EditorsAbout the SiteComes vs. MicrosoftUsing This Web SiteSite ArchivesCredibility IndexOOXMLOpenDocumentPatentsNovellNews DigestSite NewsRSS

12.21.09

Oracle Likely to Own MySQL Shortly, European Commission’s Credibility at Stake

Posted in Database, Europe, Free/Libre Software, Microsoft, Oracle, SUN at 2:15 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

“As if you could kill a dolphin by swallowing the ocean…”

Marten Mickos, CEO of MySQL

Larry Ellison eats dolphin

Summary: Oracle commits to swallowing but not devouring the dolphin, whereas the creator of MySQL database, who is now with Microsoft’s CodePlex Foundation, lobbies with Microsoft against it

WE HAVE mostly abstained from saying whether MySQL should or should not be acquired by Oracle. Sun is at stake too, along with projects like Java and OpenOffice.org, so it’s a tough situation. Either way, based on reports, there is at least a promise from Oracle, which means that pressure from the European Commission paid off in some way.

A pledge in Oracle’s commitments to European regulators would continue to license MySQL, a key Web site software, for five years after Sun is acquired

An approval for Oracle is foreseen despite all the lobbying from Microsoft and SAP. Groklaw points out that Microsoft has just acquired the Toronto-based Opalis, which is a MySQL partner. Could this be strategic and intentional in some way? Who knows, but Groklaw found that important enough to mention.

“Monty could have changed the license prior to selling it to Sun, and he didn’t, so it’s a bit late now to worry about who owns it.”
      –Pamela Jones
Now that Michael Widenius is lobbying to block the acquisition, Groklaw’s Pamela Jones also writes: “I’m a MySQL user on Groklaw, and I think he’s serving up baloney, and definitely not anything to do with Open Source, since he’s suggesting the license on MySQL be changed to one that allows him proprietary possibilities. Monty could have changed the license prior to selling it to Sun, and he didn’t, so it’s a bit late now to worry about who owns it. I doubt the EU Commission will care about emails like this, but there’s no reason why people can’t send emails if they so choose. If so, it’s to comp-merger-registry@ec.europa.eu and mine, if I wrote one, would say, I see nothing wrong with Oracle buying MySQL.The GPL rights are irrevocable, so it doesn’t matter who owns the copyrights.

Here are some opinions that Groklaw cites for support:

But the Oracle filing quotes several customers who said practically the opposite in response to the EU’s market survey. Vodafone Group PLC said it “does not consider that Oracle’s database offerings constitute direct substitutes to Sun’s offerings.” McAfee Inc. also said the two don’t “constitute direct substitutes.” As did General Electric Co., which added that while “both parties’ offerings may on the face of it share some functionality, they are qualitatively different.” Said Fujitsu Services Ltd.: “They operate in different markets.”

Widenius has said that Oracle’s promise is useless, but Jones disagrees when she writes: “If he claims the promises are empty, I’d not call that a success. If it is a success, then the promises must not be empty.”

What do our readers think? Is the European Commission doing the right thing by obstructing Sun (and Oracle)? Is it defending MySQL from a hostile takeover? We lost a great deal of confidence in the European Commission when Steve Ballmer met Neelie Kroes and bamboozled her until she accepted software patents. The president of the FFII wrote a few hours ago: “Nellie Kroes in bed with Microsoft for protecting their soft patents, commercial software redefined, champagne in Redmond!

This was indeed a disappointment which we wrote about yesterday and also covered in [1, 2, 3]. Initially, the Commission caved and obeyed Microsoft lobbyists, later inviting Microsoft again. With several Microsoft cronies inside the Commission, this might not be entirely shocking. As someone who maintains about 20 MySQL databases, I’d appreciate input from readers. Who’s “right” and who’s “wrong”?

Share this post: These icons link to social bookmarking sites where readers can share and discover new web pages.
  • Digg
  • del.icio.us
  • Reddit
  • co.mments
  • DZone
  • email
  • Google Bookmarks
  • LinkedIn
  • NewsVine
  • Print
  • Technorati
  • TwitThis
  • Facebook

If you liked this post, consider subscribing to the RSS feed or join us now at the IRC channels.

Pages that cross-reference this one

6 Comments

  1. dyfet said,

    December 21, 2009 at 3:23 pm

    Gravatar

    Certainly Oracle is no favorite company of mine, but I have to agree in the end what matters is the license (GPL) is strong, and assures freedom and continuation that makes Oracle’s promise ultimately unnecessary and offers no possibility even for someone else, like say Microsoft, to clutch it away and then banish it to a software abyss. In the GNU GPL I trust. You can add that to the currency if you like :).

    Roy Schestowitz Reply:

    Are you worried that Microsoft could fork MySQL and ‘pull a Zend’ on it?

  2. williami said,

    December 22, 2009 at 12:39 am

    Gravatar

    Even through Oracle does have a propertary database, they mentioned that they will change the MySQL license to GPLv3, and I think GPLv3 is a awesome license, so I’m up for Oracle+Sun.

    Roy Schestowitz Reply:

    Did they really say something like this?

    Either way, Oracle is already in OIN and it hardly ever sues with patents.

    williami Reply:

    Sorta forgot what they said, but they (Oracle) will relicense MySQL under the GPL, I honestly don’t know what version it is.

    Roy Schestowitz Reply:

    Ah, well… probably not GPLv3. I spoke to MySQL’s CEO last year trying to convince him to adopt the licence.

What Else is New


  1. New Optimism in the Age of Doubt Over Software Patents

    As the tide turns against software patents, even in their country of origin, their opponents come out of the woodwork to celebrate



  2. Links 28/7/2014: New Linux RC, Plasma 5 Live in Kubuntu

    Links for the day



  3. Links 27/7/2014: KDE 4.14 Beta 3, KDE 4.14 Beta 3 Released

    Links for the day



  4. Apple and Microsoft Are Proprietary Software Companies and the Media Should Stop Openwashing Them

    New examples where proprietary software giants are characterised as FOSS-embracing and FOSS-friendly by gullible or dishonest 'journalists'



  5. Bloomberg's Microsoft Propaganda

    Bloomberg delivers 'damage control' and PR ahead of the layoffs announcement; Microsoft uses Nokia to hide it and Bloomberg helps Microsoft by radically modifying headlines



  6. Frequency of Browser Back Doors in Microsoft Windows is Doubling

    The vulnerabilities which Microsoft tells the NSA about (before these are patched) are significantly growing in terms of their numbers



  7. FUD Entities Entering the FOSS World

    Symantec enters the AllSeen Alliance and Sonatype is once again trying to claim great insecurity in FOSS due to software licensing



  8. Groklaw Back in the Wake of ODF in the UK?





  9. Links 26/7/2014: New Wine, Chromebooks Strong Sales

    Links for the day



  10. Links 25/7/2014: GOG With GNU/Linux, Ubuntu 14.04.1 LTS

    Links for the day



  11. Links 24/7/2014: Oracle Linux 7; Fedora Delays

    Links for the day



  12. Valerie Strauss Explains Why Gates Foundation's Lobbying for 'Common Core' (Privatisation) is a Swindle That Makes Microsoft Richer

    Continued criticism of the Gates Foundation's lobbying and masquerading, with more journalists brave enough to highlight the corruption



  13. USPTO Officially Sets New Guidelines to Limit Scope of Software Patents in the United States

    Even patent lawyers finally acknowledge that the incentive to file software patent applications has been reduced, as the scope of patents on software has been noticeably narrowed and they are harder to acquire, let alone enforce in a courtroom



  14. UK Government Adopts OpenDocument Format (ODF) and Microsoft Already Attacks the Government Over It, Showing Absolutely No Commitment to Open Standards

    Only "Microsoft as the standard" is the 'standard' Microsoft is willing to accept, as its response to the Cabinet Office's judgment reveals



  15. Microsoft Layoffs of 2014

    Another quick look at Microsoft's horrible state of affairs and why it has virtually nothing to do with Nokia



  16. Links 22/7/2014: Linux 3.16 RC 6, New UberStudent

    Links for the day



  17. Links 20/7/2014: Jolla in India, Mega Censored in Italy

    Links for the day



  18. Longtime Mono Booster Joins Microsoft-linked Xamarin

    Jo Shields almost joins Microsoft, settling instead for its proxy, Xamarin



  19. Linux Foundation Welcomes Patent Aggressor Red Bend Software

    The Linux Foundation's AllSeen Alliance welcomes as a member a company that uses software patents to sue Free/Open Source software



  20. Matt Levy From Patent Progress (and CCIA) Does Not Really Want Patent Progress

    Matthew ('Matt') Levy moved into a foe of patent progress last year, but he still runs a site calls Patent Progress, in which he diverts all attention to patent trolls (as large corporations such as Microsoft like to do)



  21. Attacking FOSS by Ignoring/Overlooking Issues With Proprietary Software

    The biasing strategy which continues to be used to demonise Free/Open Source software (FOSS) along with some new examples



  22. Links 19/7/2014: CRUX 3.1 is Out, CyanogenMod Competes With Google Now

    Links for the day



  23. Microsoft's Massive Layoffs Go Far Beyond Nokia; Nokia's Android Phones Axed by Microsoft's Elop

    Microsoft's rapid demise and permanent exit from Nokia's last remaining Linux platform (after Microsoft had killed two more)



  24. Patents on Software Already Being Invalidated in Courts Owing to SCOTUS Ruling on 'Abstract' Patents

    The Federal Circuit Appeals Court has just "invalidated a software patent for being overly abstract," says a patents expert



  25. OpenSUSE 'Community' is Crumbling, AttachMSFT Killed SUSE's Potential (Except as Microsoft Tax)

    Not much too see in the land of SUSE and Attachmate, or formerly the company known as Novell



  26. Links 18/7/2014: Slackware Turns 21, Spotify Switches to Ubuntu

    Links for the day



  27. Links 16/7/2014: Manjaro 0.8.10 Third Update, SIA Migrates to Red Hat

    Links for the day



  28. Microsoft's Latest Round of Massive/Bulk/Large-scale Layoffs

    Microsoft boosters are preparing 'damage control' pieces ahead of massive layoffs at Microsoft



  29. Secrecy Allows British Government to be Manipulated by Microsoft for Spyware Behind Closed Doors

    Dependence on malicious software from NSA ally Microsoft is highly dependent, at least in Britain, on government secrecy and vain refusal to comply with Freedom of Information (FOI) requests



  30. Software Patent Applications Already Being Rejected in the US Owing to SCOTUS Ruling, Some Patent Lawyers Are Fuming

    Good news on the software patents front as the USPTO starts rejecting software patent applications, based on patent lawyers' words


CoPilotCo

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

CoPilotCo

Recent Posts