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From:Steph Date:February 21 2004 8:41am
Subject:RE: Licensing for tools
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> Microsoft gives them free reign to use the drivers,

yeah, because Microsoft are already paid! - I came into OSS in the first
place _because_ of M$'s licensing terms for developers.  I don't think I'm
alone in that, somehow.

I couldn't agree more with you, Mike.  Clarity's hugely important.  Finding
clarity is not so straightforward, that's kinda where we're all at.  The
first thing we all need to agree on is whether we start achieving it by
looking at licensing on a per-case basis, or whether we start looking at
licensing from first principles.

Most countries begin with a constitution and then form their judiciary from
that base..

- Steph

> -----Original Message-----
> From: Mike Hillyer [mailto:mike@stripped]
> Sent: 20 February 2004 22:28
> To: community@stripped
> Subject: Licensing for tools
> Ok now here's a question to ponder...
> As you probably don't know, I run a site ( that
> houses a pretty distincy community: as a site for Windows developers
> most of my users are writing commercial applications. Now this group is
> pretty confused about MySQL licensing, and some who have read the MySQL
> license documentation are trying to authoritatively state that they are
> ok to distribute their apps without a commercial license because their
> app talks to the ODBC manager, which talks to MyODBC, and there is a
> license exception for the ODBC manager. An interesting argument which
> even the FSF seems to favor.
> Now that was actually me on a tangent, lets get to the real question: I
> run Google Adsense on my site and I notice a lot of tools and libraries
> advertised. For example, I have ads for a product called MySQL X, a
> custom COM library for connecting to MySQL wia a C API wrapper rather
> than ODBC. Another ad lists a backup tool for MySQL. Both of these sell
> for less than $100 so obviously they are not paying a license fee to
> So lets say I buy/sell a tool for others to use with MySQL: who pays the
> license fee? Me for using a commercial app with MySQL or them for
> selling it? This becomes interesting to me because the software in
> question is not an application built against MySQL but a tool to manage
> and/or interface with MySQL.
> So here's another thing to think about: how does MySQL deal with the
> small-time commercial developer? Lets say Joe Student develops a nice
> app with embedded MySQL and wants to sell it. Now it's an end-consumer
> application and he expects to only be able to charge $19 for it, which
> leaves him a little short when it comes to the MySQL license fees (And I
> don't want to hear that he should just release it as Open Source, this
> is not the point of the question and besides, if he goes that road MySQL
> AB gets nothing. Of course without a proper license solution MySQL AB
> gets nothing, since Joe just switched to using and Access .mdb file as
> much as he doesn't want to).
> And while we I am throwing out things to think about, lets consider a
> company that is thinking of adding MySQL support to their existing
> application that already runs on MS SQL Server: do they pay a licensing
> fee when they sell a copy? Why should they? When they sell a copy of
> their application to a customer who uses SQL Server, it is the customer
> who is responsible for ensuring that they have proper licenses for SQL
> Server, not the software vendor. Microsoft gives them free reign to use
> the drivers, because this means more applications will support SQL
> Server, and the customers of the ISVs will buy more copies of SQL Server
> as they buy more copies of the ISV produced software.
> Developers and end users need less ambiguity. If I choose to develop an
> application that is based on MySQL and wish to sell it commercially I
> need to know who needs to pay: me of the buyer of my software. If it's
> me I need to know how many licenses I need to buy: One for my office,
> one for each copy of my app I sell, one for each customer's server, one
> for each of my servers? I need to know what happens if I develop a
> server tool that could concievably be used with hundreds of customer
> servers. Finally, I need to know how I can use MySQL to power an
> application that costs significantly less than a MySQL server license.
> I hope this gets you thinking. Commercial developers want to use MySQL.
> I know, I have talked to plenty of them. The biggest barrier they have
> to using MySQL is their understanding of licensing, so lets smash this
> barrier!
> Regards,
> Mike Hillyer
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Licensing for toolsMike Hillyer20 Feb
  • RE: Licensing for toolsSteph21 Feb
    • RE: Licensing for toolsMike Hillyer21 Feb
      • RE: Licensing for toolsSteph22 Feb
        • Re: Licensing for toolsZak Greant23 Feb
  • Zak Status (was Re: Licensing for tools)Zak Greant22 Feb