|Re: [Hangout-NYLXS] MYSQL Licensing
|Quoting prmarino1-at-gmail.com (prmarino1-at-gmail.com):
> If you don't like it switch to miriadb A.K.A the all GPL fork of mysql
> which isn't controlled by oracle.
The use-case of MariaDB is, so far, pretty much entirely 'Oracle Corp.
isn't the copyright owner on this one.' (I'm not denigrating that.
The sentiment is widely felt.)
> MySQL's dual license has always been controversial even before Oracle
> got involved. There were always questions, and serious concerns about
> it, namely that contributions made under the GPL version would get
> rolled into the paid license version, which is clearly a violation of
> the spirit if not technically the letter of GPL version 2.
I'll note in passing that this is an entirely _different_ dual-licensing
than the one Ruben pointed to, which is just an addtitional grant of
open-source licence permissions above and beyond GPL2 -- attached to the
Whose 'concerns' are you talking about? Can you point to any examples?
I'm saying that because it seems to me that this scenario is not
credible at all. People accused MySQL AB of some shady dealings, but
outright copyright violation was never, to the best of my recollection,
part of that. Absent copyright assignment in writing by the code
contributor to MySQL AB, that firm turning around and issuing a code
instance of the resulting derviative work, under proprietary licence
terms, violates the licensor (code contributor's) copyright and is a
clear and serious tort.
In point of fact, Oracle's 'FOSS exception' dual-licensing, the one
Ruben pointed to, _fixed_ a controversy that perennially arose in MySQL
AB days: MySQL AB's sales people kept telling people -- taking
advantage of ignorance about copyright law -- that _any_ use of MySQL
Server (the GPLed code instance) using MySQL Server's MySQL client
libraries would be copyright violation unless _all_ associated code used
to talk to MySQL was likewise under GPLv2.
Essentially, the salesmen asserted that any communication with MySQL
Server by any other codebase created a derivative work, hence all of the
derivative work needed to be GPL or the user would be committing
They said this _not_ to encourage copyleft, but rather as a bludgeon to
attempt to motivate the customer to purchase the proprietary-licensed
fork rather than use the GPLed MySQL Server instance. And entirely too
many people believed this pile of codswallop, because of ignorance about
what 'derivative work' does and does not mean in copyright law.
In that light, the current grant of 'FOSS exception' additional
permissions to the MySQL Server client libraries, whenever that happened
(I'm unclear) seems a laudable partial attempt to make amends for that
saleman misbehaviour, reassuring users that they do _not_ need to stick
only to GPL-licensed querying code.
One can reasonably go much further than that, of course: There is no
reason to suppose that merely making _proprietary_ calling software
query an open source database creates a derivative work including that
database. That's just not how copyright law works. If that were the
case, nobody would be able to use proprietary software on open source
OSes and proprietary software publishers would be getting sued for
copyright violation right and left.
> One of ( there are more) the big driving forces behind the writing of
> version 3 was to close the loopholes that allowed this to happen.
No, that's not right. There are no loopholes in GPLv2 that permitted
unlicensed use of copyrighted material under proprietary licences.
That is very clearly a tort.
The driving forces behind the GPLv3 effort were tivoization, patents,
the revocation clause, ease of including additional permissions (clause
7), the definition of 'matching source code', licence compatibility, DRM
key management, fixed text blocks (so that Stallman can forbid anyone
from removing the GNU Manifesto from the gcc docs) and the ASP loophole.
What many of us really wanted was action about the last item, the ASP
loophole. Ironically, that's the one item that FSF dropped on the
floor, leaving it to the unjustly obscure Affero GPL versions 2 and 3.
> The problem with adoption is that it went a little too far too quickly
> and the world wasn't ready for things like getting rid of the LGPL
> yet, that should have been put off till version 4
Even FSF doesn't want to get rid of LGPL. It keeps using it.
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