Motivation for Sleepycat + MIT hybrid

John Cowan cowan at
Wed Apr 11 20:39:07 UTC 2007

Matthew Flaschen scripsit:

> [The LGPL] can be linked into any program (even proprietary
> ones), as long as the program's license allows private modification
> (however, source need not be provided) and reverse engineering for
> debugging those modifications.  Please read LGPL section 6
> (

IMAO, the LGPL is the most incomprehensible widely used FLOSS license
(the *most* incomprehensible FLOSS license being the Reciprocal Public
License).  And while the matter is not subject to proof, I believe
that most creators of proprietary software either avoid LGPLed code
because the license is so complicated, or else simply ignore the
requirements for private modification and reverse engineering.
IOW, the folk theorem about the LGPL is "Just like the GPL, except
you can use it in proprietary stuff too."

(I urged ESR, before he went to speak with Netscape, to have them
avoid the LGPL precisely because it was hard to understand: this
remark may have been partly responsible for the MPL and its
descendant licenses.)

John Cowan  cowan at
If I have seen farther than others, it is because I was standing on
the shoulders of giants.
        --Isaac Newton

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