TDB license (was: Re: tdb performance)

Steve Langasek vorlon at
Wed Jan 23 13:43:03 GMT 2002

Hello David,

On Wed, Jan 23, 2002 at 04:05:07PM -0500, David Chappell wrote:
> On Wed, 2002-01-23 at 04:59, Michael Still wrote:

> I have been looking for a simple database that is safe to use for RPC. 
> So far I have found only a few.  They are Sleepycat's, SQ Lite, and TDB.

> TDB looks very nice and is small while Sleepycat's and SQ Lite look like
> overkill, but there is one problem that has so far made me hesitate to
> use it.  My project (the PPR print spooler) is distributed under the BSD
> license.  If I were to include TDB then, as I understand it, my whole
> project would automatically come under the GPL.  Now I have nothing
> against the GPL, but I have reasons for wanting to keep this particular
> project BSD.

> So I think it is a good thing that Samba as a whole is under the GPL,
> but I also think it would be nice if TDB were licensed under the LGPL. 
> That way, people from other projects who used TDB would still have to
> contribute their fixes and improvements but they could still make their
> own decisions about how to license their projects.

I think you will find that the decision to license all of Samba under 
the GPL and only under the GPL is a quite deliberate one.

However, the fact that the TDB code is released under the GPL doesn't 
mean that you can't release your code under the BSD license; that is, 
since the revised BSD license is GPL-compatible, you can continue to 
release all files that are copyright you under the BSD license, while 
still distributing them together with the TDB code.  The /combination/ 
of your BSD code and the GPL'ed TDB code can only be distributed under
the terms of the GPL, because this is the only license that satisfies 
the requirements of both; but someone would still be free to create a 
derived work that used your code with no TDB code and enjoy all the 
freedoms that are granted by the BSD license.

I realize you would probably still prefer to be able to distribute the 
entire work under the BSD license; I'm merely offering an alternative 
because past experience suggests to me that it isn't going to happen. :)

Steve Langasek
postmodern programmer
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