Berkeley DB relicensed to AGPLv3

Julien ÉLIE julien at
Wed Jul 3 17:53:56 UTC 2013

Hi Russ,

> Oracle is claiming on their web site to have relicensed Berkeley DB under
> the Affero GPL v3:

Thanks for the pointer.  Interesting to know.

>      Notwithstanding any other provision of this License, if you modify
>      the Program, your modified version must prominently offer all users
>      interacting with it remotely through a computer network (if your
>      version supports such interaction) an opportunity to receive the
>      Corresponding Source of your version by providing access to the
>      Corresponding Source from a network server at no charge, through some
>      standard or customary means of facilitating copying of software.
> which together imply that INN linked with Berkeley DB is a "covered work"
> (because it's based in part on Berkeley DB), hence must be licensed under
> the AGPLv3, which in turn requires that any modified versions offer all
> users interacting with it remotely some way to download the source.

This paragraph applies only if the Program was modified.  Which I guess 
is almost always the case when packaged to fit into the distribution of 
an OS.

> However, read strictly, it could imply that anyone running a
> version of INN linked with Berkeley DB who has modified the source in some
> way is required to present as part of the NNTP banner or in some similar
> way a URL to the source code.  (Possibly including the source for Berkeley
> DB?  It's really not clear.)

A sentence could be added to the answer for the HELP command (instead of 
the NNTP banner).  It would be less intrusive.
It could be a feature we allow, independently of Berkeley DB support. 
As we already have motd.innd and motd.nnrpd to customize the answer for 
the LIST MOTD command, we could provide two new optional help.innd and 
help.nnrpd files whose contents would just be appended to the current 
result of the HELP command.
This way, the possibility for anyone (end user or packager) to add 
whatever he wants would be provided.

Just a question:  if the end user removes help.innd and help.nnrpd, 
would it cause a problem?  Should the message when INN is linked with 
Berkeley DB be more tied to the code?  (that is to say unremovable 
unless INN is rebuilt)

Julien ÉLIE

« Et vous allez reprendre votre bateau… Et, mergitur ou pas,
   fluctuat ! Compris ! Fluctuat ! » (Goudurix)

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