Satisfying multiple licenses upon distribution

Suraj N. Kurapati skurapat at
Fri Apr 13 21:02:59 UTC 2007

Matthew Flaschen wrote:
> IANAL, but I don't think this license (Sleepycat + MIT) allows
> incorporation of your code into software with simple permissive licenses
> (e.g. BSD).  To do so, you would need to allow your code to be
> distributed under the BSD license. The BSD license /does/ allow
> modifications to be kept secret.

Alright, but why is it not possible to satisfy both licenses?

If I incorporated some code under my license (A) into some BSD code
(B), then A is governed by my license and B remains governed by the
BSD license, correct?

Can't you just provide the source code taken/modified from my
license along with the BSD/MIT distribution to satisfy both licenses?

>> In contrast, if you copy/paste/modify some MIT licensed code into
>> your own code, your own code is not forced to become licensed under
>> MIT upon distribution (but you must still adhere to the MIT license
>> for the parts you copied). This is a feature I want in a license.
> It's true that you are not specifying that the work that is pasted into
> be licensed under Sleepycat/MIT.  However, it is still not compatible
> with BSD (or MIT/Xorg/etc.) because it requires source availability.

True, they are philosophically incompatible. However, in practice, I
think they would play quite nicely together:

By incorporating code under my license, an MIT or BSD developer is
not surrendering his entire project to my license -- he just has to
do some extra work for the portions of his project that are based
from my code. That "extra work" is simply to make the source code
(only for the portions under my license) available upon distribution.

Since most OSS projects make source code available anyways, they
would not have any problem incorporating code under my license --
unless, of course, they strongly believe in their license's philosophy.

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