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About GPL and proprietary software

P: n/a
I don't feel very confident when it comes to software licenses. But
there are some cases I would like to make myself clear. What I am
particulary interested in is when does GPL license become restrictive?
For example say a company has a proprietary software product that only
works with MySQL and no other database system. Are the following cases
legal?
1) This company sells his product under proprietary license and leaves
it up to the client to set up required MySQL server. Or perhaps helps
the client with seting up MySQL with or without extra fee.
2) Clients pay monthly fee to this company for using their proprietary
software which uses MySQL hosted in the companys server.
3) This company sells his product under proprietary license on the CD
which also includes MySQL as free bonus (with source code).

If these cases are valid, then when does GPL license for MySQL (or any
other software in that matter) become truly restrictive for a
proprietary company?

Kaarel
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Nov 11 '05 #1
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39 Replies


P: n/a
Kaarel <ka****@future.ee> writes:

[...]
If these cases are valid, then when does GPL license for MySQL (or any
other software in that matter) become truly restrictive for a
proprietary company?


This is neither a GNU nor a MySQL mailing list. I suggest you take
your question to one of those places, as you'll get a better answer.

-Doug

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Nov 11 '05 #2

P: n/a
On Sun, 2003-08-31 at 07:26, Kaarel wrote:
I don't feel very confident when it comes to software licenses. But
there are some cases I would like to make myself clear. What I am
particulary interested in is when does GPL license become restrictive?
For example say a company has a proprietary software product that only
works with MySQL and no other database system. Are the following cases
legal?
1) This company sells his product under proprietary license and leaves
it up to the client to set up required MySQL server. Or perhaps helps
the client with seting up MySQL with or without extra fee.
2) Clients pay monthly fee to this company for using their proprietary
software which uses MySQL hosted in the companys server.
3) This company sells his product under proprietary license on the CD
which also includes MySQL as free bonus (with source code).

If these cases are valid, then when does GPL license for MySQL (or any
other software in that matter) become truly restrictive for a
proprietary company?


Why are you asking about MySQL (a GPL-licensed product), on a
PostgreSQL (a BSD-licensed product) mailing list????

Be that as it may:
IANAL, but according to my understanding
(1) proprietary s/w that dynamically links to "GPL" shared libraries
has not broken the GPL.
(2) proprietary s/w that *statically* links to "GPL" libraries has
broken the GPL.
(3) proprietary s/w that "speaks" to "GPL" s/w via a pipe, network
link, etc., does not break the GPL.

Presumably, one of the reasons that PostgreSQL is BSD-licensed is
to avoid issues like this.

--
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Nov 11 '05 #3

P: n/a
Kaarel writes:
I don't feel very confident when it comes to software licenses. But
there are some cases I would like to make myself clear. What I am
particulary interested in is when does GPL license become restrictive?
For example say a company has a proprietary software product that only
works with MySQL and no other database system. Are the following cases
legal?


That depends on whether the MySQL client library is LGPL (up to version 3)
or GPL (from version 4 on). But a PostgreSQL forum is probably an
entirely inappropriate place to discuss this.

--
Peter Eisentraut pe*****@gmx.net
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Nov 11 '05 #4

P: n/a
On Sun, Aug 31, 2003 at 02:26:14PM -0500, Ron Johnson wrote:
IANAL, but according to my understanding
(1) proprietary s/w that dynamically links to "GPL" shared libraries
has not broken the GPL.


Sure? My understanding is that it does break GPL. That's why there's an
LGPL.

But since MySQL is double licensed and GPl is just one of the two it
gets even more complicated.

Michael
--
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Email: Michael at Fam-Meskes dot De
ICQ: 179140304, AIM/Yahoo: michaelmeskes, Jabber: me****@jabber.org
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Nov 11 '05 #5

P: n/a
The world rejoiced as me****@postgresql.org (Michael Meskes) wrote:
On Sun, Aug 31, 2003 at 02:26:14PM -0500, Ron Johnson wrote:
IANAL, but according to my understanding
(1) proprietary s/w that dynamically links to "GPL" shared libraries
has not broken the GPL.


Sure? My understanding is that it does break GPL. That's why there's an
LGPL.

But since MySQL is double licensed and GPl is just one of the two it
gets even more complicated.


No, actually, it's pretty simple.

There is (as likely as not) NO issue with the server.

The issue is that the CLIENT software is unavailable in other than GPL
and other "private license-for-money" forms.

In order for you to use MySQL, you have to link GPLed libraries in
with your code. There are no LGPLed libraries; that would break MySQL
AB's business model.

There is considerable unhappiness surrounding this vis-a-vis SAP-DB;
SAP AG had had the server software GPL-licensed, and the client
software licensed under LGPL. Along with renaming it "MaxDB," MySQL
AB is apparently eliminating LGPL-licensed libraries, which is causing
some consternation in the user community. Which will probably point
some system integrators over to use either Firebird or PostgreSQL...
--
(format nil "~S@~S" "cbbrowne" "acm.org")
http://cbbrowne.com/info/wp.html
"My soul is more than matched; she's overmanned; and by a madman!
Insufferable sting, that sanity should ground arms on such a field!
But he drilled deep down, and blasted all my reason out of me! I think
I see his impious end; but feel that I must help him to it. Will I,
nill I, the ineffable thing has tied me to him; tows me with a cable I
have no knife to cut. Horrible old man!
[...] Oh, life! 'tis now that I do feel the latent horror in thee!"
--Moby Dick, Ch 38
Nov 11 '05 #6

P: n/a
On Sun, 2003-08-31 at 14:57, Michael Meskes wrote:
On Sun, Aug 31, 2003 at 02:26:14PM -0500, Ron Johnson wrote:
IANAL, but according to my understanding
(1) proprietary s/w that dynamically links to "GPL" shared libraries
has not broken the GPL.


Sure? My understanding is that it does break GPL. That's why there's an
LGPL.


Well, there's this:
http://www.fsf.org/licenses/gpl-faq.html#LinkingWithGPL
and this:
http://www.fsf.org/licenses/gpl-faq....olledInterface
http://lists.gnupg.org/pipermail/gnu...il/010043.html

Linus thinks that dynamic linking is ok, RMS doesn't, but gives
an example boilerplate that says how dynamic linking can be ok
w/ the GPL. It's definitely a grey area.

--
-----------------------------------------------------------------
Ron Johnson, Jr. ro***********@cox.net
Jefferson, LA USA

"Millions of Chinese speak Chinese, and it's not hereditary..."
Dr. Dean Edell
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Nov 11 '05 #7

P: n/a
ro***********@cox.net (Ron Johnson) wrote:
That "_by whatever means_" seems to include "network link", and that
doesn't sound right.


Ah, but in order to use it over the network link you need to be
running their server software, on the one side, and their client
access software, on the other. Both sides are linked to GPL-licensed
software.

Your client software has to link in software belonging to MySQL AB,
and that's where they are now "biting" people on this.

This is one of the reasons why the PHP people removed bundled MySQL
support in version 5 back in June.
--
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http://www.ntlug.org/~cbbrowne/rdbms.html
"It is not enough to succeed, others must fail." -- Gore Vidal
Nov 11 '05 #8

P: n/a
On Sun, Aug 31, 2003 at 04:14:30PM -0400, Christopher Browne wrote:
Sure? My understanding is that it does break GPL. That's why there's an
LGPL.

But since MySQL is double licensed and GPl is just one of the two it
gets even more complicated.


No, actually, it's pretty simple.
...
The issue is that the CLIENT software is unavailable in other than GPL
and other "private license-for-money" forms.

In order for you to use MySQL, you have to link GPLed libraries in
with your code. There are no LGPLed libraries; that would break MySQL
AB's business model.


Well, isn't that what I said? Okay, granted, you put it into words much
better, but it looks like I wanted to say the same.

MySQL has to GPL the libs to make sure they can make money with there
other license. What I meant to say with LGPL is that this license is for
such a usage, not that MySQl has LGPLed stuff.

Michael
--
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Email: Michael at Fam-Meskes dot De
ICQ: 179140304, AIM/Yahoo: michaelmeskes, Jabber: me****@jabber.org
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Nov 11 '05 #9

P: n/a
>

This is neither a GNU nor a MySQL mailing list. I suggest you take
your question to one of those places, as you'll get a better answer.


The question in it self was more general than PostgreSQL and MySQL.
However as I currently need to work with both of them I wanted to make
clear the actual differences caused by licensing between the two
products. The other thing is that it is probably a little easier to
explain and understand if there are concrete examples.

I asked this list because I didn't want to subscribe to yet another list
for this matter and pgsql-general sure has the competence to answere
that kind of questions. It has to have.

I asked this list and not MySQL list because I am subscribed to
mysql-general and comparing the two list content I like more what I see
in PostgreSQL lists and the concrete example is about PostgreSQL as much
as it is MySQL. I don't think at a PostgreSQ conference you would guide
me to MySQL conference when I asked this same question would you?

Licensing is quite difficult to understad (at least for me) yet a very
important aspect of software development. I don't intend to ruine
anybodys day I just want a small discussion which in the end would
explain the cases when the licensing aspect of these two concrete
products will play an important role in developing software.

Kaarel

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Nov 11 '05 #10

P: n/a

On 01/09/2003 10:07 Kaarel wrote:
[snip] Licensing is quite difficult to understad (at least for me) yet a
very important aspect of software development. I don't intend to ruine
anybodys day I just want a small discussion which in the end would
explain the cases when the licensing aspect of these two concrete
products will play an important role in developing software.

With the withdrawal of LGPL from MySQL 4.x, you might find yourself either
having to GPL your application or buy a commercial license if your
application has their client libraries compiled in. About 18 months ago,
when I started designing the ERP product I'm currently working on, I
rejected MySQL on purely technical grounds (and that was compared to
PostgreSQL 7.1!). So far, that seems a very good decision. My application
is basically designed to use PostgreSQL (although if someone offered me
enough money, I expect I could port it Oracle or DB/2) and it's BSD-style
license avoids the possibilty of me or my clients having to pay a $400
licence fee to use a "free" program.

--
Paul Thomas
+------------------------------+---------------------------------------------+
| Thomas Micro Systems Limited | Software Solutions for the Smaller
Business |
| Computer Consultants |
http://www.thomas-micro-systems-ltd.co.uk |
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Nov 11 '05 #11

P: n/a
On Sun, 2003-08-31 at 21:06, Christopher Browne wrote:
ro***********@cox.net (Ron Johnson) wrote:
That "_by whatever means_" seems to include "network link", and that
doesn't sound right.


Ah, but in order to use it over the network link you need to be
running their server software, on the one side, and their client
access software, on the other. Both sides are linked to GPL-licensed
software.

Your client software has to link in software belonging to MySQL AB,
and that's where they are now "biting" people on this.

This is one of the reasons why the PHP people removed bundled MySQL
support in version 5 back in June.


Yes, in the specific case of MySQL, but it could also mean IE con-
necting to a GPL web server, or OE speaking to a pop server.

--
-----------------------------------------------------------------
Ron Johnson, Jr. ro***********@cox.net
Jefferson, LA USA

"Experience should teach us to be most on our guard to protect
liberty when the Government's purposes are beneficent. Men born
to freedom are naturally alert to repel invasion of their
liberty by evil-minded rulers. The greatest dangers to liberty
lurk in insidious encroachment by men of zeal, well-meaning, but
without understanding."
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Nov 11 '05 #12

P: n/a
On Monday 08 September 2003 19:30, Kaarel wrote:
Your client software has to link in software belonging to MySQL AB,
and that's where they are now "biting" people on this.

This is one of the reasons why the PHP people removed bundled MySQL
support in version 5 back in June.</pre>

Would a perl application using DBI have a similar problem? Or how would
one then legally use PHP with MySQL without GPL-ing your product and
without buying MySQL commercial license?


There might be a "pure perl" DBI driver for mysql, in which case that's
probably under the Artistic Licence. As far as using PHP+MySQL, it's not a
matter of use, but distribution. I can freely download MySQL and PHP, set
them up and build an application in whatever way I like. If, however I
distribute that application, linked to the GPL'd MySQL client then my
application becomes GPL (assuming the GPL is legally valid and I haven't
bought a licence from MySQL).

What happens with an application built on top of MySQL+PHP I couldn't say. I'm
guessing your PHP scripts can be distributed under any licence you like, but
you couldn't distribute MySQL+PHP with them.

Anyway, their intention is that you *can't* distribute your application
without either GPL-ing it or buying a licence. One of the reasons why a BSD
licence is more friendly from a business point of view, although it does mean
companies can release proprietry extensions that they keep private.

--
Richard Huxton
Archonet Ltd

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Nov 11 '05 #13

P: n/a
Richard Huxton wrote:
What happens with an application built on top of MySQL+PHP I couldn't say. I'm
guessing your PHP scripts can be distributed under any licence you like, but
you couldn't distribute MySQL+PHP with them.

Anyway, their intention is that you *can't* distribute your application
without either GPL-ing it or buying a licence. One of the reasons why a BSD
licence is more friendly from a business point of view, although it does mean
companies can release proprietry extensions that they keep private.


And contribute them to the community after 1-2 years, which has happened
often.

--
Bruce Momjian | http://candle.pha.pa.us
pg***@candle.pha.pa.us | (610) 359-1001
+ If your life is a hard drive, | 13 Roberts Road
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Nov 11 '05 #14

P: n/a
On Mon, 2003-09-08 at 15:25, Bruce Momjian wrote:
Richard Huxton wrote:
What happens with an application built on top of MySQL+PHP I couldn't say. I'm
guessing your PHP scripts can be distributed under any licence you like, but
you couldn't distribute MySQL+PHP with them.

Anyway, their intention is that you *can't* distribute your application
without either GPL-ing it or buying a licence. One of the reasons why a BSD
licence is more friendly from a business point of view, although it does mean
companies can release proprietry extensions that they keep private.


And contribute them to the community after 1-2 years, which has happened
often.


But they don't have to. The Unix Wars were caused by large companies
that took BSD and made proprietary extensions. Thus, there are pit-
falls to both GPL & BSD (not to mention straight-up proprietary
licenses).

--
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Jefferson, LA USA

An ad run by the NEA (the US's biggest public school TEACHERS
UNION) in the Spring and Summer of 2003 asks a teenager if he
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Nov 11 '05 #15

P: n/a
Ron Johnson wrote:
On Mon, 2003-09-08 at 15:25, Bruce Momjian wrote:
Richard Huxton wrote:
What happens with an application built on top of MySQL+PHP I couldn't say. I'm
guessing your PHP scripts can be distributed under any licence you like, but
you couldn't distribute MySQL+PHP with them.

Anyway, their intention is that you *can't* distribute your application
without either GPL-ing it or buying a licence. One of the reasons why a BSD
licence is more friendly from a business point of view, although it does mean
companies can release proprietry extensions that they keep private.


And contribute them to the community after 1-2 years, which has happened
often.


But they don't have to. The Unix Wars were caused by large companies
that took BSD and made proprietary extensions. Thus, there are pit-
falls to both GPL & BSD (not to mention straight-up proprietary
licenses).


No question about it, but the Internet's ability to share code has
tilted the scales in favor of sharing, I think --- companies get more
out of sharing than they do out of being proprietary (after a certain
period of time), and that period of time is shrinking. For Red Hat, the
time is already zero, and for others it seems to be 1-2 years.

--
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pg***@candle.pha.pa.us | (610) 359-1001
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Nov 11 '05 #16

P: n/a


Kaarel wrote:
This is one of the reasons why the PHP people removed bundled MySQL
support in version 5 back in June.


Would a perl application using DBI have a similar problem? Or how would
one then legally use PHP with MySQL without GPL-ing your product and
without buying MySQL commercial license?


This is the very point of a conversation I had with Marten Mickos, CEO
of MySQL AB Sweden, about the whole license change. I thought there is
no way you sell any product, that can connect to any future MySQL server
using the version 4 protocol, in binary format without the source code
shipped under GPL or ... this is where the conversation faded off
somehow ... and I don't know if MySQL expects you or your customer (who
would actually run their GPL'd MySQL server, your proprietary
application (il)legally connects to ...

I have CC'd Marten in this eMail. I am sure he can explain in detail
what you are supposed to do from now on if you do not want to GPL your
proprietary application written in PHP.
Jan

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#================================================= =====================#
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Nov 11 '05 #17

P: n/a


Kaarel wrote:
This is one of the reasons why the PHP people removed bundled MySQL
support in version 5 back in June.


Would a perl application using DBI have a similar problem? Or how would
one then legally use PHP with MySQL without GPL-ing your product and
without buying MySQL commercial license?


This is the very point of a conversation I had with Marten Mickos, CEO
of MySQL AB Sweden, about the whole license change. I thought there is
no way you sell any product, that can connect to any future MySQL server
using the version 4 protocol, in binary format without the source code
shipped under GPL or ... this is where the conversation faded off
somehow ... and I don't know if MySQL expects you or your customer (who
would actually run their GPL'd MySQL server, your proprietary
application (il)legally connects to ...

I have CC'd Marten in this eMail. I am sure he can explain in detail
what you are supposed to do from now on if you do not want to GPL your
proprietary application written in PHP.
Jan

--
#================================================= =====================#
# It's easier to get forgiveness for being wrong than for being right. #
# Let's break this rule - forgive me. #
#================================================= = Ja******@Yahoo.com #
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Nov 11 '05 #18

P: n/a
FYI

In answer to Kaarel's question

Kaarel wrote:
Would a perl application using DBI have a similar problem? Or how would
one then legally use PHP with MySQL without GPL-ing your product and
without buying MySQL commercial license?

Marten Mickos, CEO of MySQL AB Sweden answered and kindly gave me
permission to forward his reply to our General mailing list for this
question appears to be of broader interest:

Marten G. Mickos wrote: Kaarel, Jan

Thanks for your email, Jan!

Our guiding principle is to have all our source code open, and to
offer it free of payment (i.e. gratis) to those who commit to doing
the same. We have concluded that the GPL licence best fulfills this
principle, and that's why we use the GPL.

Therefore the answer to Kaarel's question is:

"Your PHP app that requires MySQL, if distributed, will either have
to be GPL (or another OSI-approved and MySQL-approved open source
licence ) or you will need a commercial licence of MySQL."

Sometimes people say "But I cannot open source my application!" and
they may have valid reasons for this. Our response is then: "If you
have a valid reason not to be open source, wouldn't that same
reasoning apply to us?".

This goes to the core of MySQL AB's business idea of Quid pro Quo -
if you are open source, we are open source - if you are closed
source, we are commercial.

I hope this was an answer to the question. Please let me know if you
have any further questions.
Kind regards,

Marten


--
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Nov 11 '05 #19

P: n/a
I still feel MySQL is somewhat overstepping the bounds of the GPL. The
GPL makes it clear that if I don't link to GPL code, I'm not bound by it.

I.e. I can sell closed source PHP code to a customer, let them install
their own PHP/Zend/MySQL server, IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE GPL, and then I
can install the encoded PHP and still be in keeping with the requirements
of the GPL.

In fact, one of the requirements of the GPL is that you can't just add
requirements where you see fit. I.e. "your PHP app is commercial, it's
not linked to our GPL code, but you HAVE to GPL it or buy a commercial
license" violates the GPL itself.

On Sat, 20 Sep 2003, Jan Wieck wrote:
FYI

In answer to Kaarel's question

Kaarel wrote:
Would a perl application using DBI have a similar problem? Or how would
one then legally use PHP with MySQL without GPL-ing your product and
without buying MySQL commercial license?

Marten Mickos, CEO of MySQL AB Sweden answered and kindly gave me
permission to forward his reply to our General mailing list for this
question appears to be of broader interest:

Marten G. Mickos wrote:
Kaarel, Jan

Thanks for your email, Jan!

Our guiding principle is to have all our source code open, and to
offer it free of payment (i.e. gratis) to those who commit to doing
the same. We have concluded that the GPL licence best fulfills this
principle, and that's why we use the GPL.

Therefore the answer to Kaarel's question is:

"Your PHP app that requires MySQL, if distributed, will either have
to be GPL (or another OSI-approved and MySQL-approved open source
licence ) or you will need a commercial licence of MySQL."

Sometimes people say "But I cannot open source my application!" and
they may have valid reasons for this. Our response is then: "If you
have a valid reason not to be open source, wouldn't that same
reasoning apply to us?".

This goes to the core of MySQL AB's business idea of Quid pro Quo -
if you are open source, we are open source - if you are closed
source, we are commercial.

I hope this was an answer to the question. Please let me know if you
have any further questions.
Kind regards,

Marten


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Nov 11 '05 #20

P: n/a
right, but thats not what he said.
"Your PHP app that requires MySQL, if distributed, will either have
to be GPL (or another OSI-approved and MySQL-approved open source
licence ) or you will need a commercial licence of MySQL."

note the "if distributed", its key to the whole thing. if your just
distributing php code then all is well and good, but if your
distributing php code and mysql, then you gotta pay up.

Robert Treat

On Tue, 2003-09-23 at 11:26, scott.marlowe wrote: I still feel MySQL is somewhat overstepping the bounds of the GPL. The
GPL makes it clear that if I don't link to GPL code, I'm not bound by it.

I.e. I can sell closed source PHP code to a customer, let them install
their own PHP/Zend/MySQL server, IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE GPL, and then I
can install the encoded PHP and still be in keeping with the requirements
of the GPL.

In fact, one of the requirements of the GPL is that you can't just add
requirements where you see fit. I.e. "your PHP app is commercial, it's
not linked to our GPL code, but you HAVE to GPL it or buy a commercial
license" violates the GPL itself.

On Sat, 20 Sep 2003, Jan Wieck wrote:
FYI

In answer to Kaarel's question

Kaarel wrote:
Would a perl application using DBI have a similar problem? Or how would
one then legally use PHP with MySQL without GPL-ing your product and
without buying MySQL commercial license?

Marten Mickos, CEO of MySQL AB Sweden answered and kindly gave me
permission to forward his reply to our General mailing list for this
question appears to be of broader interest:

Marten G. Mickos wrote:
Kaarel, Jan

Thanks for your email, Jan!

Our guiding principle is to have all our source code open, and to
offer it free of payment (i.e. gratis) to those who commit to doing
the same. We have concluded that the GPL licence best fulfills this
principle, and that's why we use the GPL.

Therefore the answer to Kaarel's question is:

"Your PHP app that requires MySQL, if distributed, will either have
to be GPL (or another OSI-approved and MySQL-approved open source
licence ) or you will need a commercial licence of MySQL."

Sometimes people say "But I cannot open source my application!" and
they may have valid reasons for this. Our response is then: "If you
have a valid reason not to be open source, wouldn't that same
reasoning apply to us?".

This goes to the core of MySQL AB's business idea of Quid pro Quo -
if you are open source, we are open source - if you are closed
source, we are commercial.

I hope this was an answer to the question. Please let me know if you
have any further questions.
Kind regards,

Marten


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Nov 11 '05 #21

P: n/a
Well,
I think it's a gift horse, this mysql thing. Postgres will certainly
benefit.

The mysql people should make a two level product, featurewise and
all, if the want to maintain their userbase. The lower level doesn't
need the fancy license and fees, the upper one does. An example of this
is various permutations and enhancements to the Zend PHP engine.

Robert Treat wrote:
right, but thats not what he said.
"Your PHP app that requires MySQL, if distributed, will either have
to be GPL (or another OSI-approved and MySQL-approved open source
licence ) or you will need a commercial licence of MySQL."


note the "if distributed", its key to the whole thing. if your just
distributing php code then all is well and good, but if your
distributing php code and mysql, then you gotta pay up.

Robert Treat

On Tue, 2003-09-23 at 11:26, scott.marlowe wrote:

I still feel MySQL is somewhat overstepping the bounds of the GPL. The
GPL makes it clear that if I don't link to GPL code, I'm not bound by it.

I.e. I can sell closed source PHP code to a customer, let them install
their own PHP/Zend/MySQL server, IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE GPL, and then I
can install the encoded PHP and still be in keeping with the requirements
of the GPL.

In fact, one of the requirements of the GPL is that you can't just add
requirements where you see fit. I.e. "your PHP app is commercial, it's
not linked to our GPL code, but you HAVE to GPL it or buy a commercial
license" violates the GPL itself.

On Sat, 20 Sep 2003, Jan Wieck wrote:
FYI

In answer to Kaarel's question

Kaarel wrote:
Would a perl application using DBI have a similar problem? Or how would
one then legally use PHP with MySQL without GPL-ing your product and
without buying MySQL commercial license?
Marten Mickos, CEO of MySQL AB Sweden answered and kindly gave me
permission to forward his reply to our General mailing list for this
question appears to be of broader interest:

Marten G. Mickos wrote:
Kaarel, Jan

Thanks for your email, Jan!

Our guiding principle is to have all our source code open, and to
offer it free of payment (i.e. gratis) to those who commit to doing
the same. We have concluded that the GPL licence best fulfills this
principle, and that's why we use the GPL.

Therefore the answer to Kaarel's question is:

"Your PHP app that requires MySQL, if distributed, will either have
to be GPL (or another OSI-approved and MySQL-approved open source
licence ) or you will need a commercial licence of MySQL."

Sometimes people say "But I cannot open source my application!" and
they may have valid reasons for this. Our response is then: "If you
have a valid reason not to be open source, wouldn't that same
reasoning apply to us?".

This goes to the core of MySQL AB's business idea of Quid pro Quo -
if you are open source, we are open source - if you are closed
source, we are commercial.

I hope this was an answer to the question. Please let me know if you
have any further questions.
Kind regards,

Marten


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Nov 11 '05 #22

P: n/a
On Tuesday 23 September 2003 12:11, Dennis Gearon wrote:
Well,
I think it's a gift horse, this mysql thing. Postgres will certainly
benefit.

well, even if PostgreSQL benefits, I don't think mysql loses much. The people
most likely to leave them are folks building commercial apps who are
unwilling to pay thier reletivly small commercial fee. This isn't thier
target market for either the commercial or libre versions of mysql, and
actually those are the types of people most GPL advocates are primarily
working against.
The mysql people should make a two level product, featurewise and
all, if the want to maintain their userbase. The lower level doesn't
need the fancy license and fees, the upper one does. An example of this
is various permutations and enhancements to the Zend PHP engine.

i could go either way here, but I think MySQL and MaxSQL (sapdb-max or
whatever it is) might just fill that role.

Robert Treat
Robert Treat wrote:
right, but thats not what he said.
>"Your PHP app that requires MySQL, if distributed, will either have
>to be GPL (or another OSI-approved and MySQL-approved open source
>licence ) or you will need a commercial licence of MySQL."


note the "if distributed", its key to the whole thing. if your just
distributing php code then all is well and good, but if your
distributing php code and mysql, then you gotta pay up.

Robert Treat

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Nov 11 '05 #23

P: n/a
After a long battle with technology,sc***********@ihs.com ("scott.marlowe"), an earthling, wrote:
I still feel MySQL is somewhat overstepping the bounds of the GPL.
The GPL makes it clear that if I don't link to GPL code, I'm not
bound by it.


If all the other "open source" software had the same kinds of
boundaries, then in order to use Linux + GCC + GLIBC + Apache + Emacs
+ Perl + Some Other Things for "commercial purposes," you'd be
required to pay out $4K in license fees, per host.

And people would naturally see this as disgraceful, not free, and not
bother using the software. If "Linux distributions" were licensed the
way MySQL is, we'd doubtless all drop Linux like a hot potatoe (my
little homage to the political processes of the week around North
America :-)) and adopt *BSD en masse.

The subtle "dig:"

"Linus Torvalds doesn't expect you to pay him $450 per machine if
you run proprietary software on Linux, does he?"
--
(reverse (concatenate 'string "gro.mca" "@" "enworbbc"))
http://www.ntlug.org/~cbbrowne/sgml.html
Rules of the Evil Overlord #76. "If the hero runs up to my roof, I
will not run up after him and struggle with him in an attempt to push
him over the edge. I will also not engage him at the edge of a
cliff. (In the middle of a rope-bridge over a river of molten lava is
not even worth considering.)" <http://www.eviloverlord.com/>
Nov 11 '05 #24

P: n/a
Scott et co.,

Thanks for your comment. Here is my response.

First of all, let's remember that neither I nor MySQL AB (nor any of
us) is an official authority for interpreting the GPL. Legally,
affirmative answers can only be given by a competent court. The FSF
is a natural authority on the GPL and whenever we are in doubt, we
turn to them for advice. But not being the authority on the topic
does not reduce our eagerness to discuss this topic!

Robert Treat already pointed out two main points:
- the GPL kicks in when you DISTRIBUTE
- the only ones truly suffering from MySQL's licensing policy are the
ones who try to exploit open source for their own benefit without
giving anything back to the community
When it comes to the issue of linking or not, and the type of
linking, please have a look at the GPL FAQ on the GNU.org site. Here
is an important passage from it, showing that it is not only the
technicalities of the linking, but also the semantics of it. In other
words, the intent is as important as the method (just like in many
other issues defined by law - your intent in doing something may
determine whether it was a crime or not).
http://www.gnu.org/licenses/gpl-faq.html

- - -
What constitutes combining two parts into one program? This is a
legal question, which ultimately judges will decide. We believe that
a proper criterion depends both on the mechanism of communication
(exec, pipes, rpc, function calls within a shared address space,
etc.) and the semantics of the communication (what kinds of
information are interchanged).
- - -
Kind regards,

Marten

I still feel MySQL is somewhat overstepping the bounds of the GPL. The
GPL makes it clear that if I don't link to GPL code, I'm not bound by it.

I.e. I can sell closed source PHP code to a customer, let them install
their own PHP/Zend/MySQL server, IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE GPL, and then I
can install the encoded PHP and still be in keeping with the requirements
of the GPL.

In fact, one of the requirements of the GPL is that you can't just add
requirements where you see fit. I.e. "your PHP app is commercial, it's
not linked to our GPL code, but you HAVE to GPL it or buy a commercial
license" violates the GPL itself.

On Sat, 20 Sep 2003, Jan Wieck wrote:
FYI

In answer to Kaarel's question

Kaarel wrote:
Would a perl application using DBI have a similar problem? Or how would
one then legally use PHP with MySQL without GPL-ing your product and
without buying MySQL commercial license?

Marten Mickos, CEO of MySQL AB Sweden answered and kindly gave me
permission to forward his reply to our General mailing list for this
question appears to be of broader interest:

Marten G. Mickos wrote:
Kaarel, Jan

Thanks for your email, Jan!

Our guiding principle is to have all our source code open, and to
offer it free of payment (i.e. gratis) to those who commit to doing
the same. We have concluded that the GPL licence best fulfills this
principle, and that's why we use the GPL.

Therefore the answer to Kaarel's question is:

"Your PHP app that requires MySQL, if distributed, will either have
to be GPL (or another OSI-approved and MySQL-approved open source
licence ) or you will need a commercial licence of MySQL."

Sometimes people say "But I cannot open source my application!" and
they may have valid reasons for this. Our response is then: "If you
have a valid reason not to be open source, wouldn't that same
reasoning apply to us?".

This goes to the core of MySQL AB's business idea of Quid pro Quo -
if you are open source, we are open source - if you are closed
source, we are commercial.

I hope this was an answer to the question. Please let me know if you
have any further questions.
Kind regards,

Marten




- - -
Marten Mickos
MySQL AB
tel (EUR) +358 40 500 1153
tel (USA) +1 650 283 5311
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Nov 11 '05 #25

P: n/a
On Tue, 2003-09-23 at 17:49, Christopher Browne wrote:
Oops! sc***********@ihs.com ("scott.marlowe") was seen spray-painting on a wall:
On Tue, 23 Sep 2003, Marten G Mickos wrote:
Scott et co.,

Thanks for your comment. Here is my response.

First of all, let's remember that neither I nor MySQL AB (nor any of
us) is an official authority for interpreting the GPL. Legally,
affirmative answers can only be given by a competent court. The FSF
is a natural authority on the GPL and whenever we are in doubt, we
turn to them for advice. But not being the authority on the topic
does not reduce our eagerness to discuss this topic!

Robert Treat already pointed out two main points:
- the GPL kicks in when you DISTRIBUTE
- the only ones truly suffering from MySQL's licensing policy are the
ones who try to exploit open source for their own benefit without
giving anything back to the community


This is generally true, but it also created an issue where PHP, an open
source project, can no longer distribute PHP with mysql connect libraries
freely due to what I like to think of as an "impedence mismatch" of their
licenses. I.e. more free licenses like BSD or PHP are not always
compatible.


It would be most interesting if the makers of other GPLed software
such as Linux were to apply the same rule themselves.

That way, for MySQL to be distributed with Linux, MySQL AB might be
required to pay $450/box to Linus for licenses. Wouldn't _that_ be
ironic?


except that (gnu)linux is gpl'd, so they both fall under the
non-commercial license.

but if m$ decided to make mysql an integral part of their OS they would
have to pay up.

Robert Treat
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Nov 11 '05 #26

P: n/a


Robert Treat wrote:
On Tue, 2003-09-23 at 17:49, Christopher Browne wrote:
It would be most interesting if the makers of other GPLed software
such as Linux were to apply the same rule themselves.

That way, for MySQL to be distributed with Linux, MySQL AB might be
required to pay $450/box to Linus for licenses. Wouldn't _that_ be
ironic?


except that (gnu)linux is gpl'd, so they both fall under the
non-commercial license.


except that MySQL uses dual-licensing. The commercial license for MySQL
(the one you need to distribute your proprietary code) is _not_ GPL.
Jan

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Nov 12 '05 #27

P: n/a
On Wed, 2003-09-24 at 13:50, Jan Wieck wrote:


Robert Treat wrote:
On Tue, 2003-09-23 at 17:49, Christopher Browne wrote:
It would be most interesting if the makers of other GPLed software
such as Linux were to apply the same rule themselves.

That way, for MySQL to be distributed with Linux, MySQL AB might be
required to pay $450/box to Linus for licenses. Wouldn't _that_ be
ironic?


except that (gnu)linux is gpl'd, so they both fall under the
non-commercial license.


except that MySQL uses dual-licensing. The commercial license for MySQL
(the one you need to distribute your proprietary code) is _not_ GPL.


and? sure, if mysql released a version of its database that somehow was
so tightly integrated into the kernel that the two had to be shipped
together, a dual license from linus would force them to pay money if
they didn't want to gpl their product. but rather than this being some
way of "sticking it to them", i'd bet they'd be happy that they actually
have they option to keep their product closed and would happily fork
over the money.

Robert Treat
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Nov 12 '05 #28

P: n/a
Marten G Mickos wrote:
Scott et co.,

Thanks for your comment. Here is my response.

First of all, let's remember that neither I nor MySQL AB (nor any of
us) is an official authority for interpreting the GPL. Legally,
affirmative answers can only be given by a competent court. The FSF
is a natural authority on the GPL and whenever we are in doubt, we
turn to them for advice. But not being the authority on the topic
does not reduce our eagerness to discuss this topic!

Robert Treat already pointed out two main points:
- the GPL kicks in when you DISTRIBUTE
- the only ones truly suffering from MySQL's licensing policy are the
ones who try to exploit open source for their own benefit without
giving anything back to the community
When it comes to the issue of linking or not, and the type of
linking, please have a look at the GPL FAQ on the GNU.org site. Here
is an important passage from it, showing that it is not only the
technicalities of the linking, but also the semantics of it. In other
words, the intent is as important as the method (just like in many
other issues defined by law - your intent in doing something may
determine whether it was a crime or not).
http://www.gnu.org/licenses/gpl-faq.html

- - -
What constitutes combining two parts into one program? This is a
legal question, which ultimately judges will decide. We believe that
a proper criterion depends both on the mechanism of communication
(exec, pipes, rpc, function calls within a shared address space,
etc.) and the semantics of the communication (what kinds of
information are interchanged).
- - -


Yes, this is the crux of it. PHP is an interpreted language, so does PHP
code designed to work with MySQL require a commerical license. The
MySQL URL is unclear:

http://www.mysql.com/products/licensing.html

a) If you include the MySQL server in your non Open Source application,
you need a commercial licence for the MySQL server

What does "include" mean? Does it mean having MySQL on the same CDROM?
It then goes on to mention MySQL drivers, and that makese sense, but
again, that assumes dynamic linking spreads the GPL, which is unclear.

What happens if I ship Linux on a CDROM with my close-source
application on the CDROM too? Seems similar.

The fact is the MySQL and the FSF want to make the GPL reach as far as
possible, so there is no attempt to make a reasonable definition. In
fact, they rely on that fuzzy definition, and the threat of legal action
(legal extortion) to further the reach of the GPL as far as possible.
This is what bothers me the most --- license FUD (sounds like a new
term).

No wonder many companies say "no GPL software".

For all those fuzzy cases, the cute line, "To all commercial
organisations we do recommend the commercial licence." meaning "We
recommend you pay us money."

--
Bruce Momjian | http://candle.pha.pa.us
pg***@candle.pha.pa.us | (610) 359-1001
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Nov 12 '05 #29

P: n/a
Marten G Mickos wrote:
Scott et co.,

Thanks for your comment. Here is my response.

First of all, let's remember that neither I nor MySQL AB (nor any of
us) is an official authority for interpreting the GPL. Legally,
affirmative answers can only be given by a competent court. The FSF
is a natural authority on the GPL and whenever we are in doubt, we
turn to them for advice. But not being the authority on the topic
does not reduce our eagerness to discuss this topic!

Robert Treat already pointed out two main points:
- the GPL kicks in when you DISTRIBUTE


What does "internally" distribute mean?

As long as you never distribute (internally or externally) the
MySQL Software in any way, you are free to use it

from:

http://www.mysql.com/products/licensing.html

I don't see "internally" mentioned in the GPL. Again, I think it is an
attempt to extend the GPL as far as possible, and license FUD.

--
Bruce Momjian | http://candle.pha.pa.us
pg***@candle.pha.pa.us | (610) 359-1001
+ If your life is a hard drive, | 13 Roberts Road
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Nov 12 '05 #30

P: n/a
Jan Wieck wrote:
"Your PHP app that requires MySQL, if distributed, will either have
to be GPL (or another OSI-approved and MySQL-approved open source
licence ) or you will need a commercial licence of MySQL."
In this case, it is almost saying that if the application requires
MySQL, it has to be commercial, even if you don't distribute MySQL and
expect it to be part of the operating system --- again, reach as far
with the GPL as we can.
Sometimes people say "But I cannot open source my application!" and
they may have valid reasons for this. Our response is then: "If you
have a valid reason not to be open source, wouldn't that same
reasoning apply to us?".

This goes to the core of MySQL AB's business idea of Quid pro Quo -
if you are open source, we are open source - if you are closed
source, we are commercial.


This is call cute sounding, but to be fair, it is easy for a tool
company to promote GPL because you have revenue options by distributing
non-GPL versions, while application writers do not have many revenue
options for non-GPL versions.

I don't want to sound too harsh. MySQL is trying to make money, and
that is great. PostgreSQL tries to help all companies make more money.

What bothers me is the shading of the truth that MySQL is a company that
develops all code in-house, and uses the GPL as a way to gain market
share and the threat of GPL as a way to gain revenue. I think 1% of
MySQL users understand that, though I think that number is increasing
with the new MySQL 4.0 GPL library licensing. I guess it bothers me
that MySQL AB has been so successful at obscuring that fact.

--
Bruce Momjian | http://candle.pha.pa.us
pg***@candle.pha.pa.us | (610) 359-1001
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Nov 12 '05 #31

P: n/a
Bruce Momjian <pg***@candle.pha.pa.us> writes:
The fact is the MySQL and the FSF want to make the GPL reach as far as
possible, so there is no attempt to make a reasonable definition. In
fact, they rely on that fuzzy definition, and the threat of legal action
(legal extortion) to further the reach of the GPL as far as possible.
This is what bothers me the most --- license FUD (sounds like a new
term).


First, conflating MySQL and the Free Software Foundation is an error.
As far as I know, the FSF hasn't said anything about MySQL's dual
licensing scheme or about MySQL's interpretation of the GPL. The FSF
is not the copyright holder of the MySQL source code.

Your "legal extortion" claim is completely unfounded. There are many
large companies (Microsoft and IBM come to mind) who need have no
legal fear of the FSF. There are better possible explanations why no
one has challenged the GPL in court than the absurd notion that
everyone is terrified by the FSF's irresistible legal might.

License FUD is also a ridiculous notion. People have had questions
about the GPL (and other licenses), and people will continue to have
questions. Copyrights and licenses are a complex subject and most of
us are programmers, not lawyers. If you want to know how the FSF
interprets the GPL in a specific circumstance, ask them. If the FSF
interpretation of the GPL doesn't give you the rights you want, find
or purchase code under a different license or write it yourself.

Why do you want to try to circumvent the wishes of the copyright
holder of GPL software? This is a morally bankrupt enterprise.

If you hate the GPL so much, I encourage you to stop using gcc.

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Nov 12 '05 #32

P: n/a
Doug Quale wrote:
Bruce Momjian <pg***@candle.pha.pa.us> writes:
The fact is the MySQL and the FSF want to make the GPL reach as far as
possible, so there is no attempt to make a reasonable definition. In
fact, they rely on that fuzzy definition, and the threat of legal action
(legal extortion) to further the reach of the GPL as far as possible.
This is what bothers me the most --- license FUD (sounds like a new
term).

Doug, you showed up here because I talked about the GPL, not because you
have any interest in PostgreSQL, right? Someone tipped you off that a
GPL discussion was happening? I did a PostgreSQL mailing list search
and didn't see your name.
First, conflating MySQL and the Free Software Foundation is an error.
As far as I know, the FSF hasn't said anything about MySQL's dual
licensing scheme or about MySQL's interpretation of the GPL. The FSF
is not the copyright holder of the MySQL source code.
I understand that. My point was that _both_ MySQL and the FSF are
trying to extend the GPL license (which they both use) as far as
possible, and not clearly specifying where it stops, _on_ _purpose_
because they like the uncertainty --- that's why I lumped them together.
Your "legal extortion" claim is completely unfounded. There are many
large companies (Microsoft and IBM come to mind) who need have no
legal fear of the FSF. There are better possible explanations why no
If they don't use GPL code, you mean?
one has challenged the GPL in court than the absurd notion that
everyone is terrified by the FSF's irresistible legal might.
If the FSF is anything like GNU/Richard Stallman, I am sure there is lot
of pressure placed on folks --- I have heard stories, but of course, I
have no first-hand evidence. Stallman will not even do an interview if
you call it Linux instead of GNU/Linux --- that's sounds like extortion
right there.
License FUD is also a ridiculous notion. People have had questions
about the GPL (and other licenses), and people will continue to have
questions. Copyrights and licenses are a complex subject and most of
us are programmers, not lawyers. If you want to know how the FSF
Well, I have never heard someone complain about the BSD license being
confusing, at least since they removed the "advertising" clause, and the
BSD folks don't want it to be confusing, nor try to extend the license
to other pieces of software relying on it, nor to be vague so the BSD
license can extend to other pieces of software in a non-predictable way.
interprets the GPL in a specific circumstance, ask them. If the FSF
interpretation of the GPL doesn't give you the rights you want, find
or purchase code under a different license or write it yourself.
My point is that the FSF interpretation might be fantasy --- and because
it is so unclear, I can't even determine how far it reaches --- and the
FSF (and MySQL) like it that way.
Why do you want to try to circumvent the wishes of the copyright
holder of GPL software? This is a morally bankrupt enterprise.
I don't have a problem with honoring the license intent of the GPL
software --- it is my code that they reach into and say I have to GPL
that bothers me.

Let's face it, most people choose a GPL license because they think it
_is_ the open-source license, not because they understand it --- if they
did, I am sure many would not choose it.
If you hate the GPL so much, I encourage you to stop using gcc.


If there something else better, I sure would. But gcc doesn't pollute
my work, I don't care too much.

The key with the FSF is the _agenda_ that you push all software to be
open source --- the BSD license thinks that will happen anyway where
appropriate, so we don't bully people.

I didn't send this to you privately because last time I sent you
something off-list, you never replied. My guess is that you aren't
really interested in discussion --- you just want to defend the GPL in
public --- again, just a guess.

--
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pg***@candle.pha.pa.us | (610) 359-1001
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Nov 12 '05 #33

P: n/a
Ja******@Yahoo.com (Jan Wieck) writes:
Robert Treat wrote:
On Tue, 2003-09-23 at 17:49, Christopher Browne wrote:
It would be most interesting if the makers of other GPLed software
such as Linux were to apply the same rule themselves.
That way, for MySQL to be distributed with Linux, MySQL AB might be
required to pay $450/box to Linus for licenses. Wouldn't _that_ be
ironic?

except that (gnu)linux is gpl'd, so they both fall under the
non-commercial license.


except that MySQL uses dual-licensing. The commercial license for
MySQL (the one you need to distribute your proprietary code) is
_not_ GPL.


And apparently people aren't getting my point.

I'm not even talking about the GPL, per se; I'm pointing at the
"ethical framework" in use. Look back at Marten's comment that Jan
posted:

This goes to the core of MySQL AB's business idea of quid pro quo -
if you are open source, we are open source - if you are closed
source, we are commercial.

In contrast with that, the assorted people involved in bringing us
such systems as Linux, FreeBSD, NetBSD, OpenBSD, Apache, Perl, GCC,
and many other such systems do NOT expect that sort of "quid pro quo."
The various "free Unix" systems appeared because a whole lot of people
were interested in having something freely available. The variations
in licenses don't change that, whatever the back and forth blustering
may be between those that want to despise others over their licenses.

He also wrote something that seems really quite remarkable:

"The only ones suffering from MySQL's licensing policy are the ones
who try to exploit open source for their own benefit without giving
anything back to the community."

That might be true specifically for MySQL, based on some fairly
peculiar understanding of the word "community." (Presumably one where
the "community" is more precisely characterized as "the owners and
employees of MySQL AB.")

In contrast, it generally seems to be regarded for typical "open
source" projects that having additional parties exploiting the systems
is, by and large, a good thing, and that benefits are likely to accrue
even in the absence of "commercial licenses."

But apparently this must be an area where MySQL has some peculiar
burdens to bear, such that people that aren't paying money to MySQL AB
are not "giving anything back to the community." Other open source
projects don't see things that way.
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Nov 12 '05 #34

P: n/a

Bruce Momjian <pg***@candle.pha.pa.us> writes:
Doug Quale wrote:

Doug, you showed up here because I talked about the GPL, not because you
have any interest in PostgreSQL, right? Someone tipped you off that a
GPL discussion was happening? I did a PostgreSQL mailing list search
and didn't see your name.
Perhaps this then isn't an appropriate place for the discussion? Once the
discussion's here it doesn't seem reasonable to say it's only ok to have it
here for some people but not others. I suggest moving it elsewhere.
I understand that. My point was that _both_ MySQL and the FSF are
trying to extend the GPL license (which they both use) as far as
possible, and not clearly specifying where it stops, _on_ _purpose_
because they like the uncertainty --- that's why I lumped them together.
The FSF and Stallman is very clear about where it stops. The confusion only
comes in because not everyone agrees with them. So you hear a million and one
variations.

The FSF's position is that the technical details of the interface between
modules is irrelevant. The way to judge whether a module is derivative of
another is by asking whether it has any purpose without the presence of the
other.

Eg, it doesn't matter whether you write a static library, a shared library
(like gimp plugins), or a separate executable that interfaces via the
command-line (like the cc1 executable that's part of gcc).

You don't just have to rely on the FSF's lawyers either. The few times they've
actually pushed the issue other company's lawyers (eg NeXT's in the case of
the Objective-C compiler for gcc -- a separate executable that interfaced via
the command-line) agreed with the FSF's interpretation.

The reality is that the courts do not go in for technical details. They care
more about real-world consequences. Telling a court that static libraries are
derivative but shared libraries which are exactly the same work but compiled
differently aren't, I'm told, wouldn't go over well in a court.

[It occurs to me that now there's a million-and-one variations.
Perhaps you shouldn't trust my explanation and go to the source instead.]
My point is that the FSF interpretation might be fantasy --- and because
it is so unclear, I can't even determine how far it reaches --- and the
FSF (and MySQL) like it that way.
That's pure FUD.

The FSF and Stallman have written numerous explanations, and it's really not
all that complex an argument. You may not agree with it, not everyone does,
but that shouldn't stop you from understanding it.
The key with the FSF is the _agenda_ that you push all software to be
open source --- the BSD license thinks that will happen anyway where
appropriate, so we don't bully people.
The FSF makes no secret of this goal. In fact it's in the GNU Manifesto and in
various essays written by Stallman. If people use the GPL without either
reading the GPL or any of the essays explaining its purpose then, well, sure,
people do dumb things sometimes.

I think you're wrong to assign any beliefs to the BSD license. Lots of people
use the BSD license with different intents. Some because they're less cynical
than the FSF about the success of free software, others because they just
don't care about the political aspects beyond their release.
I didn't send this to you privately because last time I sent you
something off-list, you never replied. My guess is that you aren't
really interested in discussion --- you just want to defend the GPL in
public --- again, just a guess.


Perhaps airing public criticisms -- especially ones that seem to amount to
``I don't know much about the GPL and it's the FSF's fault'' --
isn't a good idea if you don't want to see people step up and defend the thing
you're criticising.

--
greg
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Nov 12 '05 #35

P: n/a
Greg Stark <gs*****@mit.edu> writes:
Bruce Momjian <pg***@candle.pha.pa.us> writes:
[ lots of stuff about the GPL ]


Look, guys, this is way off topic for the Postgres lists. Postgres is
not a GPL project and will never be one. If you want to engage in
either defending or bashing the GPL, take it someplace else. Please.

regards, tom lane

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Nov 12 '05 #36

P: n/a


Bruce Momjian wrote:
Jan Wieck wrote:
> "Your PHP app that requires MySQL, if distributed, will either have
> to be GPL (or another OSI-approved and MySQL-approved open source
> licence ) or you will need a commercial licence of MySQL."


In this case, it is almost saying that if the application requires
MySQL, it has to be commercial, even if you don't distribute MySQL and
expect it to be part of the operating system --- again, reach as far
with the GPL as we can.


Moreover, the term "another OSI-approved and MySQL-approved" reduces
effectively to nothing. Imagine we would change some small details in
PostgreSQL like storing the system catalog in a MySQL database. We
continue to ship PostgreSQL under BSD, but it now requires MySQL. As
long as you use PostgreSQL in a GPL conformant context, that's probably
fine, but effectively all the freedom of our BSD license is gone because
you can't do anything else with it any more.
Jan

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Nov 12 '05 #37

P: n/a
On Thu, 25 Sep 2003, Tom Lane wrote:
Greg Stark <gs*****@mit.edu> writes:
Bruce Momjian <pg***@candle.pha.pa.us> writes:
[ lots of stuff about the GPL ]


Look, guys, this is way off topic for the Postgres lists. Postgres is
not a GPL project and will never be one. If you want to engage in
either defending or bashing the GPL, take it someplace else. Please.

regards, tom lane


<IANAL>
I subscribe to this. The point here is a comparison between licences,
whatever they are. Any discussion involving FSF is off-topic, since
AFAIK people at FSF have no rights over either MySQL or PostgreSQL code.
What _they_ think about what the wording of GPL means is totally
irrelevant, because they released no MySQL or PostgreSQL code, ever.

The only things that matter here are:
1) BSD licence of PostgreSQL, and _only_ in the way PostgreSQL authors
interpret it. After all, the wording of it is just an expression
of the authors' intent.
2) the licence of MySQL, and again, _only_ in the way they take it.

The comparison may be interesting, and definitely on topic.

The key point being:
when I (the author) release the software "X" under licence "L",
people having doubts about the meaning of "L" should ask me, and
I'll make clear what my intent is. Asking the authors of another
software, even they happened to use the same wording of "L" for
their licence, is useless. What they mean with "L" for their sw
is irrelevant.

I think MySQL people made their intent clear. We may discuss
whether their licence is a "real GPL" or not, and FSF people may
argue they shouldn't claim their sw is GPLed, but this discussion
does not belong here, but on GPL and MySQL lists.

Someone may think that MySQL licence (call it GPL or not, it's still
MySQL licence) is too restrictive for him, and turn to look at
PostgreSQL and wonder what the advantages of PostgreSQL licence are
(again, call it BSD or not, it's still PostgreSQL licence). _That_
would be an interesting discussion.
</IANAL>

..TM.
--
____/ ____/ /
/ / / Marco Colombo
___/ ___ / / Technical Manager
/ / / ESI s.r.l.
_____/ _____/ _/ Co*****@ESI.it

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Nov 12 '05 #38

P: n/a
On Thursday 25 September 2003 04:08, Christopher Browne wrote:
[snip]
He also wrote something that seems really quite remarkable:

"The only ones suffering from MySQL's licensing policy are the ones
who try to exploit open source for their own benefit without giving
anything back to the community."
That's the one that got my attention too. I must admit that although I've
never spent a penny on PG or related merchandise I do believe I've
contributed in my own small way. I must have answered over 1000 queries in
the last couple of years, hopefully helping several hundred people. My
PostgreSQL Notes were getting over a thousand hits a week at their peak -
presumably they were of benefit to _someone_.
That might be true specifically for MySQL, based on some fairly
peculiar understanding of the word "community." (Presumably one where
the "community" is more precisely characterized as "the owners and
employees of MySQL AB.")
Well, to be charitable if you view the key point of open source as being,
well, the source code they have a point. BSD code can end up pretty much
anywhere without any repercussions. If they had kept the GPL on the database
but stuck to the LGPL on the client libraries no-one would bat an eyelid.
It's the fact that merely _using_ MySQL now makes you conform to the GPL that
raises any questions.

[snip]
But apparently this must be an area where MySQL has some peculiar
burdens to bear, such that people that aren't paying money to MySQL AB
are not "giving anything back to the community." Other open source
projects don't see things that way.


My take on this is it's all about ownership. With MySQL and Qt there are the
owners and the users, and not a lot of overlap. With PG, it's all a lot more
fuzzy. The SAP-DB mailing-list archives are a good illustration of the
difference - when the "transfer" to MySQL happened there were a lot of people
who suddenly realised exactly where they stood.

--
Richard Huxton
Archonet Ltd

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Nov 12 '05 #39

P: n/a
Look, guys, this is way off topic for the Postgres lists. Postgres is
not a GPL project and will never be one. If you want to engage in
either defending or bashing the GPL, take it someplace else. Please.


Ahmen!

regards, tom lane

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Nov 12 '05 #40

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