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From:Michael Widenius Date:December 12 2009 10:29pm
Subject:Help saving MySQL
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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:

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 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
Help saving MySQLMichael Widenius12 Dec
  • Re: Help saving MySQLMichael Dykman13 Dec
    • Re: Help saving MySQLRyan Chan13 Dec
      • Re: Help saving MySQLMihamina Rakotomandimby13 Dec
      • Re: Help saving MySQLDouglas Nelson13 Dec
        • RE: Help saving MySQLNeil Aggarwal13 Dec
          • Re: Help saving MySQLMichael Dykman13 Dec
            • Re: Help saving MySQLMihamina Rakotomandimby13 Dec
          • Re: Help saving MySQLTom Worster14 Dec
            • Re: Help saving MySQLMihamina Rakotomandimby15 Dec
  • Re: Help saving MySQLClaudio Nanni14 Dec
    • Re: Help saving MySQLJigal van Hemert14 Dec
      • Re: Help saving MySQLClaudio Nanni14 Dec
        • Re: Help saving MySQLJigal van Hemert14 Dec
        • Re: Help saving MySQLTom Worster14 Dec
          • Re: Help saving MySQLClaudio Nanni14 Dec
            • Re: Help saving MySQLTom Worster14 Dec
              • Re: Help saving MySQLClaudio Nanni14 Dec
    • RE: Help saving MySQLNeil Aggarwal14 Dec
      • Re: Help saving MySQLClaudio Nanni14 Dec
RE: Help saving MySQLJohn Daisley 14 Dec
  • Re: Help saving MySQLMichael Dykman14 Dec
    • Re: Help saving MySQLFacundo Garat14 Dec
      • Re: Help saving MySQLMichael Widenius15 Dec
  • Re: Help saving MySQLupscope15 Dec
  • Re: Help saving MySQLMartijn Tonies16 Dec
RE: Help saving MySQLJohn Daisley 14 Dec
  • RE: Help saving MySQLDaevid Vincent15 Dec
RE: Help saving MySQLJohn \(Burton\) Daisley17 Dec
  • Re: Help saving MySQLMartijn Tonies17 Dec
  • Re: Help saving MySQLGene Heskett17 Dec
RE: Help saving MySQLJohn \(Burton\) Daisley17 Dec
  • Re: Help saving MySQLMartijn Tonies17 Dec
  • Re: Help saving MySQLMartijn Tonies17 Dec
    • Re: Help saving MySQLBruno B. B. Magalhaes17 Dec