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Monty Program AB's Suggestion to EU Commission to Get Rid of the GPL on MySQL - Updated
Tuesday, December 08 2009 @ 12:30 PM EST

I will now share with you a small section of the Monty Program AB's submission to the EU Commission, including its suggestion to replace the GPL with a more proprietary-friendly license, specifically the Apache license.

I mentioned it in my first article on the Oracle/Sun deal, telling you that the submission [PDF] they made public wasn't the only one:

But that isn't the only submission they have made. They suggested to the EU Commission in a questionnaire submitted by an August 13th deadline that the license on MySQL be changed to the Apache License. It was sent to me, along with others in the press, to educate us on the issues.
It seems some in the media contacted Florian Mueller, and he apparently denied the accuracy of what I wrote. So let me show you just this one piece of the document I was describing, and I'll let you decide for yourself, from page 19:
We would like to draw attention to the fact that some major concerns about the effects of the proposed transaction could be somewhat alleviated by requiring that all versions of MySQL source code previously released under the GPLv2 license ...must be released under a more liberal open source license that is usable also by the OEM users and would also create an opportunity for other service vendors to compete with offerings comparable to MySQL Enterprise. A good candidate is the Apache Software License.
So. Did I tell you the truth or not?

The document that they made public is a narrative. But the EU Commission also has a number of questions they posed in a questionnaire. The document I was referencing is titled "COMP/M.5529 -- ORACLE/SUN, Questionnaire to Competitors Databases, Deadline for reply: 13 August 2009." It begins with a Preliminary Note:
We are providing this questionnaire accompanied by another document named "COMP M 5529 Req to protect disruptive innovation.pdf", hereinafter referred to as the "supplementary document" for referencing purposes.

The replies in this document are self-sufficient, but select references to the supplementary document point to more detailed and coherent information on certain topics.

So, this document is the real one, the main submission, and the document they have shared with the public, "COMP M 5529 Req to protect disruptive innovation.pdf", is the supplementary document, amplifying and providing a more detailed narrative. As I mentioned, some in the media were given both documents. I was. And Florian tells me that he knew it was being given to me.

On the first page, they describe what Monty Program AB does, namely provide support for MySQL and develop features for their fork of MySQL that are not found in MySQL itself, and here is their hope for the future:

Michael Widenius is the founder of the Open Database Alliance, through which we plan to establish a market around MariaDB/MySQL for support, training, tuning, optimization and customization of databases, database tools and also development of software that utilizes databases. Our vision is to get hundreds of small and medium-sized companies to join, which would provide a lot of work opportunities and also help to keep up the infrastructure around MySQL. The extent to which these plans can materialize will heavily depend on the future of MySQL itself.
So that is why they care. They have big plans for a business around MySQL, and they want to make some money from it. MariaDB is their fork of MySQL. Of course, there's nothing wrong with making money. Notice the role of the Open Database Alliance in all this, in case anyone tells you there is no connection. There is.

So, what stands in their way? In their mind, the GPL. They scorn the idea of a community project of GPL'd code and view Linux's commercial success, despite it being GPL code, as an aberration. What did they tell the EU Commission about licenses, then, and how to make money from FOSS? That the two most successful open source business models are dual licensing, like MySQL, or open core, as in EnterpriseDB, the core of the code being open source, but with proprietary modules, and that is what they want to turn MySQL into:

Outside of the business of Linux distributions (aggregation of thousands of software packages into a single supported product), dual licensing has historically been the most successful business model for Open Source companies, and was largely popularized by MySQL. It combines most benefits of open source with a traditional licensing revenue. The main advantage of licensing revenue is that unlike many other Open Source business models, it is not strongly dependent on the company's headcount or other factors driving up fixed costs, unlike service-based models such as consulting, support and contract engineering.

Even so, there have been many other successful open source business models that do not use this approach. A comparably successful model (used in particular by IBM for Java middleware, EnterpriseDB for databases) is known as open-core, which combines closed source modules with the open source core software. This business model is possible with open source licenses like Apache or BSD, but not on the basis of the GPL, which is presently used for MySQL....

That's on page 16. Then on page 19, when asked to provide any other comments on the proposed Oracle/Sun deal, they wrote this, the actual suggestion of the change, and here it is in full and in context:
We would like to draw attention to the fact that some major concerns about the effects of the proposed transaction could be somewhat alleviated by requiring that all versions of MySQL source code previously released under the GPLv2 license (whether in a General Availability, Release Candidate, Beta, Alpha release, or as public bazaar or bitkeeper revision control trees) must be released under a more liberal open source license that is usable also by the OEM users and would also create an opportuity for other service vendors to compete with offerings comparable to MySQL Enterprise. A good candidate is the Apache Software License.

We believe this could be a FOSS-specific approach to addressing the ownership of some of the key assets involved, as an alternative to conventional conditions imposed on such transactions.

Section 5.5 of the supplementary document discusses this possible measure.

So there you have it. They absolutely did suggest that the license should be changed from the GPL to another license, suggesting the Apache license as the best candidate. In fact, they used the word "must". Even the public submission included this:
The "copyleft/infection" principle of the GPL license represents a particular obstacle not only to revenue generation by the fork vendor but also to the overall adoption and market penetration of MySQL, MySQL forks and MySQL storage engines....

Under such open source licenses as the Berkeley Software Distribution (BSD) license and the Apache license, proprietary derivatives are legal. The only obligation might be attribution.

So, they view the GPL as a hindrance to their business opportunities. They argue that some large vendor must take MySQL over, but not Oracle. I wonder who they have in mind? SAP maybe? Is SAP a member of the Linux Foundation or OIN? Does it have any FOSS credibility at all? Who would be better? Some other Microsoft partner? Seriously. Who? They should have to tell us, I think, who they would view as a "suitable" purchaser. Otherwise, some of us, like me, will probably assume they have an agenda that isn't so FOSS friendly and this entire episode is just another attempt to strangle the GPL and kill off MySQL as a competition threat to Microsoft. I already do view it that way, actually. I view this not as an effort to protect MySQL, but to take it proprietary by getting rid of the barrier to the theft of the code, the GPL.

By the way, I have two questions. First, on what basis would anyone have the right to deny Oracle the dual-licensing business model if it pays for the MySQL copyrights? All prior owners had that exclusive right. MySQL, when it owned all the copyrights, was the only one allowed to do a proprietary version. Sun, after it purchased MySQL, then had that same right. Why shouldn't Oracle have a similar right if it pays millions for the copyrights, and why does it suddenly become a danger, dual licensing? And what is the difference? That Monty Program AB has plans for a competing business? Let them pay for all the copyrights then. That's how it works. And whoever does that gets the right to sell certain pluses that you don't get for free.

Second, has anybody mentioned the MySQL FOSS Exception to the EU Commission? If folks are going to talk about interoperability issues with the GPL, I think they should at least point out that the exception allows "distribution of certain MySQL Client Libraries with a developer’s FOSS applications licensed under the terms of another FOSS license listed below, even though such other FOSS license may be incompatible with the GPL."

In other words, it "permits use of the GPL-licensed MySQL Client Libraries with software applications licensed under certain other FOSS licenses without causing the entire derivative work to be subject to the GPL." Here's the list:

Release Early - Certified Software
Academic Free License - 2.0
Apache Software License - 1.0/1.1/2.0
Apple Public Source License - 2.0
Artistic license - From Perl 5.8.0
BSD license - "July 22 1999"
Common Development and Distribution License (CDDL) - 1.0
Common Public License - 1.0
Eclipse Public License - 1.0
GNU Library or "Lesser" General Public License (LGPL) - 2.0/2.1/3.0
Jabber Open Source License - 1.0
MIT License (As listed in file MIT-License.txt) -
Mozilla Public License (MPL) - 1.0/1.1
Open Software License - 2.0
OpenSSL license (with original SSLeay license) - "2003" ("1998")
PHP License - 3.0/3.01
Python license (CNRI Python License) -
Python Software Foundation License - 2.1.1
Sleepycat License - "1999"
University of Illinois/NCSA Open Source License -
W3C License - "2001"
X11 License - "2001"
Zlib/libpng License -
Zope Public License - 2.0
There are some limitations ("The FOSS License Exception does not apply to the MySQL database server ..."), but it's really quite flexible otherwise. The only thing you can't do, if I've understood the language ("You distribute Independent Works in object code or executable form with the complete corresponding machine-readable source code on the same medium and under the same FOSS license applying to the object code or executable forms"), is refuse to provide source, under the exception. And that's what proprietary folks hate. They want the GPL'd code, but they don't want to abide by the license terms. They only like the Apache and BSD licenses because they can take the code dark. Even when you fudge things and allow other Open Source licenses in derivative works without triggering the GPL's requirements to make your code GPL too, as MySQL did, they are still not satisfied.

So, that should tell us what this Monty opposition is about. I don't view it as protecting Open Source. Clearly it's not about protecting the GPL'd version of MySQL. Let's be clear about that. It has to do with making money from Open Source code, but by forcing it to go proprietary, open core, in effect. A cunning plan, to use the EU Commission to accomplish such a goal.

That's their dream, as I see it. Is it yours? It surely isn't mine.

Update: Reuters reports that Microsoft and SAP and Monty Widenius will be at the meeting on the 10th at the EU Commission, and not a single customer. Oracle has eight customers committed to being there to support Oracle's position. Eben Moglen will also participate.


  


Monty Program AB's Suggestion to EU Commission to Get Rid of the GPL on MySQL - Updated | 215 comments | Create New Account
Comments belong to whoever posts them. Please notify us of inappropriate comments.
Monty Program AB's Suggestion to EU Commission to Get Rid of the GPL on MySQL
Authored by: Anonymous on Tuesday, December 08 2009 @ 12:48 PM EST
Müller, Moglen, Monty morons.

What would RMS say... ah! wait! ...oh no!

[ Reply to This | # ]

Corrections Thread...
Authored by: sproggit on Tuesday, December 08 2009 @ 12:56 PM EST
Please use the subject field of your post to indicate the correction, such as:

thsi -> this

Thanks!

[ Reply to This | # ]

Off Topic Thread
Authored by: sproggit on Tuesday, December 08 2009 @ 12:57 PM EST
Anything not related to this article can go here please. If you reference
another URL, please use the HTML post mode and include a clickable link...

Thanks!

[ Reply to This | # ]

Newspicks Thread
Authored by: sproggit on Tuesday, December 08 2009 @ 12:59 PM EST
And finally, if you'd like to post a comment about one of the Newspicks
articles, please use this thread.

Thanks!

[ Reply to This | # ]

The right solution is to GPL the MySQL documentation
Authored by: Anonymous on Tuesday, December 08 2009 @ 01:00 PM EST
Ever looked at MariaDB? Notice it has almost no documentation? That's because
the MySQL documentation is not free, it's owned entirely by Sun.

If the EU commission wants to ensure competition they need to ensure that MySQL
can fork. I believe that Eben Moglen's analysis is fatally flawed because _all_
of MySQL is not GPLed. GPL the documentation if you really want competition.

Karl O. Pinc <kop@meme.com>

[ Reply to This | # ]

Monty Program AB's Suggestion to EU Commission to Get Rid of the GPL on MySQL
Authored by: Anonymous on Tuesday, December 08 2009 @ 01:03 PM EST
I guess I'm really confused. What right is it of the EU, or any other entity,
to change what license that the owner of the written code has decided upon?

That would be no different than Red Hat going to the US government and stating,
"You know, it is detrimental to our business that Microsoft's software code
is totally closed source and requires a payed up proprietary license for use.
It should all be released under a BSD license."

They would be laughed out of congress!

[ Reply to This | # ]

A Question On Copyrights
Authored by: sproggit on Tuesday, December 08 2009 @ 01:07 PM EST
PJ wrote:

By the way, I have two questions. First, on what basis would anyone have the right to deny Oracle the dual-licensing business model if it pays for the MySQL copyrights? All prior owners had that exclusive right. MySQL, when it owned all the copyrights, was the only one allowed to do a proprietary version. Sun, after it purchased MySQL, then had that same right.

As I understand it, the fact that MySQL has been developed with a dual-license model up until now means that MySQL AB have been able to charge for-profits in return for the right to use the code.

Now that's fine, but have their been any submissions to the MySQL codebase from GPL programmers out there. If so, they must have been willing to contribute to MySQL under the current license model. Now we see a party who are arguing to change that to something like Apache or BSD, which, as PJ points out, opens the door to the possibility that the code be "closed" at some point in the future.

What about any "GPL" contributions? Surely, whomever set out to change the current licensing mode of the software, because of the brilliant way that the GPL has been structured, would have to get every single last contributor to agree to such a change. Without that, they would be looking at a requirement to rewrite any portion of the codebase for which the developer was not willing to change license models.

Did I miss something here? I do understand the main concern that PJ raises, and I do agree with her analysis that there is something fishy going on here. But at the same time I think that an attempt at bait-and-switch or misdirection to yank this code away from the GPL is hopefully going to be virtually impossible to achieve.

I guess it all depends on the current copyright holders.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Hello Florian Mueller
Authored by: Anonymous on Tuesday, December 08 2009 @ 01:10 PM EST
Hello Florian Mueller.

Who pays your salary, Microsoft, SAP or SCO?

[ Reply to This | # ]

I don't think he meant to get rid of the GPL'd version
Authored by: Anonymous on Tuesday, December 08 2009 @ 01:18 PM EST
Sorry for the double post. I originally meant to post this as a reply to the
main article, but it ended up as a reply to someone else's comment. So here it
is again as a reply to the main article:

The way I read it, he wasn't asking to remove the GPL License, but to also
release it under the Apache license. That way there would be the GPL code, which
because it was already released under the GPL, would remain free forever, plus
the MySQL proprietary licensed code, which only the owners of the MySQL
copyrights would have access to, and then there would be the third set of code,
based upon the earlier GPL'd code, but released under the Apache license. That
way third party software companies could take the Apache licensed code base and
take it private, just like the MySQL proprietary code base. He feels that this
would give other commercial vendors an equal chance at competing against the
proprietary version of MySQL, not that I agree with him, it's just the way I
understood it when I read it.

[ Reply to This | # ]

They should change the Harry Potter license too!
Authored by: kawabago on Tuesday, December 08 2009 @ 01:41 PM EST
They should change the license that the Harry Potter books are published under
too. That way a lot more companies around the world can benefit from J.K.
Rowlings work. Didn't she just shut down a derivative work? Isn't that harmful
to business? What right does she have to do that? It's high time for copyright
law to exempt business and free it to make more money and create more jobs.

No doubt the movie and music industries could also benefit from this overhaul of
the copyright system.

I wonder where Monty Program AB get their drugs, I'd love to get high enough to
propose what they have!

[ Reply to This | # ]

Who cares about MySQL?
Authored by: Anonymous on Tuesday, December 08 2009 @ 01:46 PM EST
Some people post as if MySQL is the only Open Source RDBMS out there.

It isn't.
It isn't even the best. From a technical standpoint, PostgreSQL is far superior
to MySQL.

As far as this database developer is concerned, the world would be much better
off if MySQL just disappeared off the face of the Earth.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Why not apply the remedy suggested to Microsoft?
Authored by: Anonymous on Tuesday, December 08 2009 @ 02:32 PM EST
If anti-trust issues can require that MySQL/Oracle is forced to release its code
under the Apache license and thus forfeit the possibility of dual GPL and
proprietary licensing, then why isn't Microsoft being forced to also release all
its products that enjoy a market monopoly under a more permissive license like
the Apache license? Surely what is good for the goose is good for the gander.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Death by a Thousand Forks
Authored by: Anonymous on Tuesday, December 08 2009 @ 02:59 PM EST
I'm trying to figure out why anyone would propose a strategy with the express
purpose of encouraging thousands of proprietary forks of the base product?

The whole idea is not good for MySQL. Perhaps that is the objective.

[ Reply to This | # ]

  • Monty's Trident - Authored by: Anonymous on Tuesday, December 08 2009 @ 06:10 PM EST
SAP
Authored by: Anonymous on Tuesday, December 08 2009 @ 03:08 PM EST
If SAP's acquisition of Business Objects is any indication, they would end up
driving mySQL into the ground, but only after they priced the application,
support, and professional services fees so high, it's only marketable to
government and Fortune 500 companies.

Might as well just give mySQL to MS at that point.

-- disgruntled BOE Architect

[ Reply to This | # ]

Money for nothing...
Authored by: swmcd on Tuesday, December 08 2009 @ 03:39 PM EST
From the Monty Program AB letter
The main advantage of licensing revenue is that unlike many other Open Source business models, it is not strongly dependent on the company's headcount or other factors driving up fixed costs, unlike service-based models such as consulting, support and contract engineering.
Well, yes, licensing revenue is nice that way. Not like those icky business models where you have to (shudder) work.

I'm reminded of an old Dilbert cartoon.

Dogbert: I propose to work for you as a telecommuting consultant.

Pointy Haired Boss: So you sit at home and we mail you checks?

Dogbert: I was hoping for direct deposit. (wags tail)

[ Reply to This | # ]

Getting rid of the GPL
Authored by: nyarlathotep on Tuesday, December 08 2009 @ 04:09 PM EST
I have several small GPLv3 libraries and I am constantly getting requests to get
rid of the GPL license and use something more like LGPL or BSD so that they can
be used with proprietary apps.

However, I'm quite happy that they remain GPLv3 and available to those willing
to share.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Monty Program Or Monty PYTHON
Authored by: LaurenceTux on Tuesday, December 08 2009 @ 04:55 PM EST
although the TSCOG case holds the "flying circus" title
this makes as much sense for the common good as taking an MP movie as a
documentary and also makes the Beatles look as sober and staid as a Liberty
University band.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Has RMS said anything new about this?
Authored by: argel on Tuesday, December 08 2009 @ 04:57 PM EST
IIRC early on RMS was quoted as supporting concerns about competetion, etc. Has
he said anything since then?

[ Reply to This | # ]

Re-reading what Monty Says with this article in mind...
Authored by: Anonymous on Tuesday, December 08 2009 @ 05:33 PM EST

Some posts in Monty Widenius' blog already suggested this "the GPL is a burden, possibly dangerous" argument.

His most recent post includes (emphasis mine):

A. Can MySQL be killed?

1. The easiest way to kill MySQL would be to not sell licenses any more or make their prices 'really high'.

2. Another scenario is that the development resources are drastically reduced in some important areas. Then people would stop believing in the future of MySQL, which slowly will kill the product. Especially if the present license is in place. (Remember that most of the development of the core of MySQL is done by the developers at SUN, not by a large community)

B. "But anyone can fork it!"

One can fork a GPL project (i.e. the code), but one can't easily duplicate the economic infrastructure around it.

[...]

A fork of an infrastructure GPL project can't work with any of the above mentioned partners and the fork can't be used by anyone who needs to distribute it with their own closed source parts or use it with others closed source parts. If there would be no way for partners to combine their code with MySQL, these partners and users would have to put their efforts on some other project and the money flow and a big part of the innovation around MySQL would stop. Over time other projects that allow everyone to participate and make money will take over the MySQL business.

[...]

C. "Is GPL not a good enough license?"

I think that GPL is a fantastic license. It ensures that projects under the GPL are kept free. At the same time it allows companies that wants to participate in Open Source to make enough money to be able to develop the product full time. GPL ensures that these companies can keep tight control on the product and especially on their (closed source) technology partners. This is why investors are interested to invest in companies that use GPL; They know that no one can just come and fork the product and take everything away from company that holds the copyright to the code.

In Thoughts about Dual-licensing Open Source software, Monty says:

Dual licensing has since become one of the most common and popular ways to create profit centers around Open Source/Free Software, in addition to support and services around the product.

[...]

The basic idea for our dual-licensing was this: if you bought a license then we waived the GPL restriction that you have to redistribute your code as GPL.

[...]

The only restriction you need when re-licensing is that the licensee should not be able to change the license of your code and they can only use and/or distribute the pre-negotiated number of copies of it.

[...]

Note that releasing your code as BSD for a project that has or may have GPL code doesn't protect your code from being dual-licensed in an unfavorable way. The only way to ensure full freedom for others is to only donate your code under a contributor agreement with a clause as suggested below or to a project that has agreeable guidelines for how they license their code!

[...]

"Monty Program Ab agrees that when it dual licenses code, it will not restrict the way the third party licensee uses the licensed copy of the code nor restrict how they use their own code."

In a nutshell:

Making money via dual licensing is the goal, as paid developers/'ecosystem' (as opposed to the/a community) keep the project going. The GPL isn't about protecting user/developer Freedoms (the proprietary license is good enough for that!), but a competitive advantage for the copyright holder.

And so we have "the GPL is a burden, possibly dangerous", "our proprietary license is better at ensuring your full freedom than the GPL" and "we could use a better OSS license than the GPL, how about ApacheSL?".

I think Monty is being shockingly honest about his view of openness in software. One could say he favors OSS over FOSS as a viable business strategy, which is a pre-requisite for keeping important projects alive. I say he's chosen "OSS", "Open Core" and "MS-OSS" as opposed to FOSS. As a member of the Codeplex Foundation Advisory Board should.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Monty Program AB's Suggestion to EU Commission to Get Rid of the GPL on MySQL
Authored by: Anonymous on Tuesday, December 08 2009 @ 06:17 PM EST
I really don't understand what Monty Program AB would get out of an Apache
licensed MySql, unless they were the only ones who could get a copy of the
Apache licensed MySql source. The main hook Sun has to get proprietary customers
to pay for a license is the requirement that you can't link proprietary code
with the MySql client libraries. If anyone could get an Apache licensed MySql,
then they would not have a reason to get a paid license through Monty Program AB
or Sun or Oracle. Either Monty Program AB intends to limit MySql source
distribution (which kills it as a Open Source database other than as a strict
GPLv2 fork), or their revenue projections are very overly optimistic about the
number of people who would pay for support compared with those who would use it
for free.

[ Reply to This | # ]

I don't think this is an attempt to strangle the GPL.
Authored by: Vic on Tuesday, December 08 2009 @ 06:34 PM EST
I don't think this is much about the GPL at all - saving that it is currently a
barrier to certain aspirations.

Monty used to run MySQL. He is used to being able to charge commercial users for
licences, and he clearly likes that position.

But he doesn't have that position any more. I don't know how much of Sun's
billion dollars he got, but somewhere along the line, he *sold* his rights to
profit from those commercial liocences.

Now he wants to return to his previous position, but he doesn't want to pay back
the money. That's why he wants a permissive licence; he wants Oracle (or whoever
buys MySQL) to foot the bill for his right to sell commercial licences again -
even though he sold that right.

So this isn't about the GPL. It isn't about FOSS. It's just about greed.

If Monty wants effective ownership over the MySQL copyrights, he should put in
an offer for them. I reckon a billion dollars should do it...

Vic.


---
http://solectronics.co.uk
Solving problems with Free Software

[ Reply to This | # ]

Does the EU Commission have the authority?
Authored by: Anonymous on Tuesday, December 08 2009 @ 09:20 PM EST
A question I have here is does the EU Commission even have the legal standing to
force such a license change? If they don't, or if there is a question if they
do, it seems this could be grounds for a lawsuit should they press ahead with
such an action.

[ Reply to This | # ]

How is the GPL not business or OEM friendly?
Authored by: davidf on Tuesday, December 08 2009 @ 10:32 PM EST
I don't get this. None of what these people (the ones so paranoiacly afraid of
the GPL) make the slightest bit of sense. Companies, for profit companies,
putblisers, for profit on-line companies have used software dependent on
acceptance of the GPL for years.

Since we have been talking about Apple and their adventures with the SCO-ish
PayStar, I'll talk about Apple.

First, Apple considered the Linux kernel as the basis for OS X. So it must have
at least had some chance of winning that race. Apple went with what they new
best. Since the ancient Mac OS server ran a BSD varian and since they owned lock
stock and barrel NeXT (also a BSD variant) that was not surprising.

Later on however, when they decided they were in the web browser business, and
going head to head with the notorieous Internet Explorer, where did they look to
find an existing browswer source code they could fork? Why, of course ...
Konquerer!. That would be KDE's desktop file browser with is essentially a web
browser.

Apple seems to have been able to deal with the GPL quite successfully with few
problems other than some simple etiquette problems which should never have
happened.

Apple distributes Samba, another on of those open source thingies bound with the
GPL. Woops! yet another one, Apple writes their own distribution of Java, which
is now under the GPL.

Yikes! Apple owns NeXT, and it was on a NeXT computer that the first web server
was demonstrated. They also own and sell services for Web Objects (also from
NeXT, and also under one of those freely distributed licences).

It seems that at least one of hte Fortune 500 group of companies can survive
quite nicely using software under the GPL .... and they also seeem to have
learned the sorcery needed to mix proprietary softwrae with GPL bound software
to. How clever!

Of course the GPL was meant to operate this way. It was never meant to prevent
the use or sale of proprietary software, merely provide a choice to consumers
and to programmers.

Apple is not the only company that has master the witch craft necessary to
surrvive along side the GPL, they are just the example I know just a tiny bit
about.

Why are all the trolls surfacing in the EU? Of course, the whole concept the the
troll under the bridge terrorizing travellers comes from European folk tales so
I guess they have had a few more centuries of experience with those creatures.

cheers,
davidf


---
"Music is enough for a lifetime, but one lifetime is not enough for music."
Serge Rachmaninoff

[ Reply to This | # ]

Calm down
Authored by: rsteinmetz70112 on Tuesday, December 08 2009 @ 10:59 PM EST
Anyone remember XFree86?

Remember what happened when they changed the license?

If MySQL were to change it's license OurSQL could be easily be started by the
distros.

This whole thing smacks of a power play by Two Card Monty to be paid twice for
the same work.


---
Rsteinmetz - IANAL therefore my opinions are illegal.

"I could be wrong now, but I don't think so."
Randy Newman - The Title Theme from Monk

[ Reply to This | # ]

Monty Program or Monty Python?
Authored by: tiger99 on Wednesday, December 09 2009 @ 08:46 AM EST
Why do I keep getting confused? Every time I look, my eyes see Monty Python at first glance.....

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I don't get this
Authored by: Rob M on Wednesday, December 09 2009 @ 01:13 PM EST
"also create an opportunity for other service vendors to compete with
offerings comparable to MySQL"

What does the GPL have to do with a service vendor? How many service vendors now
support MySQL?

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Funny thing is...
Authored by: TemporalBeing on Wednesday, December 09 2009 @ 01:13 PM EST
...Monty, et al. had every opportunity to change the license until they sold
MySQL AB to Sun. At no point did they complain during that process or as long as
Sun ran it the same way the MySQL AB did - where they worked nonetheless.

Yet once it looked like Sun was going to be bought up, they jumped ship, with
Monty founding a new company. He probably wants to rebuild MySQL AB like he had
before but re-use all that code that he sold to Sun, code that he himself
licensed under the GPL and commercial license; and did so in a way that made it
hard for competitors to setup equivalent shops - since most of the enterprise
stuff was under the Commercial License, not the GPL.

That's his real beef - he wants access to all the code that is only under the
Commercial License and the ability to write code solely under a Commercial
License again; and he's finding out just how much MySQL is used by the GPL.

He doesn't like the cards he dealt himself. So instead of setting up a
services-oriented company around the GPL side of MySQL; he wants the EU to
change the license so he can get back everything he sold to Sun, keeping the 1
Billion USD he sold it to Sun for in the process.

Yep - it's all about the money. Go figure.

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Monty Program AB's Suggestion to EU Commission to Get Rid of the GPL on MySQL - Updated
Authored by: Anonymous on Wednesday, December 09 2009 @ 03:19 PM EST
I view this not as an effort to protect MySQL, but to take it proprietary by getting rid of the barrier to the theft of the code, the GPL.
(emphasis mine)

I agree that this seems to be an attempt to take MySQL at least partly proprietary (whether that's just Monty wanting a second bite of the cherry he already sold to Sun, or Microsoft/a.n.other wanting to reduce competition).

But I think we should be careful about using the word 'theft' here. We (rightly) criticise RIAA/MPAA for calling copyright infringement 'theft' -- pointing out that real theft deprives the owner of something they previously had, while copyright infringement only deprives the owner of some putative future revenue they might expect.

Using 'theft' to describe forced dual-licensing is less egregious than that. Although no-one loses any rights they already had -- GPL licensees still have their GPL rights, for example -- one could argue that the community which has contributed (not just code, but support, forums, mindshare, etc.) to MySQL's success did so in expectation that it would remain GPL and thus unlikely to be fragmented by non-open forks.

But its still not the same as real theft, and we should hold ourselves to the highest standard of all.

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The suggestion looks self-serving...
Authored by: SilverWave on Wednesday, December 09 2009 @ 08:55 PM EST
...but to address the EU issues you need speak to the perceived Monopoly
implications of the sale.

---
RMS: The 4 Freedoms
0 run the program for any purpose
1 study the source code and change it
2 make copies and distribute them
3 publish modified versions

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    Monty Program response to the SFLC position paper
    Authored by: Anonymous on Friday, December 11 2009 @ 11:21 AM EST
    Last week professor Eben Moglen published an SFLC position paper related to the EU investigation on the Oracle Sun merger. Even though most of the proceedings do not happen in public, the SFLC publishing its own paper allowed us to answer it to the Commission. While it is not our primary objective - and we are a bit constrained at this point - to educate the public or debate this. But given that it is something everyone likes to have an opinion on, and the SFLC has already opened the discussion, we have decided to also publish our submission as well.

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