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Re: Will Open Source be forced to go Proprietary

From: "Chris Travers" <chris(at)travelamericas(dot)com>
To: "Bruce Momjian" <pgman(at)candle(dot)pha(dot)pa(dot)us>
Cc: "Joshua D(dot) Drake" <jd(at)commandprompt(dot)com>,"Christopher Browne" <cbbrowne(at)acm(dot)org>,<pgsql-advocacy(at)postgresql(dot)org>
Subject: Re: Will Open Source be forced to go Proprietary
Date: 2004-01-11 09:21:32
Message-ID: 00cb01c3d824$afaf2820$4044053d@winxp (view raw or flat)
Thread:
Lists: pgsql-advocacy
Bruce Momjian wrote:
>
> But the MySQL description says:
>
> http://www.mysql.com/products/opensource-license.html
>
> Under the Open Source License, you must release the complete source code
> for the application that is built on MySQL.
>
> What does that mean, "built on MySQL".  I think that means "depends" on
> MySQL.  At least I have heard that description:
>
>
http://www.edwardbear.org/serendipity/archives/1193_My_Beef_with_MySQLs_Lice
nse.html

That is a very strange definition of derivative work.  What makes MySQL
different in this regard than, say, Windows?  If a database is primarily a
platform for development, and this test were to be held up wouldn't that
make a wide variety of applications derivative works of MS Windows?
Quickbooks come to mind.

IMO (and IANAL), this is one of the real problems with the GPL.  Due to the
lack of guidance from the courts, developers can say who they will or won't
sue regarding derivative works, but there is prescious little one can say
about the outcome in advance except in the most clear cut cases.  There was
an article on Groklaw recently regarding a legal overview of open source,
and derivative words were discussed.

The reason why I think that this is relavent is that it means that MySQL is
not really 'open' in the way that the Linux kernel or PostgreSQL is-- namely
that it uses the GPL to deliberately break accessibility to proprietary
applications which everyone else considers to be separate works.  This leads
a MySQL developer into a bad situation where they are forced to choose
between litigation or licensing (even if they are within their legal rights,
IMO).  This seems to be a point we could make.

Maybe a paper on the advocacy site:  What you should know about MySQL.

Best WIshes,
CHris Travers


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