Save MySQL

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Albert Wiersch
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Save MySQL

Post by Albert Wiersch » Sun Jan 17, 2010 1:05 pm

This is interesting:
http://helpmysql.org/
If Oracle buys MySQL as part of Sun, database customers will pay the bill.

In April 2009, Oracle announced that it had agreed to acquire Sun. Since Sun had acquired MySQL the previous year, this would mean that Oracle, the market leader for closed source databases, would get to own MySQL, the most popular open source database.

If Oracle acquired MySQL on that basis, it would have as much control over MySQL as money can possibly buy over an open source project. In fact, for most open source projects (such as Linux or Apache) there isn't any comparable way for a competitor to buy even one tenth as much influence. But MySQL's success has always depended on the company behind it that develops, sells and promotes it. That company (initially MySQL AB, then Sun) has always owned the important intellectual property rights (IPRs), most notably the trademark, copyright and (so far only for defensive purposes) patents. It has used the IPRs to produce income and has reinvested a large part of those revenues in development, getting not only bigger but also better with time.

If those IPRs fall into the hands of MySQL's primary competitor, then MySQL immediately ceases to be an alternative to Oracle's own high-priced products. So far, customers had the choice to use MySQL in new projects instead of Oracle's products. Some large companies even migrated (switched) from Oracle to MySQL for existing software solutions. And every one could credibly threaten Oracle's salespeople with using MySQL unless a major discount was granted. If Oracle owns MySQL, it will only laugh when customers try this. Getting rid of this problem is easily worth one billion dollars a year to Oracle, if not more.
We use MySQL and so do many websites and web developers. It would most likely not be good to put MySQL in the control of ORACLE.
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Re: Save MySQL

Post by Albert Wiersch » Wed Jun 16, 2010 1:19 pm

The Save MySQL petition is now closed.

We want to first extend a big thanks to all the 50,000+ people that participated in this effort.

Thanks to the Save MySQL email campaign and this petition we got some public promises from Oracle and even got Russia to require firm commitments from Oracle, which will at least ensure that some version of MySQL will be available as Open Source for the next 4 years.

In the end the European union approved of Oracle getting Sun and MySQL, without requiring any commitments. The decision can be found here.

The fight is however not over yet. At least EU, Russia, Australia will keep a close eye on Oracle for the next 4-5 years. If Oracle doesn't eep a close eye on Oracle for the next 4-5 years. If Oracle doesn't honor their commitments or if there is a notable decrease of competition in the database field they may still act. There may also be an appeal for the current decision in EU as there is many open questions about how the decision was reached and also the fact that the final decision doesn't answer many of the questions raised in the original statement of objection. If needed, we will make the petition data available to any regulators that requests it.

Now it's however time to wait and see what will happen. We at Monty Program Ab will continue to work on MariaDB, an extended drop in replacement of MySQL that will be guaranteed free for all future. We just released our first stable release and we are now working on the next release.
Well I hope this works out well in the end for all the MySQL users, but it seems a bit "scary".
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Re: Save MySQL

Post by MikeGale » Wed Jun 16, 2010 5:13 pm

I don't know how MariaDB is funded and how viable it is long term.

If I was one of the corporations that had dumped Oracle in favour or MySQL I would be finding out now. (Especially if I was being pestered by Oracle sales people.)

Completely trusting Oracle seems unwise, especially 4 years from now.

It looks as though the intention, with Maria, is to improve on MySQL and they have already started doing that (as far as I can see).

Good luck to them.

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