspect that that is not why the OSI chose to
certify the Sleepycat License as OSI-compliant. Perhaps there's some
information in the license-discuss archives. If one assumes that the
OSI made its decisions with the OSD in mind, "any accompanying
software that uses" must somehow be harmonized with OSD #9 ("The
license must not place restrictions on other software that is
distributed along with the licensed software. For example, the license
must not insist that all other programs distributed on the same medium
must be open-source software.") Of course the Sleepycat License is
assumed to be DFSG-conformant as well.
The likely sociological reality is that the license was just
grandfathered into the system.