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[News] FSF/Richard Stallmsn Explains Position on MySQL Database and GPL Licensing

  • Subject: [News] FSF/Richard Stallmsn Explains Position on MySQL Database and GPL Licensing
  • From: Roy Schestowitz <newsgroups@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Fri, 08 Jan 2010 18:32:18 +0000
  • Followup-to: comp.os.linux.advocacy
  • Newsgroups: comp.os.linux.advocacy
  • User-agent: KNode/4.3.1
Hash: SHA1

On Selling Exceptions to the GNU GPL  On Selling Exceptions to the GNU GPL 

,----[ Quote ]
| When I co-signed the letter objecting to 
| Oracle's planned purchase of MySQL 1 (along 
| with the rest of Sun), some free software 
| supporters were surprised that I approved 
| of the practice of selling license 
| exceptions which the MySQL developers have 
| used. They expected me to condemn the 
| practice outright. This article explains 
| what I think of the practice, and why.
| Selling exceptions means that the copyright 
| holder of the code releases it to the 
| public under a free software license, then 
| lets customers pay for permission to use 
| the same code under different terms, for 
| instance allowing its inclusion in 
| proprietary applications.
| We must distinguish the practice of selling 
| exceptions from something crucially 
| different: proprietary extensions or 
| proprietary versions of a free program. 
| These two activities, even if practiced 
| simultaneously by one company, are 
| different issues. In selling exceptions, 
| the same code that the exception applies to 
| is available to the general public as free 
| software. An extension or a modified 
| version that is only available under a 
| proprietary license is proprietary 
| software, pure and simple, and no better 
| than any other proprietary software. This 
| article is concerned with cases that 
| involve strictly and only the sale of 
| exceptions.


The State of PostgreSQL: Not So Easy to Kill

,----[ Quote ]
| In fact, PostgreSQL as a project is pretty 
| healthy, and shows how vulnerable projects 
| like MySQL are to the winds of change. 
| PostgreSQL could die tomorrow, if a huge 
| group of its contributors dropped out for 
| one reason or another and the remainder of 
| the community didn't take up the slack. But 
| that's exceedingly unlikely. The existing 
| model for PostgreSQL development ensures 
| that no single entity can control it, it 
| can't be purchased and if someone decides 
| to fork the project, the odds are that the 
| remaining community would be strong enough 
| to continue without a serious glitch.



Why I will not sign the MySQL petition

,----[ Quote ]
| If you sell something, you donât own it any
| longer. MySQL is now SUNs business. And if
| SUN decides to sell themselves to Oracle â
| it is their business. If the MySQL founders
| and fanboys donât like this, they simply
| shouldnât have sold MySQL to SUN in the
| first instance.


Monty Widenius wants another billion dollars, should we help him?

,----[ Quote ]
| What does âHelp MySQLâ advocate, in a
| nutshell? It claims that if Oracle were to
| merge with Sun, MySQL customers would be
| trapped in a market that would be pretty
| much controlled and captured by Oracle,
| both through its existing propietary
| databases offerings and the acquisition of
| MySQL. Another issue explained on the web
| site is that the inherent free and open
| source nature of MySQL will not be enough
| to grant effective freedoms to the market
| since Oracle would be the sole copyright
| owner of the code and trademarks.


MySQL: decision time is nigh

,----[ Quote ]
| Is Oracle keen on MySQL because of the
| market control? Or is it because Oracle
| sees MySQL as a means to possibly defeat
| Microsoft's ambitions in the database
| market, where its SQL Server product is
| used for similar purposes as MySQL?
| The only person I've noticed who mentioned
| this is Eben Moglen , a well-known legal
| figure in free software circles.
| But anyone who knows anything about the
| history of the computer industry is aware
| of the intense animosity between Oracle
| supremo Larry Ellison and Microsoft co-
| founder Bill Gates.
| At the level at which these men operate,
| money isn't a consideration. Power is,
| rubbing one's competitor's face in the mud
| is, especially when there is past
| animosity. Here is just one example of how
| much Ellison dislikes Microsoft.


Why MySQL's creator thinks IBM could acquire the database

,----[ Quote ]
| A quick review of Save MySQL online petition
| stats shows that the results are still in
| line with the results I reported previously.
| Over 90 percent of petition signees would
| require Oracle to divest MySQL to a "suitable
| third party."

Version: GnuPG v1.4.9 (GNU/Linux)


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