I'm not here to slag MySQL, but this point is extremely interesting.
Benjamin Pflugmann wrote:
> Aehem. There seems to be some misconception here. Either your program
> is fine with MySQL being GPL or not.
> If it is (and your forking example would work for you) either by using
> MySQL in a way that your program is not required to be GPL'ed or by
> GPL'ing your program, you need no commercial license from MySQL AB
> either, and you can already distribute your program with MySQL without
> the need of a fork or whatever.
> Or your program needs a commercial license, than forking MySQL would
> not help, because you still have to adhere to the GPL. The only reason
> MySQL AB can hand out a commercial license is because they are also
> the Copyright holders, which you aren't even after forking.
There is also some middle ground here. Which is the overlap of the two.
Where the user (me) wants to use a OSS DBMS, is happy to forward the
source code, inform the customer of the GPL licence etc.
But at the same time produce a commercial application which then uses
this installed DBMS server/client, without effecting the GPL package.
MySQL say that this is an extension of the application, and therefore
breaks the GPL, and therefore a licence is needed. They are however,
the only big GPL user who thinks this way. I note for example the
number of companies selling commercial CGI software designed to run on
Apache, server/client, to which no licence is mandatory. Also Sendmail,
GCC, other DBMS's, and indeed GNU/Linux it's self.
None of these very large groups consider a licence *mandatory* for use
when supporting a commercial application. I use the term 'mandatory',
they may still choose to purchase a licence. If they did insist on a
licence, a very large number of very large companies would have to
withdraw a very large number of products. Eg, IBM who use Sendmail to
support their commercial email servers.
Therefore, I can see no reason why not somebody could fork MySQL into
FreeSQL. It would take a few hours at SorceForge, a 'sed' of MySQL into
FreeSQL', and a good posting to Slashdot. Keep it 100% GPL without
breaking either the wording or the spirit of the document. Remove all
reference to copyright material belonging to MySQL. It's either GPL or
cpryright, not both. Then use this without commercial licence...
BTW, as to another posting. 'Either accept the GPL or purchase a
licence'. I do note another option (apart from forking): Use something
else. Is MySQL really that good? I do worry that with arrogant
statements like this, this is exactly what people will do, in droves.
If that's okay with you, well...