I hope the only reason this thread is so quiet is because we are all
busy notifying our friends. There are a hell of a lot more users
invested in MySQL than those who read this list. Spread the word!
Monty is not asking us to help him: he is asking you to help
yourselves. MySQL has never been more important than it is today!
- michael dykman
On Sat, Dec 12, 2009 at 5:29 PM, Michael Widenius
> 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.
> From looking at how Oracle handled the InnoDB acquisition, I don't
> have high hopes that Oracle will do the above right if not required to
> do so:
> For InnoDB:
> - Bug fixes where done (but this was done under a contractual obligation)
> - New features, like compression that was announced before acquisition, took
> 3 years to implement
> - No time tables or insight into development
> - The community where not allowed to participate in development
> - Patches from users (like Google) that would have increased performance was
> not implemented/released until after Oracle announced it was acquiring Sun.
> - Oracle started working on InnoDB+, a better 'closed source' version of InnoDB
> - In the end Sun had to fork InnoDB, just to be able to improve performance.
> It's true that development did continue, but this was more to be able
> to continue using InnoDB as a pressure on MySQL Ab.
> Note that Oracle's development on the Linux kernel is not comparable
> with MySQL, because:
> - Oracle is using Linux as the main platform for their primary database
> product (and thus a better Linux makes Oracles platform better)
> - The GPL code in the kernel is not affecting what is running on top on it
> (because of an exception in Linux).
> Because we don't have access to a database of MySQL customers and
> users the only way we can get the word out is to use the MySQL and
> Open Source community. I would never have resorted to this if Oracle
> would not have broken the well established rules in anticompetitive
> merger cases and try to influence the EC by actively mobilising the
> This is very critical to this AS SOON AS POSSIBLE as EC, depending on
> what Oracle is doing, needs to make a decision either on Monday
> (2009-12-14) or within two weeks. Becasue of the strict deadline,
> every email counts!
> What I want to ask you to do (until 2009-12-19):
> - Forward this email to everyone that you know is using MySQL or Open
> Source/free software and to all email list where you know there are
> people present that use or care about MySQL and open source (please check
> first that this email hasn't been sent there before)
> - Alternatively send emails with information about this and tell them to read
> - Add links on your web site to
> http://monty-says.blogspot.com/2009/12/help-saving-mysql.html with the text "We are using
> MySQL, help save it", for the
> duration of the next two week.
> - Blog about this (feel free to include this text or just link to my blog)
> - Call by phone (don't contact by email, this is urgent) your boss or VP
> and ask him to read this email and send a letter to the EC commission ASAP!
> - If you don't have anyone to contact above, send an email to the EC!
> As we want the EC to get a correct picture of the situation, we want
> you to first fill in the upper part and then choose one of the
> proposed texts belove that best matches your view of the
> situation. Feel free to supply your own text and additional
> information if you think this will help the EC to reach a better
> understanding of how MySQL is used.
> Send this to: comp-merger-registry@stripped
> If you have extra time to help, fill in the following, if not, just skip
> to the main text.
> Size of company:
> How many MySQL installations:
> Total data stored in MySQL (megabyte):
> For what type of applications is MySQL used:
> Should this email be kept confidential by EC: Yes/No
> Copy or use one of the below texts as a base for your answer:
> I don't trust that Oracle will take good care of MySQL and MySQL
> should be divested to another company or foundation that have
> everything to gain by developing and promoting MySQL. One should also
> in the future be able to combine MySQL with closed source application
> (either by exceptions, a more permissive license or be able to dual
> license MySQL under favourable terms)
> I think that Oracle could be a good steward of MySQL, but I would need
> EC to have legally binding guarantees from Oracle that:
> - All of MySQL will continue to be fully Open Source/free software in
> the future (no closed source modules)
> - That development will be done in community friendly way.
> - The manual should be released under a permissive license (so that one
> can fork it, the same way one can fork the server)
> - That MySQL should be released under a more permissive license to
> ensure that forks can truly compete with Oracle if Oracle is not a
> good steward after all.
> - One should be able to always buy low priced commercial licenses for MySQL.
> There should also be mechanism so that if Oracle is not doing
> what is expected of it, forks should be able to compete with Oracle
> I trust Oracle and I suggest that EC will approve the deal unconditionally.
> Let us prove to Oracle and EC that the Open Source community is a true
> force and we take good care of our citizens and we prefer to work with
> companies that does the same!
> The future of MySQL is in your hands!
> Thanks for the help!
> Michael Widenius
> Creator of MySQL
> MySQL General Mailing List
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- michael dykman
"May you live every day of your life."
Larry's First Law of Language Redesign: Everyone wants the colon.