two new licenses approved

Ben Tilly ben_tilly at
Mon Apr 16 18:57:25 UTC 2001

Russell Nelson <nelson at> wrote:
>We approved two new licenses. The
>Sleepycat license is BSD with a required source disclosure term, and
>the Nethask license is a GPL precursor.  Both are obviously open
>source with no controversial terms whatsoever, but we needed them on
>the approved list because some people wanted to certify software using
>those licenses.

Actually Sleepycat's license does have one term that caused
discussion here in the past, and approving it clarifies one

Sleepycat's license has been drafted based on the premise
that they have retained the ability to relicense, and with
a requirement that there be a copyright notice that retains
intact notice of the fact that they offer support for, and
can relicense, the component they contributed.

>From the point of view of someone dealing in free software,
this term seems harmless.  However it gives them an edge in
their consultanting business, and it gives them advertising
for commercial companies that want to use their code.  The
second is particularly relevant since it gives a way for a
small company to pursue a "halfway open" business model.
You are giving away open source software, but hope to get a
closed-source revenue stream from it.

(This model was discussed in the context of creating an
open-source library for incorporating AI into games.)

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