Linked by Thom Holwerda on Thu 22nd Oct 2009 21:38 UTC, submitted by google_ninja
Oracle and SUN "Digital civil liberties organization Open Rights Group, Knowledge Ecology International and software developer Richard Stallman tell the EC in a letter that they are concerned about Oracle's possible squashing of competition in the database market by abandoning MySQL."
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Abandoning?
by bert64 on Thu 22nd Oct 2009 22:23 UTC
bert64
Member since:
2007-04-23

Oracle abandoning MySQL wouldn't quash competition...
The original authors of MySQL have already setup a new company to work on a fork, Postgres still exists, and there is nothing to stop Stallman from starting work on a fork of MySQL either.

Reply Score: 13

Did I miss something?
by darknexus on Thu 22nd Oct 2009 22:25 UTC
darknexus
Member since:
2008-07-15

When did Oracle say that it was abandoning MySQL? Further, even if they did, it is open source and could be continued. And we still have PostgreSQL after all, so how is there no competition? As for enterprise level databases, it's not like Oracle really had much competition in recent years anyway. Once again, old RMS is going off the wall and giving us all a good laugh. He really should just go hide before he really loses what little credibility he might have left.

Reply Score: 9

...
by Hiev on Thu 22nd Oct 2009 22:43 UTC
Hiev
Member since:
2005-09-27

Looks like Stallman recieved a phone call from one of his sponsors ordering to him to make some noice about this adquisition.

Who are the biggest losers of that adquisition?
oh, let me guess, IBM and RedHat.

Edited 2009-10-22 22:55 UTC

Reply Score: 8

RE: ...
by sbergman27 on Fri 23rd Oct 2009 05:12 UTC in reply to "..."
sbergman27 Member since:
2005-07-24

Looks like Stallman recieved a phone call from one of his sponsors ordering to him to make some noice about this adquisition.

You really think that RMS requires *prompting* to make these kinds of statements???

If anything IBM and Red Hat try to distance themselves from kooks like RMS. And I'm sure that IBM and Red Hat both have better lobbying strategies than covertly using RMS as an attack dog.

I'm simply amazed that anyone would try to turn RMS's standard and expected hysteria into such a bizarre conspiracy theory.

Now, if the usual stream of hysteria suddenly ceased for no apparent reason, then I would begin to suspect that maybe the real RMS had been kidnapped by agents of the BSA and replaced by an android or something.

Reply Score: 7

RE[2]: ...
by Slambert666 on Mon 26th Oct 2009 03:20 UTC in reply to "RE: ..."
Slambert666 Member since:
2008-10-30

I'm simply amazed that anyone would try to turn RMS's standard and expected hysteria into such a bizarre conspiracy theory.


Are you not aware that RMS has been acting more and more as a PR pipeline for IBM and RH?

IBM has a strong interest in prolonging the takeover in order to gain a larger share of Suns hardware customers before the deal closes.

Reply Score: 1

RE[3]: ...
by sbergman27 on Mon 26th Oct 2009 18:12 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: ..."
sbergman27 Member since:
2005-07-24

Are you not aware that RMS has been acting more and more as a PR pipeline for IBM and RH?

I am absolutely unaware of any such thing. And I don't believe your claim for a minute. It would be totally out of character for him. And say what you will about RMS (I certainly have!) he does have a very strong, consistent, and mostly predictable character.

RMS may be many things... not all of them flattering... but "sock puppet" is most assuredly not among them.

Edited 2009-10-26 18:12 UTC

Reply Score: 2

d'oh
by abcxyz on Thu 22nd Oct 2009 22:45 UTC
abcxyz
Member since:
2009-07-30

It's OSS, anyone can fork and work on it, including RMS. Not sure how leaving cash strapped Sun behind with MySQL on its back would help its development.

Reply Score: 6

RE: d'oh
by emilsedgh on Fri 23rd Oct 2009 08:12 UTC in reply to "d'oh"
emilsedgh Member since:
2007-06-21

You go fork mysql, name it mesql. do you think you can run proper bussines around it?

'fork it' may work for foss. like xfree86 and x.org but it wont work for current and potential mysql clients.

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: d'oh
by siride on Fri 23rd Oct 2009 15:01 UTC in reply to "RE: d'oh"
siride Member since:
2006-01-02

The people who work on MySQL can leave Oracle/Sun and go found their own company again with the forked source code. It's not like that hasn't happened before. Given the popularity of MySQL, I'm sure they could secure funding for such a venture.

In any case, Percona is already effectively doing just that. They have their own build of MySQL that people are actually using. If they just hire on the remaining engineers from Oracle, the end result will be the same.

Reply Score: 2

Interesting
by strcpy on Fri 23rd Oct 2009 02:25 UTC
strcpy
Member since:
2009-05-20

It is interesting that he brings also GPLv3 to the table:


Yet another way in which Oracle will have the ability to determine the forking of MySQL relates to the evolution of the GNU GPL license. GPL version 2.0 (GPLv2) and GPL version 3.0 (GPLv3) are different licenses and each requires that any modified program carry the same license as the original. There are fundamental and unavoidable legal obstacles to combining code from programs licensed under the different GPL versions. Today MySQL is only available to the public under GPLv2.


Wasn't the concept of software freedom the main idea behind GPL? Why shouldn't Oracle be allowed to leverage this freedom?

I find it personally annoying that he uses the same terminology when speaking generally in the internet and when sending a letter to EC. His letter is full "free/libre software", FLOSS, "gratis", GNU/Linux, and whatnot, without no effort to clarify what those concepts mean.

Edited 2009-10-23 02:28 UTC

Reply Score: 3

Whats the problem?
by J.R. on Fri 23rd Oct 2009 05:25 UTC
J.R.
Member since:
2007-07-25

How I see it, its only 3 realistic outcomes of this:

Scenario 1) Sun get bought by Oracle and MySQL is still GPL. Anyone can pick up the development if Oracle stops distributing MySQL but must keep it GPL.
Scenario 2) Sun gets bought by someone else and MySQL is still GPL. Anyone can pick up the development if the buyer stops distributing MySQL but must keep it GPL.
Scenario 3) Sun gets bankrupt and MySQL is still GPL. Anyone can pick up the development but must keep it GPL.

What is Stallman's problem exactly? In either case, MySQL is GPL. I thought that was his goal with any rant? If those three choices are the only realistic outcomes of this thing then I prefer Oracle buying it since they have shitloads of money and may be the only way to continue corporate financed MySQL development.

Edited 2009-10-23 05:25 UTC

Reply Score: 2

RE: Whats the problem?
by Andre on Fri 23rd Oct 2009 06:41 UTC in reply to "Whats the problem?"
Andre Member since:
2005-07-06

Maybe it's more about the fact that, in any of those senarios, there isn't a big company name anymore behind MySQL.

Reply Score: 0

RE: Whats the problem?
by wirespot on Fri 23rd Oct 2009 08:10 UTC in reply to "Whats the problem?"
wirespot Member since:
2006-06-21

And one more thing: Oracle did this before. They bought InnoDB and BerkeleyDB and they didn't bury them, they kept developing them.

Plus, I don't see where anybody would get the idea that MySQL and Oracle are competitors. These two sit at completely oposite ends of the market. MySQL is (at the core and in its most widely used form) a non-ACID RDBMS engine built for speed and simplicity rather than reliability and complexity. Does that sound anything like the Oracle database? In case MySQL dissapeared, would projects like WordPress or cheap hosting services migrate to Oracle? No, they'd move to Postgres, which is also free. There'd be no business gained for Oracle.

Reply Score: 4

RE: Whats the problem?
by Ed W. Cogburn on Sun 25th Oct 2009 06:40 UTC in reply to "Whats the problem?"
Ed W. Cogburn Member since:
2009-07-24

What is Stallman's problem exactly? In either case, MySQL is GPL.


GPL2 *only*.

He's worried about the future of MySQL if its new copyright owner choses to never move it to GPL3, while the rest of the FOSS community (at least the part thats using the GPL) keeps moving towards GPL3.

Even if someone forks it, since they aren't the original copyright holder, they won't be able to change the license from 2 to 3.

Keeping it at GPL2 could be one way to ensure it dies eventually...

Technically he's not nuts on this particular issue either, as this issue has been talked about possibly affecting the Linux kernel at some point too.

This isn't some imminent problem for either the kernel or MySQL, though. GPL3 adoption is steady, but moderate/slow. A GPL2-GPL3-conflict problem for either one is probably years away.

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: Whats the problem?
by jokkel on Mon 26th Oct 2009 00:59 UTC in reply to "RE: Whats the problem?"
jokkel Member since:
2008-07-07

A GPL2-GPL3-conflict problem

The incompatibilities between the GPL versions are Stallmann's fault and intent. He could at least acknowledge that.

Reply Score: 1

RE[3]: Whats the problem?
by Ed W. Cogburn on Mon 26th Oct 2009 08:29 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Whats the problem?"
Ed W. Cogburn Member since:
2009-07-24

The incompatibilities between the GPL versions


To make something better, you often have to break the mold.

Reply Score: 1

Who cares ?
by Beket_ on Fri 23rd Oct 2009 12:21 UTC
Beket_
Member since:
2009-07-10

RMS is irrelevant nowadays.

Reply Score: 5

RE: Who cares ?
by ebasconp on Fri 23rd Oct 2009 16:02 UTC in reply to "Who cares ?"
ebasconp Member since:
2006-05-09

I actually think he is losing his connection with the real world and he is starting to live in a free/gratis/FLOSS/GPL pink world!!!

Such levels of dogmatism in these pragmatic times are just insane nowadays.

Edited 2009-10-23 16:03 UTC

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Who cares ?
by jgagnon on Fri 23rd Oct 2009 17:06 UTC in reply to "RE: Who cares ?"
jgagnon Member since:
2008-06-24

To my recollection, he has always been this way.

Reply Score: 2

v RE: Who cares ?
by diegoviola on Sat 24th Oct 2009 00:28 UTC in reply to "Who cares ?"
RE[2]: Who cares ?
by Beket_ on Sat 24th Oct 2009 07:47 UTC in reply to "RE: Who cares ?"
Beket_ Member since:
2009-07-10

Chill out.

Just because my comment was terse, doesn't make it less honest. I believe that RMS is no longer pertinent to current era, he is not solving nowadays problems and he is only generating sounds. He degraded to the level of a picturesque figure, but I'm not saying that he has always been like that.

I am a free person and have the right to express myself. I like that my thoughts are subjected to criticism, I just expect more than reflexive mod-downs.

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: Who cares ?
by Ed W. Cogburn on Sun 25th Oct 2009 06:25 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Who cares ?"
Ed W. Cogburn Member since:
2009-07-24

doesn't make it less honest.


Well, technically what you said isn't true yet. RMS won't be *truly* irrelevant until no one bothers to bash him in threads like this, or until Thom and the other places like osnews stop bothering to post what RMS says/does.

:)

I just expect more than reflexive mod-downs.


Don't be ridiculous, no one in this thread bashing RMS has been modded down, they've been modded up.

And its kinda funny too, since RMS didn't do this letter thing by himself. So I guess those 2 civil liberties groups who also signed that letter are also 'kooks' / 'nutcases'. Heh.

Reply Score: 1

Forking isn't enough
by theosib on Fri 23rd Oct 2009 14:02 UTC
theosib
Member since:
2006-03-02

People keep mentioning the "obvious" truth that since MySQL is open source, it can be forked and continued. That is true, but only in theory. Practical reality is that projects need BACKING. That backing either needs to be sheer enthusiasm or it needs to be money. Most of the time, it's money. Sun was sinking money into MySQL. For it to continue, someone else needs to do the same. This is in particularly true because MySQL isn't the sort of thing that just anyone can contribute to. For instance, my specialization is chip design, not databases, so I'd have a huge learning curve up front if I wanted any hope of contributing. Next, a project either needs to be something that LOTS of people can contribute to (e.g. the Linux kernel), or otherwise, it really helps to have a financial incentive for people with highly specialized knowledge to contribute. It's much easier to make more money from a product if you own the original copyright. With Oracle owning the original copyright, only they can license it commercially, which they're unlikely to do. It's much harder to make a living just selling support. Sure, companies do it, but not very many of them.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Forking isn't enough
by WorknMan on Sat 24th Oct 2009 17:32 UTC in reply to "Forking isn't enough"
WorknMan Member since:
2005-11-13

People keep mentioning the "obvious" truth that since MySQL is open source, it can be forked and continued. That is true, but only in theory. Practical reality is that projects need BACKING. That backing either needs to be sheer enthusiasm or it needs to be money. Most of the time, it's money.


I was going to post something of this nature, but you pretty much nailed it. People can talk about Free Software and Free Love all day long, but at the end of the day, it's money that makes the world go 'round. Without proper funding, this project will go nowhere when/if Oracle dumps it.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Forking isn't enough
by cade on Sun 25th Oct 2009 12:02 UTC in reply to "RE: Forking isn't enough"
cade Member since:
2009-02-28

Even if Oracle dumps it's commitment to MySQL, what's the problem ?

Say Oracle/Sun involvement in MySQL get's dumped, then all those entities that have benefited from MySQL would need to consider the relative importance of MySQL in their software stack and then consider either
- investing time/money in knowing the MySQL technology at the source code level
- finding/creating a new database technology.

Any decent company making decisions on content of their software stack would/should have considered the temporal nature of the supply of a software component;
i.e. availability of software component for the near/long-term future.

These decisions are very important.

The EU should not be hassling Oracle in the context of MySQL's future at the hands of Oracle. Oracle is legally allowed to do anything with MySQL, even dump it. The EU should be satisfied that MySQL is open-source and that this has already established the legal framework for forking the original MySQL.

If Oracle dumps MySQL and a fork does not occur automagically, then all these companies that make business profits due to important contribution of MySQL in their software stack should consider setting up a fund to pay software engineer consultants for on-going maintenance/etc. of MySQL fork.

Sometimes, you cannot always have a free lunch.

Reply Score: 1

RE[3]: Forking isn't enough
by WorknMan on Mon 26th Oct 2009 12:03 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Forking isn't enough"
WorknMan Member since:
2005-11-13

Yeah, I agree with you.. instead of saying 'If Oracle dumps it", I should've said 'Without funding..."

It's also ironic that one of the reasons open source advocates say you should use FOSS software is so that you're not locked into any one vendor. Sounds like Stallman is concerned that the future of MySQL is dependent upon Oracle ...

Reply Score: 2

theosib gets it
by TechGeek on Fri 23rd Oct 2009 16:53 UTC
TechGeek
Member since:
2006-01-14

theosib is the only one that hit the point. Its all about the commercial use of MySQL. MySQL will always exist as GPL software. But many companies are using it as part of their application stack. That requires a license, which now Oracle owns. Its a bit of a conflict for them to own two of the most popular database systems.

EDIT: I see that Postgres is BSD licensed, so its not all bad. But it would still cost the developers using MySQL commercially a lot of money to switch over.

Edited 2009-10-23 16:56 UTC

Reply Score: 2

Who cares [#2]
by harism on Fri 23rd Oct 2009 17:01 UTC
harism
Member since:
2009-10-23

The best opensource and real enterprise database is postgres by far and not mysql. Personally I do not care what will happen to mysql as long postgres is alive.

Reply Score: 3

tomcat
Member since:
2006-01-06

If he actually believes that FOSS is the development model that promotes the best long-term future for software, then he doesn't (and shouldn't) require ANY commercial organization to maintain any particular piece of open source software; hence, this complaint is completely at odds with the philosophies of FOSS.

Reply Score: 4

Let's all
by Leroy on Fri 23rd Oct 2009 20:23 UTC
Leroy
Member since:
2006-07-06

dress up like Richard Stallman this Halloween and harass kids about accepting "closed source candy".

Yeah I know most kids wouldn't get it, but I'll crack myself up doing it!

Reply Score: 4

Go away .... Stallman ... !
by cade on Sun 25th Oct 2009 11:25 UTC
cade
Member since:
2009-02-28

Ah-h-h-h-h-h-h-h-h !
Need to put my thoughts down on this one ....


Dear Mr Stallman,

I have made my bets with OpenSolaris for my software development tasks and I'd rather you not contribute detrimental comments regarding the Oracle-Sun merger.

I want OpenSolaris to increase it's footprint in the computing world and I believe a character like Larry Ellison is what is required.

MySQL has it's freedom, i.e. it's open-source using the GPL and this should make you happy.

However, this does not seem enough.

It appears you believe that the MySQL-related engineers at Sun are very critical in that MySQL may get derailed if Oracle ends up owning Sun and then dumping/controlling these engineers.

Please get off your shining-white-open-source-horse and get a life.

THE GPL IS IN PLACE AND NOW YOUR PRESENCE IS NOT REQUIRED !

WHY HAVE YOU BEEN ON YOUR OPEN-SOURCE CRUSADE FOR ALL THESE YEARS ?

Obviously to make sure the code will still be "free" in case a company tries to dump the code in some proprietary corner, never to be seen again.

Like I said previously,

THE GPL IS IN PLACE AND NOW YOUR PRESENCE IS NOT REQUIRED !


In conclusion, I like OpenSolaris as a development/solutions platform and the last thing I need is an open-source zealot affecting the potential of a fine operating system called OpenSolaris.


Cade Foster


P.S.:
Mr Stallman, I have presumed you have some whizz-bang open-source Internet crawler that is able to find this letter.

Reply Score: 1

RE: Go away .... Stallman ... !
by jgagnon on Mon 26th Oct 2009 15:35 UTC in reply to "Go away .... Stallman ... !"
jgagnon Member since:
2008-06-24

As with all extremists, it is best to ignore them. You will not change Stallman's mind so best not to lose your own in the process. ;)

Reply Score: 1