Re: [unrev-II] MySQL License

From: Jeff Miller (
Date: Tue Apr 25 2000 - 19:26:37 PDT

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    On Mon, Apr 24, 2000 at 04:32:44PM -0700, Lee Iverson wrote:
    > The MySQL license is definitely interesting but it is on the edge of
    > the Open Source definition. Drawing a direct distinction between
    > commercial/non-commercial uses is a problem.

    commercial should cover;

    * charging for a product or service of which your building block forms a
    key component (how do you define this?)


    * you actively provide support services on a fees charged basis. By active
    I mean you advertise and seek business supporting this software.

    should be free for;

    * internal use.
    * personal use

    ie, it's only when one entity forms a relationship with another entity for
    the purposes of creating profit by using your product that I'd be
    interested in charging. Interal use is too difficult to police and relies
    on the honesty of the organisation. It also slows the spread of the
    software and the ideaologies assouciated with it, so don't try. compare
    MySQL and Oracle, oracle is supearior in may repects but I can think of
    several organisation that use mysql as it's cheaper to buy, ie free,
    (actually it life cycle cost is lower but no-one thinks of that).

    > The fundamental issue is whether we are trying to build an application
    > or to build the foundation for an industry. In my opinion, there is
    > no question: an industry. In order to do that we need to worry about
    > some very basic things:
    > o Simple standards
    > & Broad interoperability
    > & Very low-effort buy in
    > => Open source infrastructure

    Industry. definately. the standard should be open, the product is another
    matter. that way if the product fails at least the standard lives on and
    other people can release products that are interoperable. this "competing"
    software then re-enforces your standard in a bootstrapping manner.

    remember metcalfe's (sp?) law, O(n^2).


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