The database was developed by MySQL employees, with substantial contributions form the community.
Recently, the database was updated to use some of the features in MySQL 5.7. As a result, we had two sets of samples, one to use with MySQL 5.0+, and one that only loads with MySQL 5.7.
I filed a feature request, offering a patch to use conditional schema and data changes, which was incorporated very quickly into the official release.
The current release, available within the MySQL docs, has conditional comments such as this:
/*!50610 ALTER TABLE film_text engine=InnoDB */ ;
Using these comments, we can enable specific features if the version is at least the one indicated in the comment. So, for example, we can use InnoDB tables with full-text indexes starting with version 5.6. The original table is MyISAM, but if the current version is at least 5.6.10 (that's the meaning of !50610) then the engine is changed to InnoDB.
>Similarly, there is a GEOMETRY column and SPATIAL key in the 'address' table, which are only enabled for MySQL 5.7.5+. A similar comment allows the loading of the relevant data only in MySQL 5.7.
Using these new files, you can install the Sakila database using any version of MySQL from 5.0 onwards, and it will always load correctly.