05.07.08

Gemini version available ♊︎

MySQL’s Mixed-Source Dilemma

Posted in Database, Finance, Free/Libre Software, GPL, Microsoft, Mono at 10:43 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

It was probably a little hasty to say that MySQL remains open source (or Free software, with the GPL). That’s what many headlines state, but not so fast! As Matt Asay quickly pointed out, there is more to this story.

The core will always be 100 percent open source. The periphery…will not. Or might not. It depends.

Novell, which considers itself to be a “mixed -source” company, brings similar questions to mind. It already combines a lot of proprietary software for its clients. Then , consider some of the licensing issues that accompany its Microsoft deal. What about software patents? This possibility of dual-licensing no longer seems so far fetched. Will Novell take a similar route with SUSE Ballnux? Is it not doing this already? Here you have an analysis of dual-licensing as a tool for weakening or revoking the GPL. It’s worth noting because Novell betrayed the GPL more than once before.

Remember, less than 3 months later SUN announced MySQL acquisition.

This paints a summary of what could happen to a DL company even if nobody’s initial commitment is questioned.

* DL Company dies: what happens to the IP/trademarks/licenses?
* DL Company undergoes a change of control: what happens to the community?
* DL company sells/gives its open source interest to a third party…

Shouldn’t we have some sort of open source prenuptial agreement applying to DL companies and their communities?

In this particular context, think about control of projects like Mono or Moonlight and remember the lessons taken from Zimbra [1, 2]. When I corresponded with Marten a couple a weeks ago I was given the impression that they are still exploring possibilities of monetising MySQL a little more effectively.

Novell wants money, but trying to control GNU/Linux as a whole is not the way to go. It’s selfish and it’s harmful. There are other means, except support contracts, for extracting revenue from Free software, as Richard Stallman pointed out a week ago. Here is one new example of this:

Finally, do not expect anyone to do anything for free. Most groups wish to improve on their projects, but having “enough time” is always an issue. Be open to offering money, time, or resources in order to get your problem solved. Realize that for what you offer there may be a down side as well for the project.

Free hardware still has to be installed and properly setup. Money may be an issue because of foreign currency exchanges or because it complicates the individuals taxes. Offering people can be good, but realize that then the project will have to take the burden of training and answering questions.

Having good table manners is the key to working with open source projects.

This is also explained by Savio, who interprets and breaks down Marten’s explanation of the situation:

I’ve been thinking about this statement from Sun/MySQL’s Marten Mickos:

“There’s a difference between organizations that have more time than money and organizations that have more money than time.”

I coming to realize that OSS users split into three, not two, categories:

* A] An organization that has more time than money
* B] An organization that has more money than time but is used to getting what they need for free and is comfortable enough with OSS to rely on their own skills
* C] An organization that has more money than time

Making money from Free (libre) software needn’t involve making some of it proprietary. It totally beats the purpose and cause. It makes it non-Free software. Mindsets must evolve. Consider this good post from Matt Mullenweg for inspiration.

Related articles:

Share in other sites/networks: These icons link to social bookmarking sites where readers can share and discover new web pages.
  • Reddit
  • email

Decor ᶃ Gemini Space

Below is a Web proxy. We recommend getting a Gemini client/browser.

Black/white/grey bullet button This post is also available in Gemini over at this address (requires a Gemini client/browser to open).

Decor ✐ Cross-references

Black/white/grey bullet button Pages that cross-reference this one, if any exist, are listed below or will be listed below over time.

Decor ▢ Respond and Discuss

Black/white/grey bullet button If you liked this post, consider subscribing to the RSS feed or join us now at the IRC channels.

DecorWhat Else is New


  1. Welcome to 2022: Intentional Lies Are 'Benefits' and 'Alternative Facts'

    A crooks-run EPO, together with the patent litigation cabal that we’ve dubbed ‘Team UPC’ (it has nothing to do with science or with innovation), is spreading tons of misinformation; the lies are designed to make the law-breaking seem OK, knowing that Benoît Battistelli and António Campinos are practically above the law, so perjury as well as gross violations of the EPC and constitutions won’t scare them (prosecution as deterrence just isn’t there, which is another inherent problem with the UPC)



  2. From Software Eating the World to the Pentagon Eating All the Software

    “Software is eating the world,” according to Marc Andreessen (co-founder of Netscape), but the Empire Strikes Back (not the movie, the actual empire) by hijacking all code by proxy, via Microsoft, just as it grabbed a lot of the world’s communications via Skype, bypassing the world's many national telecoms; coders need to fight back rather than participate in racist (imperial) shams such as GitHub



  3. Links 22/1/2022: Skrooge 2.27.0 and Ray-Tracing Stuff

    Links for the day



  4. IRC Proceedings: Friday, January 21, 2022

    IRC logs for Friday, January 21, 2022



  5. Peak Code — Part II: Lost Source

    "Debian and Mozilla played along. They were made “Yeoman Freeholders” in return for rewriting their charters to “work closely with the new Ministry in the interests of all stakeholders” – or some-such vacuous spout… because no one remembers… after that it started."



  6. Links 22/1/2022: Ubuntu MATE 21.10 for GPD Pocket 3, MINISFORUM Preloads GNU/Linux

    Links for the day



  7. Computer Users Should be Operators, But Instead They're Being Operated by Vendors and Governments

    Computers have been turned into hostile black boxes (unlike Blackbox) that distrust the person who purchased them; moreover, from a legislative point of view, encryption (i.e. computer security) is perceived and treated by governments like a threat instead of something imperative — a necessity for society’s empowerment (privacy is about control and people in positions of unjust power want total and complete control)



  8. Peak Code — Part I: Before the Wars

    Article/series by Dr. Andy Farnell: "in the period between 1960 and 2060 people had mistaken what they called "The Internet" for a communications system, when it had in fact been an Ideal and a Battleground all along - the site of the 100 years info-war."



  9. Links 21/1/2022: RISC-V Development Board and Rust 1.58.1

    Links for the day



  10. IRC Proceedings: Thursday, January 20, 2022

    IRC logs for Thursday, January 20, 2022



  11. Gemini Lets You Control the Presentation Layer to Suit Your Own Needs

    In Gemini (or the Web as seen through Gemini clients such as Kristall) the user comes first; it's not sites/capsules that tell the user how pages are presented/rendered, as they decide only on structural/semantic aspects



  12. The Future of Techrights

    Futures are difficult to predict, but our general vision for the years ahead revolves around more community involvement and less (none or decreased) reliance on third parties, especially monopolistic corporations, mostly because they oppress the population via the network and via electronic devices



  13. [Meme] UPC for CJEU

    When you do illegal things and knowingly break the law to get started with a “legal” system you know it’ll end up in tears… or the CJEU



  14. Links 20/1/2022: 'Pluton' Pushback and Red Hat Satellite 6.10.2

    Links for the day



  15. The Web is a Corporate Misinformation/Disinformation Platform, Biased Against Communities, Facts, and Science

    Misinformation/disinformation in so-called 'news' sites is a pandemic which spreads; in the process, the founder of GNU/Linux gets defamed and GNU/Linux itself is described as the problem, not the solution to the actual problems



  16. Links 20/1/2022: McKinsey Openwashing and Stable Kernels

    Links for the day



  17. IRC Proceedings: Wednesday, January 19, 2022

    IRC logs for Wednesday, January 19, 2022



  18. Links 20/1/2022: Linuxfx 11.1 WxDesktop 11.0.3 and FreeIPMI 1.6.9 Released

    Links for the day



  19. Links 19/1/2022: XWayland 22.1 RC1 and OnlyOffice 7.0 Release

    Links for the day



  20. Links 19/1/2022: ArchLabs 2022.01.18 and KDE's 15-Minute Bug Initiative

    Links for the day



  21. When Twitter Protects Abusers and Abuse (and Twitter's Sponsors)

    Twitter is an out-of-control censorship machine and it should be treated accordingly even by those who merely "read" or "follow" Twitter accounts; Twitter is a filter, not a news/media platform or even means of communication



  22. IRC Proceedings: Tuesday, January 18, 2022

    IRC logs for Tuesday, January 18, 2022



  23. Links 19/1/2022: Wine 7.x Era Begins and Istio 1.12.2 is Out

    Links for the day



  24. Another Video IBM Does Not Want You to Watch

    It seems very much possible that IBM (or someone close to IBM) is trying to purge me from Twitter, so let’s examine what they may be trying to distract from. As we put it 2 years ago, "Watson" is a lot more offensive than those supposedly offensive words IBM is working to purge; think about those hundreds of Red Hat workers who are black and were never told about ethnic purges of blacks facilitated by IBM (their new boss).



  25. What IBM Does Not Want You to Watch

    Let's 'Streisand it'...



  26. Good News, Bad News (and Back to Normal)

    When many services are reliant on the integrity of a single, very tiny MicroSD card you're only moments away from 2 days of intensive labour (recovery, investigation, migration, and further coding); we've learned our lessons and took advantage of this incident to upgrade the operating system, double the storage space, even improve the code slightly (for compatibility with newer systems)



  27. Someone Is Very Desperate to Knock My Account Off Twitter

    Many reports against me — some successful — are putting my free speech (and factual statements) at risk



  28. Links 18/1/2022: Deepin 20.4 and Qubes OS 4.1.0 RC4

    Links for the day



  29. Links 18/1/2022: GNOME 42 Alpha and KStars 3.5.7

    Links for the day



  30. IRC Proceedings: Monday, January 17, 2022

    IRC logs for Monday, January 17, 2022


RSS 64x64RSS Feed: subscribe to the RSS feed for regular updates

Home iconSite Wiki: You can improve this site by helping the extension of the site's content

Home iconSite Home: Background about the site and some key features in the front page

Chat iconIRC Channel: Come and chat with us in real time

Recent Posts