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MySQL Man Pages Silently Relicensed Away From GPL

Soulskill posted about a year ago | from the gimme-it!-it's-mine! dept.

GNU is Not Unix 243

An anonymous reader writes "The MariaDB blog is reporting a small change to the license covering the man pages to MySQL. Until recently, the governing license was GPLv2. Now the license reads, 'This software and related documentation are provided under a license agreement containing restrictions on use and disclosure and are protected by intellectual property laws. Except as expressly permitted in your license agreement or allowed by law, you may not use, copy, reproduce, translate, broadcast, modify, license, transmit, distribute, exhibit, perform, publish, or display any part, in any form, or by any means. Reverse engineering, disassembly, or decompilation of this software, unless required by law for interoperability, is prohibited.'"

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good (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44044947)

GPL isn't a documentation license. The GPL itself isn't licensed under the GPL.

Re:good (4, Informative)

jedidiah (1196) | about a year ago | (#44045057)

Software is. This manpage change appears to be implying that the corresponding software is covered by some license other than some variant of the GPL as the given restrictions are incompatible with that license.

Re:good (1, Informative)

Forever Wondering (2506940) | about a year ago | (#44045149)

From the blog, the old documentation said:

This documentation is free software; you can redistribute it and/or modify it only under the terms of the GNU General Public License as published by the Free Software Foundation; version 2 of the License.

IANAL, but it looks like a GPL violation to me.

Re:good (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44045201)

How so? If they own the copyright, they are free to relicense a piece of data (and more importantly any new versions of it) under any terms they wish.
This doesn't change the fact that the copy you downloaded previously under the GPL stays that way, and you can redistribute it indefinitely.

captcha: darlings

Re:good (2, Informative)

shentino (1139071) | about a year ago | (#44045377)

If outsiders contributed to it they are no longer the sole copyright owners.

Re:good (4, Informative)

eht (8912) | about a year ago | (#44045463)

MySQL was always dual licensed, they always required copyright to be assigned to them for contributions so they could monetize it on the side.

Re:good (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44045537)

Of course it's legal. But this doesn't mean anything.

Yes, the copies you download are still GPL. And if you will never upgrade the server, they will never be obsolete.

Re:good (5, Insightful)

bws111 (1216812) | about a year ago | (#44045205)

It is not possible for the copyright holder to commit a license violation.

User trust violation (4, Interesting)

tepples (727027) | about a year ago | (#44045235)

But it is possible for the copyright owner to commit a user trust violation by providing new versions of a work only under much harsher terms.

Re:User trust violation (1)

fustakrakich (1673220) | about a year ago | (#44045295)

user trust

Who are we talking about here?

...

Oh... ha, very funny

Re:User trust violation (4, Insightful)

rmdashrf (1338183) | about a year ago | (#44045313)

What else would you have expected? It's Oracle. They've done the same with Solaris and OpenOffice. Now it's MySQL's turn.

Re:User trust WHOOSH (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44045409)

---> Joke

    o
   /|\     <- You
   / \

Whoosh!

On a related note, why does Giorgio Tsoukalos have such wild and crazy hair?!

Re:User trust WHOOSH (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44045507)

No.

The answer is still aliens.

<3

Re:User trust violation (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44045587)

That's not really a thing because only a naive idiot trusts a for-profit corporation or a not-for-profit that allows corporate sponsor/membership to act in the interests of the user before their own.

Re:User trust violation (-1)

viperidaenz (2515578) | about a year ago | (#44045619)

which is in no way illegal.

Re:good (2)

Forever Wondering (2506940) | about a year ago | (#44045501)

They might be held to it under the principle of estoppel. See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Estoppel [wikipedia.org] in particular, the Overview section, example 2.

However, the code/doc could probably be forked from the prior version. I believe that would be similar to the LibreOffice fork of OpenOffice (nee StarOffice). It's an open question whether that's worth it vs. putting the effort into MariaDB.

Personally, I don't use full featured databases other than the occasional hookup to an sqlite one. However, based on the last description of features, development model/roadmap, licensing, etc. for MariaDB I've read, I'd vote for it.

Perhaps folks that rely on mysql (e.g. the Wordpress community) could weigh in on the technical merits/difficulties of switching.

Re:good (1)

bws111 (1216812) | about a year ago | (#44045611)

That would only apply to stuff already distributed under GPL. If you have a copy distributed under GPL then you are free to distribute, etc. However, there is nothing that could force the copyright holder to continue releasing under the GPL.

Being forced to release under GPL would be like the creditor being forced to forgive future debts just because he forgave a previous debt.

Re:good (0)

hairyfeet (841228) | about a year ago | (#44045351)

In what way? The owner of a software doesn't have to make every release of that software GPL, all the GPL does is make sure that releases under the GPL remain GPL so if you wanted to keep the old version, fork it, hand it out on CDs, whatever you want as long as you provide source there is nothing they can do about it.

The way you are describing it makes it sound like the GPL truly is viral, not really the impression you want to give I'm sure.

Re:good (1)

gmuslera (3436) | about a year ago | (#44045369)

Also, a change in a GPL code don't enable you to change its licence. If you took a GPL program, and modified it, then the modified version must be GPL too. A new version of MySQL should still be GPL, unless you do a complete rewrite.

Re: good (2, Insightful)

aaarrrgggh (9205) | about a year ago | (#44045437)

If you hold the copyright, you can choose to license it however you want. What is untested in court is if a license change can retroactively apply to a fork.

Re:good (0)

dfghjk (711126) | about a year ago | (#44045465)

"A new version of MySQL should still be GPL, unless you do a complete rewrite."

No it shouldn't. Even the same version shouldn't be if the licensors don't want it to be. Who cares about the owner's freedoms so long as RMS's are satiated, right?

This just exposes the lie of the GPL...that forcing itself on future software is somehow necessary to protect present interests. Anything released under the GPL will always and forever be released under the GPL. Extending to modifications is overreach to suit an agenda.

Re:good (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44045411)

you are a typical clueless "free as in leach" zealot. and the morons that modded you up are just morons.

glad i am moving to mariaDB (2)

ghinckley68 (590599) | about a year ago | (#44044961)

like oracle but come on Larry no need to be that greedy

Re:glad i am moving to mariaDB (1)

ron_ivi (607351) | about a year ago | (#44045375)

Glad I moved to PostgreSQL.

(Nothing to do with Oracle screwing it up - I moved back around the 6.4 relase. IMHO Postgres was always better on Linux/Unix, and MySQL's popularity is really only due to it having a Windows installer first.)

Frist post (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44044965)

Post?

Re:Frist post (4, Funny)

Tablizer (95088) | about a year ago | (#44045009)

Dontcha mean FirstPostgre?

Re:Frist post (0)

binarylarry (1338699) | about a year ago | (#44045311)

Narn, Thrince Post.

Sounds like a mistake. (5, Insightful)

dgatwood (11270) | about a year ago | (#44044969)

They offer things under two licenses: GPL and commercial. IMO, it is far more likely that some build script broke and failed to replace the copyright notice on the GPLed export than that Oracle has decided to try to take the man pages proprietary.... :-)

Re:Sounds like a mistake. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44045001)

With ORACLE you never know.
Guess the worst, expect 10 times as worse.

Re:Sounds like a mistake. (3, Funny)

NoNonAlphaCharsHere (2201864) | about a year ago | (#44045365)

With Oracle you know.
Guess the worst, expect 10 times as worse, get 100 times as bad.

FTFY

Re:Sounds like a mistake. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44045027)

Agreed. Even the webpage [mysql.com] still says that it is GPL.

Re:Sounds like a mistake. (5, Funny)

rahvin112 (446269) | about a year ago | (#44045121)

It's a tried and true practice of Commercial software to charge extra for documentation. I'm willing to bet this is completely intentional.

Re:Sounds like a mistake. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44045489)

You know you like it. Gay men's assholes releasing their soft serve onto your face. You'd pay good money for it. You probably have.

Re:Sounds like a mistake. (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44045151)

I generally assume incompetence over malice, except when I'm dealing with Oracle.

Re:Sounds like a mistake. (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44045185)

With Oracle, you can often safely assume both!

Re:Sounds like a mistake. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44045231)

Oddly enough that applies to Microsoft, too.

Re:Sounds like a mistake. (4, Funny)

Charliemopps (1157495) | about a year ago | (#44045659)

Exactly, every time I'm talking to a VP at Oracle support (Every level 2 support tech is a VP at oracle) all I can picture in my head is them looking like Cobra Commander.

Re:Sounds like a mistake. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44045535)

They offer things under two licenses: GPL and commercial. IMO, it is far more likely that some build script broke and failed to replace the copyright notice on the GPLed export than that Oracle has decided to try to take the man pages proprietary.... :-)

A mistake you say?? How could it be? Didn't the great journalists at the MariaDB blog check and verify ... oh.... wait a minute.... wait just a minute....

Until something is actually verified, it is nothing more than FUD.

Re:Sounds like a mistake. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44045563)

I don't think. Of course, in that case they should immediatly release a correct licensed version and kill the test enginers.

This affects distributions (5, Informative)

Cassini2 (956052) | about a year ago | (#44044983)

Most distributions include the documentation with any software packages distributed. Without a GPL or free software license on the documentation, the distributions must either:
(a) comply with the license,
(b) provide a third-party download (like Adobe with Flash), or
(c) stop including MySQL.
Given the existence of MariaDB, it might be simplest to stop including MySQL in the distribution.

Re:This affects distributions (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44045033)

Most likely the choice will be:

(d) write free documentation

Debian does this quite often. See: Debian with GFDL licensed documentation.

Re: This affects distributions (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44045041)

Nope, because distros are using GPLed versions already. Can't apply a new license to that already distributed.

Re: This affects distributions (1)

Cassini2 (956052) | about a year ago | (#44045117)

The distributions do periodically update to the latest versions of the software they distribute. Using 5.30 documentation on version 5.31 might work. However, that rapidly gets thin after a few years of updates.

Then again, this might be a quiet way for Oracle discontinue updates on MySQL, so that they can sell more copies of Oracle.

Re: This affects distributions (1)

c-A-d (77980) | about a year ago | (#44045199)

And push more people towards PostgreSQL and other DBs.

Re: This affects distributions (1)

jd2112 (1535857) | about a year ago | (#44045423)

I don't think there is enough overlap between Oracle and MySQL to generate enough sales to make it worth the Oracle reps time to answer the phone.

Re: This affects distributions (2)

denmarkw00t (892627) | about a year ago | (#44045545)

You may not be aware, but Oracle costs a TON of money. It's always worth a rep's time, because they're getting paid massive amounts of money to tell you how to do a LIMIT, OFFSET in Oracle. Forcing people over to Oracle from MySQL, for those gullible enough to do it, will mean some extra chump change for Oracle while simultaneously driving off anyone smart enough to go with a truly open alternative. No skin off their backs - Oracle has one client who is a Big Bank, and that's probably enough business from licensing to bankroll all the phone support for all of their products until the end of time.

(sorry to my previous mod ups - you guys were funny and insightful - I'm sure others will mod appropriately - lol @ FirstPostgreSQL)

Re: This affects distributions (2)

jd2112 (1535857) | about a year ago | (#44045589)

You may not be aware, but Oracle costs a TON of money. It's always worth a rep's time, because they're getting paid massive amounts of money to tell you how to do a LIMIT, OFFSET in Oracle. Forcing people over to Oracle from MySQL, for those gullible enough to do it, will mean some extra chump change for Oracle while simultaneously driving off anyone smart enough to go with a truly open alternative. No skin off their backs - Oracle has one client who is a Big Bank, and that's probably enough business from licensing to bankroll all the phone support for all of their products until the end of time.

(sorry to my previous mod ups - you guys were funny and insightful - I'm sure others will mod appropriately - lol @ FirstPostgreSQL)

Actually that was my point. If you are using MySQL and you are forced to move to another database platform (other than for outgrowing MySQL) Oracle is probably the last one you would look at due to licensing cost. And you would probably look at Oracle in that case if you were already an Oracle shop. Even then it might be better to move to PortgeSQL or even MS-SQL.

Re: This affects distributions (2)

denmarkw00t (892627) | about a year ago | (#44045697)

I guess I was saying that, in regards to the time of the reps, it's always worth their time.

Re:This affects distributions (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44045133)

(d) provide the old documentation, which didn't come with any such restrictions.

The Correct way to look at this situation, is that MySQL has died and is no longer being maintained by its owner. The last [GPLed] version was the last version.

Re:This affects distributions (1)

icebike (68054) | about a year ago | (#44045145)

Haven't most distros moved already to MariaDB?

Re:This affects distributions (2)

Culture20 (968837) | about a year ago | (#44045419)

Not RHEL/CentOS, although RHEL7 will be based on Fedora19, which will use MariaDB instead of MySQL. Basing RHEL7 on Fedora19 is strange in itself; RedHat used to base RHEL on older versions of Fedora; I guess they feel the commercial world is ready for bleeding edge.

Re:This affects distributions (2)

arth1 (260657) | about a year ago | (#44045509)

Or they needed to wait until there was a stable MATE, given how Gnome 3 still is rather unsuitable for server use, including remote desktops, VMs and heterogeneous environments.

Re:This affects distributions (1)

BrokenHalo (565198) | about a year ago | (#44045597)

Slackware 14.0 ships with MySQL 5.5.29. Not that I ever use MySQL, so FWIW...

Dual licensing (2)

Alex Belits (437) | about a year ago | (#44045039)

And this kis why dual licensing is sucha bad idea -- enemies of the project have an incentive to buy the primary developer and only continue development under the worst of the licenses.

Re:Dual licensing (1)

sidthegeek (626567) | about a year ago | (#44045137)

If a threatening company buys out the main devs for a project. the community can always maintain and actively develop a fork under the GPL or other free software license. It worked for LibreOffice.

Re:Dual licensing (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44045479)

But if product is initially dual-licensed, there is a possibility for keeping the continuity of development while gradually reducing open version into being completely unusable. If there was only one license, it would be possible to keep closed licensing away by not requiring copyright assignment (like Linux) or assigning copyright to a trusted entity that exists for purpose of maintaining free software (like GNU). With one commercial entity holding copyright and already providing dual licensing, it's possible to make the product de-facto proprietary while still benefiting from work done by contributors, and to keep the open version just viable enough to hinder the forks.

Re:Dual licensing (1)

chriscappuccio (80696) | about a year ago | (#44045239)

Really? Well, it was a good idea for Monty because he had a product worth buying when Sun paid him out.

Is this legal? (1)

Black Parrot (19622) | about a year ago | (#44045119)

Wouldn't they need the approval of everyone who contributed to the GPL'd version in order to do this?

Re:Is this legal? (5, Informative)

Hewligan (202585) | about a year ago | (#44045139)

No, MySQL has always required copyright assignment for stuff to be included.

Re:Is this legal? (3, Insightful)

chriscappuccio (80696) | about a year ago | (#44045251)

The answer is "Yes" and the long answer is that they already gave the permission or MySQL AB/Sun/Oracle wouldn't have accepted the contribution.

Re:Is this legal? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44045163)

MySQL is dual-licensed. If you contribute code/fixes to the official branch, you agree to dual-license it. Otherwise, it's unofficial and you're forking it (see: MariaDB)

Re:Is this legal? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44045245)

MySQL is dual-licensed. If you contribute code/fixes to the official branch, you agree to dual-license it. Otherwise, it's unofficial and you're forking it (see: MariaDB)

This isn't relevant, but another poster got it right. The thing that matters is who owns the copyright, and that's only Oracle due to contributors to MySQL agreeing to reassign the copyright all along.

Re:Is this legal? (1)

watermark (913726) | about a year ago | (#44045179)

Nope, a few projects have done this. I can think of ExtJS, Boxee, pChart, and I'm sure tons more.

Apparently, assuming you were the original author of the software, you can switch to any license you want. You just can't retroactively apply it to version past. IMHO, it does seem like stealing from the people that gave their time for free to contribute to the software.

So what (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44045155)

They bought MySQL, so it's entirely in their rights to do so. MySQL and MariaDB both suck, so if less distributions ship them it would be a good thing.

Just use Postgres (5, Informative)

SplashMyBandit (1543257) | about a year ago | (#44045161)

Just use Postgres - and get on with whatever it is you have to do :)

Not everyone can (0)

tepples (727027) | about a year ago | (#44045261)

Just use Postgres

Provided both your web host and the web applications you're running support PostgreSQL. Not everybody has the money to move up to a VPS and the time to rewrite all of a large web application's queries for PostgreSQL on a whim.

Re:Just use Postgres (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44045303)

I do agree, but when you have existing apps tied to mysql its not a trivial operation.

Re:Just use Postgres (2)

sk999 (846068) | about a year ago | (#44045425)

Years ago I evaluated PostgreSQL and MySQL for a project and decided to go with PostgreSQL. One reason was that it seemed more solid, which was more important than speed. The other was the funky way that MySQL was being developed - by a single, for-profit company - even though it was formally GPL licensed. Yes, MySQL would probably have worked fine, but the current issues with forking and all that mean that I would not trust it today. The community behind the project is more important than whatever license you choose to paste into the source and documentation.

Re:Just use MariaDB ( or Postgres ) (4, Interesting)

darkonc (47285) | about a year ago | (#44045529)

MariaDB is plugin-compatible with MySQL, and remains GPL licensed.

It may be that this license change is just a build oops, or it may be that Oracle is breaking it's agreement with the EU to keep mysql stable, supported and free. In any case, this does strengthen the case for MariaDB for those organizations are still on the fence about switching over.

So, what if we wrote those pages? (0)

WillAffleckUW (858324) | about a year ago | (#44045181)

You can't steal my copyright or that of my friends who wrote them.

Our copyright holds true.

No matter how many islands you own in Hawaii.

Re:So, what if we wrote those pages? (1)

chriscappuccio (80696) | about a year ago | (#44045255)

So, what if you wrote them? Then you had to provide a copyright assignment to MySQL AB/Sun/Oracle and you already gave them control over copy rights.

Assigned (4, Informative)

tepples (727027) | about a year ago | (#44045277)

You can't steal my copyright or that of my friends who wrote them.

Ellison can't steal it, but if this comment [slashdot.org] is to be trusted, you already signed it away.

Re:So, what if we wrote those pages? (1)

viperidaenz (2515578) | about a year ago | (#44045689)

or not matter how many times you agreed to forfeit your copyright? dumbass.

Wow. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44045187)

Wont be long now until mysql isn't useable for the unwashed masses.

GGPL (0)

watermark (913726) | about a year ago | (#44045193)

LPGL, lessor GPL, is offered. Perhaps a GGPL, greater GPL, should also be written up as a guarantee that it will never be closed.

Re:GGPL (1)

chriscappuccio (80696) | about a year ago | (#44045271)

If Monty wanted to license it as GPL-only, that would have had the same effect. Instead he chose a dual license explicitly so that he could sell the project and make money. It's much harder to sell GPL-only code in this context, you see.

Software foundations (1)

tepples (727027) | about a year ago | (#44045291)

Perhaps a GGPL, greater GPL, should also be written up as a guarantee that it will never be closed.

That's called donating copyright in a program to a not-for-profit foundation that has the free software paradigm written into its charter. Examples of such foundations include Free Software Foundation, Apache Software Foundation, and KDE Free Qt Foundation [kde.org] .

Re:Software foundations (1)

ron_ivi (607351) | about a year ago | (#44045439)

That's called donating copyright in a program to a not-for-profit foundation that has the free software paradigm written into its charter.

That's still weak.

A non-profit's charter can evolve. Consider if the FSF merges with a different organization with a different charter; like the often more corporate-friendly Open Source Initiative.

Would be nice if such a guarantee could be written into the license itself.

Re:Software foundations (1)

tepples (727027) | about a year ago | (#44045633)

Consider if the FSF merges with a different organization with a different charter; like the often more corporate-friendly Open Source Initiative.

I don't see how a merger between FSF and OSI would pose a problem. The Open Source Definition [opensource.org] published by Open Source Initiative is worded nearly identically to the Debian Free Software Guidelines [debian.org] on which it was based, and each of the OSD's conditions maps to one of the FSF's four freedoms [gnu.org] .

Would be nice if such a guarantee could be written into the license itself.

I agree. But given how some countries appear not to recognize a dedication of a work to the public domain as irrevocable, charters are the best we have.

Re:Software foundations (1)

melikamp (631205) | about a year ago | (#44045699)

I don't know where OSI would stand on this merger, but Richard Stallman appears to be categorically opposed [gnu.org] to the movement, as he thinks it is based on wrong values, among other things.

Re:GGPL (2)

msauve (701917) | about a year ago | (#44045297)

Isn't that simply called a fork?

Re:GGPL (1)

Kalriath (849904) | about a year ago | (#44045299)

It doesn't matter how strict the GPL conditions are, they have no effect on the copyright owner, who is not bound by it.

No secret where this is going (5, Interesting)

AmericanBlarney (1098141) | about a year ago | (#44045203)

I think Oracle has been pretty clear the whole way that they are trying to slowly kill off MySQL and drive users towards their more enterprise grade (read: grossly overpriced) product. They've jacked up the license fees substantially a couple times and pretty much every step of the way signaled that they're not really interested in supporting an open source DB, so I'm actually not even sure why this is newsworthy. I actually find a number of features of Oracle's DB offering fairly interesting, but wholly unnecessary for most web applications, so I expect everyone will move on to MariaDB and PostgreSQL. Nice of Oracle to provide a little window for everyone to switch, not that it was their intention.

Re:No secret where this is going (2)

meerling (1487879) | about a year ago | (#44045301)

It's kind of like the people in the lifeboats that can't stop watching the captain of a sinking ship as he continues to cut more holes in the hull to "let the water out".

They're making friends like nobody's business! (3, Interesting)

Bruce Perens (3872) | about a year ago | (#44045215)

Let's look at what Oracle is doing. I'll start the list of moves that appear to be intended to alienate the community around the very software they're promoting and cause the Open Source community to create viable forks that end up absconding with the product and its market. You guys contribute additional examples...

  • Oracle v. Google regarding Java and the premise that APIs are copyrightable.
  • Apache OpenOffice v. LibreOffice (which has a full-time negative publicity generator in Rob Weir).
  • MySQL v. MariaDB.

IBM isn't known for dumb moves, but partnering with Oracle on this sure is one.

Bruce

Re:They're making friends like nobody's business! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44045539)

Wasn't acquiring MySQL probably intended to eliminate a large portion of the competition anyway? Larry Ellison long since has lent his support to the government moving in the direction of being a bigger Big Brother. He was for such things as the National ID most because he wanted the contract to provide and service commercial databases for the job. Microsoft isn't the only embrace and extend corporate headache. Alienation of the community towards formerly Sun created and/or supported OSS, Free, and/or free software probably suits his purpose in his mind. Where it is possible and suitable, someone should stick a fork in it.

Larry Ellison appear to anyone as a supporter of free or Free?

Re:They're making friends like nobody's business! (2)

Phroggy (441) | about a year ago | (#44045621)

Wasn't acquiring MySQL probably intended to eliminate a large portion of the competition anyway?

If I remember correctly, Sun acquired MySQL prior to being acquired by Oracle, and Oracle's reasons for buying Sun had nothing to do with MySQL. Somebody correct me if I'm mistaken!

Re:They're making friends like nobody's business! (1)

Bob The Cowboy (308954) | about a year ago | (#44045581)

What continuously baffles me is that they haven't managed to screw up VirtualBox yet (that I know of, I could be misinformed). Is the project just below the radar?

Bill

Re:They're making friends like nobody's business! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44045721)

What continuously baffles me is that they haven't managed to screw up VirtualBox yet (that I know of, I could be misinformed). Is the project just below the radar?

Bill

No, it's just a kind of software that enables proprietary software and Windows to be used where it wouldn't otherwise.

Don't hand over copyright (2)

nmoore (22729) | about a year ago | (#44045223)

This is why you shouldn't work on free software that requires you to hand over your copyright. This includes GNU software as well. Of course the FSF would be ideologically opposed to selling their copyrights to a proprietary software company, but what happens if one day donations dry up and they go bankrupt? Then the purchasers of the assets would be perfectly entitled to relicense your code however they want. Even if a bankrupt FSF tried to sell their assets to free-software-friendly companies, the court would probably block that if a proprietary software company made a higher offer. Furthermore, in some jurisdictions, the bankruptcy trustee, administrator, or court can terminate existing licenses—meaning that users couldn't even use an older version of the software, since they would no longer have a license to do so.

Re:Don't hand over copyright (1)

Eravnrekaree (467752) | about a year ago | (#44045541)

You can always fork GPL code, the GPL license is not revocable by anyone.

Re:Don't hand over copyright (2)

BrokenHalo (565198) | about a year ago | (#44045729)

This is why you shouldn't work on free software that requires you to hand over your copyright. This includes GNU software as well.

Even where code remains GPL, you have to be a bit careful about selling code. A case in point was Michael Sweet's selling the source for CUPS to Apple. Sure it's still GPL, but the exceptions to link against Apple software have (in some cases) set the clock back for users of Linux and other Unices.

I had always thought CUPS stood for Common Unix Printing System. I was wrong. Apparently it doesn't stand for anything any more. There was a time when if any printer you bought worked from a Mac, you would be able to use it on any other Unix box, and vice versa. I found out the hard way a few years back when I bought a Fuji/Xerox laser printer that that assumption is no longer the case. After fruitless searches through forums, I ended up having to manually edit the PPD file to get the damn thing working.

Great community management there! (1)

gman003 (1693318) | about a year ago | (#44045237)

Seriously, this is just about perfect proof that Oracle isn't even paying attention to the MySQL community. If they were paying even the smallest iota of attention, they would have realized that changing the license terms on *anything* would be a big deal to the users, who are already a bit hesitant. At the very least, they would have messaged it better - told everyone up-front what they were doing, and *why*. Hell, maybe they actually have a good reason.

But now, they've lost spin control on their own action, to their #1 competitor. And the saddest part is, Oracle probably doesn't even care.

1 word (0)

smash (1351) | about a year ago | (#44045315)

postgresql

oh hey (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44045591)

looks like I aint using mysql anymore

Debian, wake up! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44045599)

Debian some time ago talked about switching to MariaDB. Then, the thread on their list stopped all activities without an apparent reasons. Now several distros (including RHEL, slackware, OpenSUSE and Arch) switched to MariaDB. But Debian still has MySQL.

Now there is a problem with man pages freedom. They should move those pages into the nonfree repository. They must comply their Social Contract.

Is this legal? (1)

brickmack (2537604) | about a year ago | (#44045613)

I was always under the impression that, once licenced under the GPL, any later versions or forks of it would have to be GPL as well?

Re:Is this legal? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44045647)

That's because you're a fucktard know nothing. Just another Linux fanboi who doesn't understand what he's signed on for the first place.
 
You really need to read more and post less. Maybe you'd learn something.

Re:Is this legal? (1)

mlwmohawk (801821) | about a year ago | (#44045667)

That works is the authors retain their copyright. "Contributors" to TheirSQL assign copyrights of contributions to, now, Oracle, then Sun, and before that MySQL AB.

Have we not seen the writing on the wall? (1)

mlwmohawk (801821) | about a year ago | (#44045681)

PostgreSQL

Everyone knows its better and more free. The MySQL lineage needs to die.

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