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From:Mike Hillyer Date:February 23 2004 7:45pm
Subject:Questions from the front
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Hello Again;

Just to produce some discussion I thought I would share some end-user 
questions. I am currently working on an article on licensing for my 
website, which will probably be delayed till the results of all this 
discussion is released by MySQL AB. Anyway as part of this I have done 
some inquiries in different forums/sites for questions end users would 
ask MySQL AB about licensing. If nothing else the questions give an idea 
what some users out there are asking about.

Questions follow:

  Here is one I've been wondering about. I've read the license agreement 
at MySQL and I'm still not sure.

As a programmer, am I free to develop web applications for clients that 
use a mysql database or do I have to purchase a license? Furthermore, if 
I develop one web application that is sold to several clients 
(customized to suit their unique requirements, if any) am I required to 
purchase mulitple licenses?

I used to think that MySQL was completely free to use but recently took 
a look at their licensing page and now believe that is not the 
least in the scenarios above. I've asked a couple of other people and it 
seems that I'm not the only one who isn't sure.

What happens if some guy reverse-engineers the MySQL communication 
protocol and creates his own client library without ever looking at (or 
using) any of the code written by MySQL AB ?

As a (mostly) comercial developer I would ask them to clarify the 
comercial licensing.

Here's the details of my situation.

Because of the differences in SQL syntax the MySQL version of my 
software suite will only work with MySQL. It is based off a common code 
base that was originally developed for MSSQL. I am using ADO and ODBC so 
I'm not actually interacting directly with the server.

I do not ship the server with my software. I leave that up to the IT 
department of the customer but I do consult with them about setup and 
configuration. I do include the ODBC driver in my installation program 
so I can make certain it gets installed.

The way I understand things my customer will have to pay for a license 
if they are a comercial organization. I would not be responsible for any 

Am I incorrect?

If I write a program that is made to be used with MySQL (through ODBC), 
does my software fall under GPL? Does it make a difference if the 
program is made for personal, business (my private busines), business 
(sell to other people) use?
Questions from the frontMike Hillyer23 Feb
  • Re: Questions from the frontZak Greant19 Mar