[fsfe-fi] Michael 'Monty' Widenius: Auta pelastamaan MySQL

Arto Teräs arto.teras at gmail.com
Sun Dec 13 13:34:46 CET 2009


Allaoleva Michal 'Monty' Wideniuksen viesti varmaan kiinnostaa tämän
listan jäseniä.


Subject: Help saving MySQL from Oracle!

I, Michael "Monty" Widenius, the creator of MySQL, is asking you
urgently to help save MySQL from Oracle's clutches.  Without your
immediate help Oracle might get to own MySQL any day now. By writing
to the European Commission (EC) you can support this cause and make
things much harder for Oracle.

What this text is about:
- Summary of what is happening
- What Oracle has not promised
- Oracles past behavior with Open Source
- Help spread this information (Jump to 'What I want to ask you to do')
- Example of email to send to the commission (Jump to 'send this to:')

I have spent the last 27 years creating and working on MySQL and I
hope, together with my team of MySQL core developers, to work on
it for many more years.

Oracle is trying to buy Sun, and since Sun bought MySQL last year,
Oracle would then own MySQL. With your support, there is a good chance
that the EC (from which Oracle needs approval) could prevent this from
happening. Without your support, it might not. The EC is our last big
hope now because the US government approved the deal while Europe is
still worried about the effects.

Instead of just working out this with the EC and agree on appropriate
remedies to correct the situation, Oracle has instead contacted
hundreds of their big customers and asked them to write to the EC and
require unconditional acceptance of the deal. According what I been
told, Oracle has promised to the customers, among other things, that
"they will put more money into MySQL development than what Sun did"
and that "if they would ever abandon MYSQL, a fork will appear and
take care of things".

However just putting money into development is not proof that anything
useful will ever be delivered or that MySQL will continue to be a
competitive force in the market as it's now.

As I already blogged about before,
a fork is not enough to keep MySQL alive for all future, if Oracle, as
the copyright holder of MySQL, would at any point decide that they should
kill MySQL or make parts of MySQL closed source.

Oracle claims that it would take good care of MySQL but let's face the
facts: Unlike ten years ago, when MySQL was mostly just used for the web,
it has become very functional, scalable and credible. Now it's used in
many of the world's largest companies and they use it for an increasing
number of purposes. This not only scares but actually hurts Oracle every
day. Oracle salespeople have to lower prices all the time to compete with
MySQL when companies start new projects. Some companies even migrate
existing projects from Oracle to MySQL to save money. Of course Oracle has
a lot more features, but MySQL can already do a lot of things for which
Oracle is often used and helps people save a lot of money. Over time MySQL
can do to Oracle what the originally belittled Linux did to commercial
Unix (roughly speaking).

So I just don't buy it that Oracle will be a good home for MySQL. A
weak MySQL is worth about one billion dollars per year to Oracle,
maybe more. A strong MySQL could never generate enough income for
Oracle that they would want to cannibalize their real cash cow. I
don't think any company has ever done anything like that. That's why
the EC is skeptical and formalized its objections about a month ago.

Richard Stallman agrees that it's very important which company owns MySQL,
that Oracle should not be allowed to buy it and that it can't just be
taken care of by a community of volunteers: http://keionline.org/ec-mysql

Oracle has NOT promised (as far as I know and certainly not in a legally
binding manner) that:

- They keep (all of) MySQL under an open source license
- Not add closed source parts, modules or required tools.
- To not rise MySQL license or MySQL support prices
- To release new MySQL versions in a regular and timely manner.
- To continue with dual licensing and always provide affordable commercial
 licenses to MySQL to those who needs them (to storage vendors
 and application vendors) or provide MySQL under a more permissive license
- To develop MySQL as an Open Source project
 - To actively work with the community
 - Apply submitted patches in a timely manner
 - Not discriminate patches that makes MySQL compete more with Oracles
   other products.
- To ensure that MySQL is improved also in manners that make it compete
 even more with Oracles' main offering.

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