|FROM ||Ron Guerin
|SUBJECT ||Re: [NYLXS - HANGOUT] mysql issues
|From owner-hangout-outgoing-at-mrbrklyn.com Fri Jan 1 15:56:33 2010
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Date: Fri, 01 Jan 2010 15:54:35 -0500
From: Ron Guerin
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Subject: Re: [NYLXS - HANGOUT] mysql issues
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Ruben Safir wrote:
> I think this issue is complex. Monty is no doubt not a die in the wool
> Free Software advocate. We had him as an NYLXS award winner years ago
> and the amount of effort that he put into free software support for
> MYSQL was herculinian (sp?) so I do believe that he has deep Free
> Software scrupples, but he definitely percieves of his economic interest
> in an ability to dual license, and more importantly, he seems to have
> business contacts that strongly believe in the need to obtain closed
> sources licensing. Its just kind of funny for me to read that Larry
> paid Monty to put MYSQL under the GPL because I think Monty is a far
> greater Free Software advocate than Larry.
Larry Augustin now runs badgeware vendor SugarCRM, which speaks for the
depth of his commitment to Free Software. Both of them support Free
Software to the extent that it fits in with their current business
plan. To that extent you can lump them both in with .... every other
business[man] who has supported Free Software at one point or another.
Now I've never met Monty, so I'm really just giving you a "geek on the
street" viewpoint here, but if I was Monty, the mistake I made was not
retiring after selling to Sun. From where I stand, and having written
code I've put a lot of myself into, I can easily imagine that Monty's
had second thoughts about the whole thing. But it's too late now, and
while he might have been able to buy MySQL back from the dying star
known as Sun, there's no chance he's going to get it back from Oracle.
He seems to be trying to manipulate the EU into forcing Oracle to give
him what Oracle will (apparently) not willingly sell him, which is a
license to distribute MySQL under some other license than the GPL,
because he probably can't build a business around his fork without it.
The moral of the story here is when you sell your company, you're done
with it. No, *really*. Make your choice about what's most important to
you carefully, because once you sell, it's not yours anymore.
> I think there are a couple of things driving this and one aspect of this
> which needs to be understood. First, when Monty sold the TM and
> original copyrights to MYSQL to Sun, I think part of his calculation was
> that ***HE IS MYSQL***, so nothing he was doing was going to really
> affect his long turm relationship with his work...as long as his
> relationship with Sun Microsystems remained cordial. He doesn't have
> that relationship with Oracle. In fact, I'm sure he was spent a good
> part of his life skirmishing with Ellison's mega-giant..and there is a
> lot of bad blood. And now his business contacts are gathering around
> him trying to leverage as much as possible long term control of MYSQL.
> I don't think Monty is really thinking about this clearly. The GPL is
> the biggest thing that protects him. In they remove that protection
> Oracle is going to swallow up MYSQL like Apple has Darwin
The GPL apparently interferes with his business model. As you
mentioned, he believes he *is* MySQL. (and for all I know that could be
true) He doesn't care about Oracle's version of MySQL, because he
doesn't think it's going to be of any importance. He only cares about
his ability to dual-license his own fork because he expects to be *the*
version of MySQL that everyone uses.
I don't know what's going to happen with MySQL. Despite what Monty's
saying, I understand there's several credible forks now, most I think
are run by people who've jumped ship from MySQL/Sun and a big dark cloud
of suspicion over what's going to be Oracle's version. Monty's belief
he can become the MySQL of choice isn't implausible, but the
"enterprise" crowd undoubtedly loves the idea of overpaying Oracle for
MySQL, because that's just how they roll.
> Secondly, What was Monty thinking? Sun has been in economic turmoil for
> a decade. He's had been better off buying Sun then selling to them?
> Once he sold that trademark to them, he was playing Russian Rollette
> with his lifes work. So why did he sell? Because Sun made him a
> BILLIONAIRE. I was so happy for him.
Obviously because he wanted their money. And that's not necessarily a
bad thing, except in his case apparently it was, because he wasn't
prepared to walk away. The EU may make demands of Oracle that gives
Monty back what he sold to Sun for free. Or maybe it scuttles the
Oracle/Sun deal, which would mean Monty doesn't get what he thinks he
needs, which would leave him in the bind he's in now.
> Let him fork under the GPL. He's not losing any money and removing the
> GPL from MYSQL is a dangerous game, IMO.
He needs to find a new way to spend his time and money that hasn't got
anything to do with MySQL.
> Lastly, I'm not in agreement of his interpretation of the GPL, although
> I'm double checking with Richard. Who says you can't build proprietary
> apps on top of Free Software without extra legal clauses?
Since you've asked RMS, I'll defer to him about what the GPL license allows.