2009-12-12

Help saving MySQL

I, Michael "Monty" Widenius, the creator of MySQL, am asking you urgently to help save MySQL from Oracle's clutches. Without your immediate help Oracle might get to own MySQL any day now. By writing to the European Commission (EC) you can support this cause and help secure the future development of the product MySQL as an Open Source project.

What this text is about:
- Summary of what is happening
- What Oracle has not promised
- Oracles past behavior with Open Source
- Help spread this information (Jump to 'What I want to ask you to do')
- Example of email to send to the commission (Jump to 'send this to:')

I have spent the last 27 years creating and working on MySQL and I hope, together with my team of MySQL core developers, to work on it for many more years.

Oracle is trying to buy Sun, and since Sun bought MySQL last year, Oracle would then own MySQL. With your support, there is a good chance that the EC (from which Oracle needs approval) could prevent this from happening or demand Oracle to change the terms for MySQL or give other guarantees to the users. Without your support, it might not. The EC is our last big hope now because the US government approved the deal while Europe is still worried about the effects.

Instead of just working out this with the EC and agree on appropriate remedies to correct the situation, Oracle has instead contacted hundreds of their big customers and asked them to write to the EC and require unconditional acceptance of the deal. According to what I been told, Oracle has promised to the customers, among other things, that "they will put more money into MySQL development than what Sun did" and that "if they would ever abandon MYSQL, a fork will appear and take care of things".

However just putting money into development is not proof that anything useful will ever be delivered or that MySQL will continue to be a competitive force in the market as it's now.

As I already blogged before, a fork is not enough to keep MySQL alive for all future, if Oracle, as the copyright holder of MySQL, would at any point decide that they should kill MySQL or make parts of MySQL closed source.

Oracle claims that it would take good care of MySQL but let's face the facts: Unlike ten years ago, when MySQL was mostly just used for the web, it has become very functional, scalable and credible. Now it's used in many of the world's largest companies and they use it for an increasing number of purposes. This not only scares but actually hurts Oracle every day. Oracle have to lower prices all the time to compete with MySQL when companies start new projects. Some companies even migrate existing projects from Oracle to MySQL to save money. Of course Oracle has a lot more features, but MySQL can already do a lot of things for which Oracle is often used and helps people save a lot of money. Over time MySQL can do to Oracle what the originally belittled Linux did to commercial Unix (roughly speaking).

So I just don't buy it that Oracle will be a good home for MySQL. A weak MySQL is worth about one billion dollars per year to Oracle, maybe more. A strong MySQL could never generate enough income for Oracle that they would want to cannibalize their real cash cow. I don't think any company has ever done anything like that. That's why the EC is skeptic and formalized its objections about a month ago.

Richard Stallman agrees that it's very important which company owns MySQL, that Oracle should not be allowed to buy it under present terms and that it can't just be taken care of by a community of volunteers. http://keionline.org/ec-mysql

Oracle has NOT promised (as far as I know and certainly not in a legally binding manner):

- To keep (all of) MySQL under an open source license.
- Not to add closed source parts, modules or required tools.
- To keep the code for MySQL enterprise edition and MySQL community edition the same.
- To not raise MySQL license or MySQL support prices.
- To release new MySQL versions in a regular and timely manner. (*)
- To continue with dual licensing and always provide affordable commercial licenses to MySQL to those who needs them (to storage vendors and application vendors) or provide MySQL under a more permissive license
- To develop MySQL as an Open Source project
- To actively work with the community
- Apply submitted patches in a timely manner
- To not discriminate patches that make MySQL compete more with Oracles other products
- To ensure that MySQL is improved also in manners that make it compete even more with Oracles' main offering.

From looking at how Oracle handled the InnoDB acquisition, I don't have high hopes that Oracle will do the above right if not required to do so:

For InnoDB:
- Bug fixes were done (but this was done under a contractual obligation)
- New features, like compression that was announced before acquisition, took 3 years to implement
- No time tables or insight into development
- The community where not allowed to participate in development
- Patches from users (like Google) that would have increased performance was not implemented/released until after Oracle announced it was acquiring Sun.
- Oracle started working on InnoDB+, a better 'closed source' version of InnoDB
- In the end Sun had to fork InnoDB, just to be able to improve performance.

It's true that development did continue, but this was more to be able to continue using InnoDB as a pressure on MySQL Ab.

Note that Oracle's development on the Linux kernel is not comparable with MySQL, because:
- Oracle is using Linux as the main platform for their primary database product (and thus a better Linux makes Oracles platform better)
- The GPL code in the kernel is not affecting what is running on top on it (because of an exception in Linux).

Because we don't have access to a database of MySQL customers and users the only way we can get the word out is to use the MySQL and Open Source community. I would never have resorted to this if Oracle had not broken the established rules in anticompetitive merger cases and try to influence the EC by actively mobilising the customers after the statement of objection was issued.

It's very critical to act upon this AS SOON AS POSSIBLE as EC, depending on what Oracle is doing, needs to make a decision around 2010-01-05. Because of the strict deadline, every email counts!

What I want to ask you to do:

- Forward this email/message to everyone that you know is using MySQL or Open Source/free software and to all email list where you know there are people present that use or care about MySQL and open source (please check first that this email hasn't been sent there before)
- Alternatively send emails with information about this and tell them to read http://monty-says.blogspot.com/2009/12/help-saving-mysql.html
- Add links on your web site to http://monty-says.blogspot.com/2009/12/help-saving-mysql.html with the text "We are using MySQL, help save it", for the duration of the next two week.
- Blog about this (feel free to include this text or just link to my blog)
- Call by phone (don't contact by email, this is urgent) your boss or VP and ask him to read this email and send a letter to the EC commission ASAP!
- If you don't have anyone to contact above, send an email to the EC!

As we want the EC to get a correct picture of the situation, we want you to first fill in the upper part and then choose one of the proposed texts below that best matches your view of the situation. Feel free to supply your own text and additional information if you think this will help the EC to reach a better understanding of how MySQL is used.

Send this to: comp-merger-registry@ec.europa.eu
If you want to keep us updated, send a copy to ec@askmonty.org

If you have extra time to help, fill in the following, if not, just skip to the main text.

Name:
Title:
Company:
Size of company:
How many MySQL installations:
Total data stored in MySQL (megabyte):
For what type of applications is MySQL used:
Should this email be kept confidential by EC: Yes/No

Copy or use one of the below texts as a base for your answer:

a)
I don't trust that Oracle will take good care of MySQL and MySQL should be divested to another company or foundation that have everything to gain by developing and promoting MySQL. One should also in the future be able to combine MySQL with closed source application (either by exceptions, a more permissive license or be able to dual license MySQL under favourable terms)

b)

I think that Oracle could be a good steward of MySQL, but I would need EC to have legally binding guarantees from Oracle that:
- All of MySQL will continue to be fully Open Source/free software in the future (no closed source modules).
- Open Source version and dual-licensed version of MySQL should have same source (like today).
- That development will be done in community friendly way.
- The manual should be released under a permissive license (so that one can fork it, the same way one can fork the server)
- That MySQL should be released under a more permissive license to ensure that forks can truly compete with Oracle if Oracle is not a good steward after all.
Alternatively:
- One should be able to always buy low priced commercial licenses for MySQL.
- All of the above should be perpetual and irrevocable.

There should also be mechanism so that if Oracle is not doing what is expected of it, forks should be able to compete with Oracle

c)
I trust Oracle and I suggest that EC will approve the deal unconditionally.


--------------------

Let us prove to Oracle and EC that the Open Source community is a true force and we take good care of our citizens and we prefer to work with companies that does the same!

The future of MySQL is in your hands!

Thanks for the help!
Michael Widenius
Creator of MySQL

UPDATE: Oracle has made some public promises that only fixes this one issue marked with (*).

NOTE: Their promise to storage engines vendors is not future safe as it's a time-limited non-assertion (they promise to not sue for 5 years), but they could still sue one for using a storage engine with old code after the 5 years. They limited the promise to the storage engine API but not to other plugin API:s that almost every pluggable storage engine uses. They clarify this, Oracle should change this to be a license exception for all plugins and it should be valid perpetual with the released code. It's also unclear if this non-assertion is valid if the vendor makes extension to the interfaces (which most storage engines do).

115 comments:

Igor said...

Monty. I am with you and MySQL 100%.

Igor Sill

qu1j0t3 said...

"A strong MySQL could never generate enough income for Oracle that they would want to cannibalize their real cash cow"

With all due respect, isn't that exactly what Sun had the courage to do with the Solaris and Java platforms... consistent with the later $1b acquisition of a fully open source database. If owning three huge fully open platforms was not detrimental to Sun, why would owning one highly successful and fully open platform be detrimental to Oracle?

DragoN said...

Colaborando para que MySQL no muera http://www.dragonjar.org/mysql-podria-morir.xhtml

Adi said...

Sorry to hear that, but I still think we should have a free market.

If you want to have a free MySql why have you not stated this in the selling contract with Sun.

If we are worried for MySql, I don't think we need to blame Oracle, but MySQL AB for selling the copyright without taking the required assurance measurements of having a free MySql in the future.

Maybe I'm wrong, but this is how I see these things.
Just my 2 cents.

Monty said...

Answering qu1j0t3:
The difference between Sun and Oracle is that Sun did not have a strong
money generating competing product to their open source products that would loose a lot of money because of their open source products.

Oracle has a lot to gain by letting MySQL slowly die. If we can generate a lot of awareness about this, there is a good chance that Oracle will not get MySQL unconditionally, which gives MySQL a much better chance to survive, which is good for everyone that is using MySQL. It will also help keep prices down in the database market, which is good for all Oracle users (but not good for Oracle, the company)

unreal4u said...

I have been using MySQL since version 3, so I'm sending the email and publishing it to every blog I can.

cinqodel said...

#a above makes it seem that _you_ are simply interested in developing closed-sourced extensions for mysql. How exactly does that help the FOSS Community? #FUD #logic-fail

Alex Libman said...

Shame on you for encouraging government intervention in the free market!

Good thing I've always preferred PostgreSQL / SQLite, which aren't as restrictively licensed, and made by people who understand that software freedom comes from competition (and, in the case of FLOSS, from forking), not from violent government force!

hingo said...

In other news: Sun tried to stop organizing the MySQL user conference, but thankfully O'Reilly is now continuing the tradition

Monty said...

To cinqodel:
I personally have no plans or desire to develop any closed source extensions. This should be very clear if you read the hacking business model for Monty Program Ab at http://askmonty.org/wiki/index.php/The_hacking_business_model, including our public promises where we say that everything we at Monty Program Ab produces is open source.

The existence of low priced commercial licenses is however essential to a lot of customers and developers in the MySQL ecosystem for them to be able to invent, invest into and use MySQL. Without these, a big part of the development around MySQL disappears and we have harder to compete with the big players in the market. If MySQL can't satisfy all needs that the user has for the database, fewer people will use it!

I am not working on MariaDB/MySQL to make money. I am just trying to save the product that I created so that it can continue to be available and affordable for all!

Monty said...

To Adi:
When MySQL was sold to Sun, I had no possibility to affect the contract.
However, I was not then concerned about the freedom of MySQL as Sun has every
reason in the world to continue to develop as an Open Source project. (No conflict of interest).

With Oracle this is not true. The EC made a statement of objection because they think that letting Oracle have MySQL would decrease competition in the market (which should lead to higher prices). Oracle is now trying to force the commissions hand by telling customers to contact EC and require them to unconditionally approve of the deal.

I don't think it's right that big companies should be able to buy they way out of competition chargers by mobilizing customers. To counter this, we need to send emails to EC and tell them what the market really believes about the deal!
It's not a question of what happened in the past. We can still ensure that MySQL will continue to be free if we act fast!

cete said...

The company I work for uses mysql a lot.
I will forward the link to the blog to my colleagues and managers.
If Oracle buys MySql, I will plead for switching to MariaBd.

Mike said...

Just a quick question, why did you sell to SUN if the ownership of the company was such an issue? If you wanted to make sure the copyright was protected then there are other ways to do so, like a MySql Foundation.

J said...

To Alex Libman

So basically you are saying that the interests of huge numbers of people using, benefiting from and actively working on MySQL should go to hell for the interests of 1 company?

I really cannot agree with that, especially since we're talking about opensource here.

I support the EC if only because it is different from the U.S. - it is actually concerned about the effects of this move, unlike the U.S. which was obviously unconcerned.

When the EC is actually thinking about the interest of somebody other than the company which stands to profit, perhaps it's not such a bad thing.

The government is in place, at least officially, to represent everybody under its jurisdiction, not just a single person/group/company. Of course it doesn't always work that way, but this time it is, and you come complaining that it's not allowing Oracle to take control over something which is used by so many and do with it whatever it wants without any accountability to anybody?

fpiat said...

You sold MySQL (and that's ok).

Oracle is free to do what ever they want to do with it, I mean they bought it so they own it, Period.

You were clever and you dual licensed it under open-source license, because you knew it was sensible (thank you).

Anyone had, has and will always have the right to fork the gpl licensed versions.

The E.C. is investigating competition issues, that's a completely different story.

Don't lose credibility by requesting weird things.

David said...

+1

I've sent a letter to EC

I hope this help :)

johannes said...

I am with you Monty!

Already sent my mail to the EC!

MySQL must be free today and in the future as well!!!

Monty said...

Answering J and fplat

What I said in my blog is that Oracle is actively contacting their customers to get them to write positive statements about the case to the EC. If we want the EC to get a true picture of things, the MySQL users have to counterbalance this by telling what they think and they have to do this ASAP to be able to influence the decision!

The reason Oracle is contacting their customers in this manner can only be because they are think they are about to loose the case in EC and this is a last attempt from them to manipulate the EC.

If we allow big companies to manipulate the data that EC gets and the EC does bad decisions based of this, we all loose.

jason said...

Monty-- should I take your blog post to mean that things went well for Oracle on Friday too?

Also-In the comments there are people who said they will switch if Orcl doesnt support MySQl. Doesnt that by itself show there are viable alternatives thus in some way support Oracle' case that if it doesnt invest or kills MySql other programs will rise up to take its place?

Thanks JBM

malsehen said...

i wrote an email to ec.

something like "oracle can not garantee not to use mysql for there strategical needs"

Seminar Smart Blogging said...

Oh My God!

Monty, I will help you to spread this matter with my readers.

shawnmclean said...

I sent an email to completely disregard oracle owning a direct competitor. I told them that startups like us (3 final year bachelors students) depends on opensource software like MySQL to flourish.

Simca said...

Im with you too. For a better MySQL, we have to save it.

SNatarajan said...

Monty - Don't get me wrong. I like MySQL as a product and I run it personally for production use. I don't care for individual ego here. You agreed to sell to Sun a year back and had your payback. I was disappointed then.
Now, I think, MySQL will be in better hands if it goes to Oracle than stay as a separate company and compete better with MS SQL Server.
The way I see it - you got your big pay check when you bailed out of selling MySQL to Sun and you lost the moral right to champain MySQL. Now, you come back again to start you own business and also want to control MySQL after you made money out of it just 12 months before !.

Henri said...

hi,

>>Shame on you for encouraging government intervention in the free market!<<

How wrong is that? Me, as a studied economist and after years of doubting thinking, cannot agree to the above cited notion. A "free market" is nonsense. It is by no means a principal, but the people are. And they govern democratically the market to serve their aims. Such aims are reached mainly by "competition". "Free software" mends competition, mends us.

Governments regulations do quite some harm on markets, agreed, but everything we nowadays take for granted is hold up by government regulations, too. Anti-Trust regulation take a big part of that.

Modern compiler in C said...

We are a small starting Data Warehousing company. We do use MySQL to satisfy our everyday needs. I've just sent the mail and told everyone arround to do so.
Wish this gonna help.

Andrés Monroy-Hernández said...

I didn't understand why forking is not a more viable option. Can you and everyone else who has worked on MySQL just grab the code and rename it YourSQL and continue working on that?

Monty said...

To Andrés Monroy-Hernández (and everyone else that has asked about forking).

You can fork the GPL code, but not the business around it. This means that a lot of the current users (who brings money to the table) can never use the fork. In addition you can't fork the manual, trademark which makes it very hard for the fork to get to be known and survive. In practice, it's not that hard to slowly kill an infrastructure GPL project like MySQL. I have described this in my previous blog at:

http://monty-says.blogspot.com/2009/10/importance-of-license-model-of-mysql-or.html

antirez said...

"The existence of low priced commercial licenses is however essential to a lot of customers and developers in the MySQL ecosystem for them to be able to invent, invest into and use MySQL"

So GPL was an error given that alone can't guarantee enough freedom and you have to sell commercial licenses to people (that are, after all, ad-personam BSD licenses).

But this is what allowed MySQL to reach a lot of $$$. It is not possible to have everything at the same time.

logicalguy said...

MySQL is a great software.I have some questions:

1.Why was MySQL created?(what was the vison).

2.Now that Sun biught it,do we to pay for it?

3.I was disappointed that Sun bought it.Now Oracle will try to integrate it into its database empire.With Oracle tag,meaning a high price eventually.A big monopoly.

4.End of many creative ideas.

iam with MYSQL ,i have used it since 2003.Used it with Java,PHP(of course) and now using it with C#.

thosteg said...

Regarding:

> Shame on you for encouraging government intervention in the free market! <

While Free Market being a good thing in principle, haven't we learnt from the credit crunch where having no safeguards can lead to?

In the case of the credit-crunch, a real "free market" (alias no government intervention) would have meant no bail-out, banks bankrupt - and our companies dead.

Gabriele Bulfon said...

Sorry, I do not agree with your point of view.
Sun is going to die if EU does not free Oracle's intentions.
MySql is the last of the issues in this situation, as it is an open source project that will always exist.
We will loos much more if Sun dies without being saved by Oracle.
There is much more technology than just MySql behind Sun.
Oracle should not be stopped.
This is my opinion.

Pablo Barrera said...

Count with me for spreading
Greeting from Argentina

Monty said...

To antirez:
In the case of whole-owned product, GPL is a great license in the hand of a company that depends on the success for the product to survive.

The same way it's a bad license, for the product and community, in the hands of a company that benefits from killing the product. (GPL will protect the freedom of the original code; It can't not protect the freedom of any new code or ensure that new code is developed)

http://monty-says.blogspot.com/2009/10/importance-of-license-model-of-mysql-or.html

However in the Oracle/Sun case the problem is not the license (as such); The problem is that the company with the biggest revenues in databases tries to buy the company with the biggest number in units and there is competition laws to cover things like this.

The problem just now is that Oracle is instead of working with the EC to find a solution, it's trying to manipulate the EC by mobilising customer, to give MySQL to Oracle without any conditions to ensure that it's kept alive. That is what this is all about and why it's important to act now and write an email to EC!

My main interest is to ensure that MySQL will survive and that should be in everyones else interest too (except maybe Oracles). I, as everyone else who is using MySQL, have the full right to protect their interest in it.

qu1j0t3 said...

I am not convinced that it is inevitable that Oracle will "let MySQL slowly die". The market has proven that MySQL has an important place. If Oracle abandons MySQL, then a non-Oracle competitor will soon move in.

Even if they let MySQL die on the vine, this should not unduly dismay MySQL and ex-MySQL engineers, as their talents will be specifically needed to build this "next MySQL" (not a fork). Such a product could be drop in compatible and - without being mired in legacy architecture - could be able to deal with contemporary problems in a way that Oracle, SQL Server, and most of the MySQL forks cannot.

Mr Ellison is not stupid; why would he let MySQL die when it is a better response to today's market (and even moreso tomorrow's) than Oracle is? Why is this not a credible reason for the acquisition?

Philipp said...

I´m all with you Monty!

Andy said...

I wrote to comp-merger-registry@ec.europa.eu but it bounced. Did I get the address wrong?

tareq said...

we do not want any influence from Oracle. We want to see Mysql as open.

random said...

Can you do an online petition to make it easier for people to join the cause and perhaps some sort of jpeg/gif badge that users of MySQL could put on their sites to show their support of MySQL? I would gladly put it on all my sites :D

chunk said...

Monty,

I love MySQL. I've been using it for years on personal projects. I hope it continues to exist for all to use.

I agree that the government should prevent monopolies and hostile takeovers, but Sun wants the deal. And they own MySQL. Not you, at least, not any more.

If you didn't want MySQL to fall into the wrong hands you shouldn't have sold it in the first place.

If you really care about MySQL's future and the user base you should forget about Oracle, Sun, and MySQL. You should concentrate on MariaDB.

Good luck,

chunk

Say Joe said...

I tried sending email to comp-merger-registry@ec.europa.eu, but was rejected. I'm using Gmail:

Google tried to deliver your message, but it was rejected by the recipient domain. We recommend contacting the other email provider for further information about the cause of this error. The error that the other server returned was: 550 550 5.7.1 Email rejected. Your IP address 209.85.223.181 is blacklisted using NJABL. Details: Spam source. http://www.njabl.org/cgi-bin/lookup.cgi?query=209.85.223.181 (state 14).

Piyush said...

I do not care about people like Alex Libman! Your "free" market is nothing but a mirage. You cannot allow people to do whatever-they-want under the pretense of "free market". It was proved beyond doubt in the economic devastation last year...wasn't it ?

MySQL is used by millions across the globe to solve real problems and hence it cannot be allowed to be annihilated by a greedy ass, macho ceo company.

I have sent the mail. Urge others also do so. If Oracle eats MySQL, open source movement will also be weakened

Mchl said...

I've sent EC a b) example from Monty's post. I really hope Oracle plays it fair, but also would like to see some precautionary steps taken in case it doesn't.
Some of commenters here say Monty has no right advocating for MySQL since he sold it to Sun (I might be confusing details here). I do not really understand such position, especially when Monty is not opposing the merger (such is my understanding), but rather is concerned by the way Oracle tries to influence EC to take favorable decision.
Everyone has the right to be concerned about such things, and if Monty happens to be the original creator of MySQL, so what?

Anyway, I'm hoping for the best, whatever it is.

Setter said...

Monty, you're saying that forking the code alone cannot fork the business, because it's the brand that matters. Red Hat showed this for Oracle when they just tried to kidnap their code under their own brand. Why don't you just team up with more transparent companies (e.g. Red Hat) and show that you can do it again, even better?

chunk said...

Monty,

After re-reading your post I don't understand how you demand that Oracle ...

- To keep (all of) MySQL under an open source license
- Not to add closed source parts, modules or required tools.
- To develop MySQL as an Open Source project

MySQL Workbench has 7 features that are only available in the commercial version. Why is that? Doesn't that go against what you want Oracle to do? Or, do you mean the MySQL RDBMS itself and not the support tools?

For instance, it doesn't look like MySQL Enterprise Monitor has an open source counterpart at all. Or are you only talking about the database system itself?

As a part of the letter to the EC you suggest people say, "There should also be mechanism so that if Oracle is not doing what is expected of it, forks should be able to compete with Oracle."

Isn't that what the GPL does? Didn't you already start a fork called MariaDB?

Also,
- To not raise MySQL license or MySQL support prices

For how long? 1 year? 10 years? Do they get to adjust for inflation? Should they be charging 2009's support rates in 2020?


I don't think that Oracle owning the copyright and trademark to MySQL is a good thing, either. However, what exactly do you propose? Spin it off as a separate company? Who should own that company? What are they allowed to do with it? Who gets to decide?

Again, if you want to specify the conditions of the product use and future you shouldn't have sold it in the first place.

Regards,

chunk

Cristi said...

I have wrote an email to EC. Though, let's extend a little the problem (I have addressed this in my email as well). What is going to happen with the other stuff:
- Java
- OpenSolaris
- Glassfish
- Netbeans
- MySQL
- VirtualBox
- OpenOffice

Well, I might guess what Oracle thinks:
- let's give Java to Apache as a gift (or?)
- let Glassfish die - we have our own appserver, Weblogic and we can make that the JEE RI.
- let NetBeans die - we have our own free IDE.
- how much money does OpenOffice bring?
- MySQL: hahaha! what a joke! Kill it!
- OpenSolaris + VirtualBox - hmmm... with the hardware that Sun has, we might have some fun with these two...

So, I am not a prophet, but I'd dare saying that some projects will die because Oracle will stop investing money in them...

I don't want to judge here their quality or market power but I will say one thing: diversity is the secret ingredient that brings real progress. Promoting the "free-market" as some of the writers here state will lead us to a form of dictatorship: ONLY a few corporates will control everything. Some of you will argue on that - why?

The answer is simple: the rich get richer and the poor get poorer. Corporates will grow stronger and stronger and they will become so powerful not because of their competitiveness but because of their position (you can't yell to a big shark).

Maybe my message sounds a little bit "Che Guevarr-istic" but I think it's time to wake up. "Free-market" means now "dog-eat-dog" and bigger dogs eat the small ones. Finally we will end up with a couple of huge dogs that will eat us all.

I'll conclude by stating that I am proud, as European citizen that EC is analyzing this. I hope that the acquisition will be canceled and that Sun will be sold in pieces to companies really motivated to continue all the mention products.

Cristi

MUNDOENCAOS said...

Saludos desde Venezuela...
Aquí también estamos con MySQL!!
Tenemos que salvarlo de las garras de ORACLE!!!

Nick said...

I am with you,Monty!!!

Victor said...

Since MySQL has been part of my life a while ago and I still interested in it's success I will actively participate, promote and email to the EC to get a correct picture of the situation and don't let Oracle absorb MySQL. I wish you all the best and good luck!

Monty said...

To Chunk:
My understanding of this is the following: Assuming that EC thinks there is true competition between Oracle and MySQL then, to be able to accept a deal, Oracle needs to suggest remedies to EC so that the competition in the database field after the deal is similar to what is was before the deal.

I can of course not demands any prices or conditions from Oracle. In my blog I listed some of the problems that needs to be addressed if Oracle would get to own MySQL (to ensure that competition continues). It's for Oracle and EC to come up with a compromise that they and the market can live with.

About MySQL Workbench 7; I always wanted MySQL AB to only produce Open Source code. I had in my shareholder agreement a clause that ensured that the MySQL server should always be fully open source (no commercial modules) until MySQL AB would be sold. (Note that it's impossible to get an agreement from investors that would protect the code after the company is sold). Unfortunately, the clause was written in such a way that it did not protect other programs (I did not understand this at the time I signed the contract). For a long time I manage to fight off any attempt from the management for closed source programs until they finally went over my head and created some of the new tools as closed source programs. I, and many other developers in MySQL AB, always thought that was a bad idea and we still think that way!

As a separate note, in my new company, Monty Program Ab, we have published clear rules, which the employees decided upon, that makes it practically impossible that this could ever happen again! All code that we write and own will be released as Open Source!

About fork; Yes, Monty Program Ab is actively, together with the community, working on the MariaDB fork. However, as mentioned in my previous blog, under the current conditions this fork is not enough to ensure that MySQL/MariaDB will be kept alive 'forever' and be able to put price constraints on the market, if Oracle would decide that it wants to kill MySQL as an open source project.

Horace Hippo said...

We, as many like us do, rely on the technology that you have given to the world, and it's much appreciated. An email has been despatched.

Many thanks for your selfless work throughout the years.

Rachel and Richard said...

Google has been blacklisted by their mail servers, I'm trying to send a submission!!

EPR said...

Si Oracle tomara el control de MySQL ocurriría una cosa: Mi versión de base de datos estaría desactualizada (porque de ninguna manera me cambiaría a una versión hecha por Oracle) y no podría cambiarme a otra porque he aprendido tanto de MySQL, que no lo cambiaría por nada.

Apoyo a esta causa, todo sea por que MySQL siga siendo software libre y no un programa más comercial y privativa de Oracle, o que ésta misma decida acabar con el programa.

Entiendo un poco el inglés aunque no lo escribo por saber tan poco el idioma, por lo que escribo en español, espero que para los gringos que saben español entiendan mi comentario.

Saludos a todos y a SALVAR MYSQL!!!

The Mad Hatter said...

In my opinion, MySQL should be spun off to a non-profit foundation, and re-licensed under the GPL V3 and later to protect it from being taken proprietary, whether by Oracle, or anyone else. The GPL V3 and later is the only license strong enough to be safe.

EastCassian said...

I've just registered my vote, that MySQL should be divested from Sun prior to the acquisition. MySQL should remain Open Source.

Moosie said...

Email sent stating my concerns over the built-in competitive conflict, and that Oracle would likely not be a good steward for this popular open source project.

I'm very much in favor of free market, but I feel even more strongly about the value of open source.

Mark said...

Nicely said Monty. Oracle has clearly felt itself in competition with Mysql - why else buy Berkeleydb and Innodb? Now they want to nail it completely and store it in a wee dark room...

Eriq Adams said...

I'm worried about this condition. and hope MySQL will get its freedom. As a java developer I have worried that Oracle will closesourced and kill Java in the next. I think it's the effect of capitalism and monopoly.

guilt said...

I support the only cause that all code that revolves around every edition of MySQL and it's utilities must be made free, open and involve the community.

For instance, does the 'Enterprise Monitor' software come under code developed by MySQL AB but not released to the public? If so, how are we going to open source that? and How is it any different from proprietary Sun or Oracle forks?

Commercial harnessing and branding should be made only through support and sale deals. The software, however, must be made free.

Daniel Dumas said...

Hello Monty,

I been a MySQL user since i started in the Web Development industry. i will support this movement and will post it on my blog and will also tell all my friends to support and email EC too.

Thanks,

Daniel

Art said...

I was sad when MySQL sold to Sun, I figured something like this was going to happen.

I bet this was all planned out between Sun & Oracle before Sun bought MySQL... so It didn't look as bad.

Anyway if oracle does get MySQL PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE make MariaDB successful... I would like to see it become as strong as the MySQL name with all the support.

I submitted an email.

gabar said...

Here's what we sent the EC:

We object to Oracle's acquisition of Sun Microsystems unless and until Oracle offers satisfactory guarantees regarding the future of MySQL.

Others have written how MySQL's presence brings competitive pressure to the commercial database marketplace.

There is, in this formulation, a crucial unstated element: to be an effective competing alternative, potential users must make a calculation that their choice will not foreclose to them options for innovation.

Although this conclusion is likely among developers of open source products, and of development-stage work, undertaking and resolving this question is an even more serious concern for the corporate and government development engineer and the like.

For in spite of pricing advantages, individuals recommending MySQL must face the second-guessing of their senior grades and others. Further, they do so in the presence of the dissembling and prevarication of commercial vendors (in campaigns of internal politics they seem unfettered to fund). As professionals having made such recommendations, and having been subjected to this dynamic, we have called upon every aspect of MySQL's certainty, clarity, innovation, and vibrancy.

In that light, Oracle's very lack of clarity about its intention is a sufficient blow to MySQL's power as a competitive counterweight.

This single, seemingly simply dynamic has a cluster of secondary impacts too. None is more dramatic than how such uncertainty can quickly kill open source contribution to a project, for no developer wishes to contribute to a stale, uncertain, or dying project. This would especially be true should the chill wind be blowing from the project's parent.

Oracle would like to claim that those objecting to their unconditioned acquisition of MySQL lack an understanding of open source, or other market dynamics. They must know this is false. On one hand, Oracle wishes to deflect attention away from their own poor history of favoring their own returns over continuity and innovation in development for acquired tools and systems. In that same vein, having refused to provide guarantees, they wish to undercut any analysis based on manifest attributes, such as a study of the two company's portfolios and the markets in which they compete. In such an exercise the value to Oracle of continuity and expansion of much of Sun's portfolio seems clear; of MySQL the greater value is clearly in the opposite.

On the other hand, Oracle wishes to deflect attention from the competitive dynamics by claiming that the large enterprise market is an entirely separate market from that served by MySQL. This claim is belied by the inroads of MySQL, and the bottom-up diffusion of other open source tools, into the enterprise domain. (And is put in doubt by Oracle's own actions, such as its changing to no charge licenses -- but not open source -- for certain of its products and tools only after "free tools have an undeniable momentum"[1]) But on this account the dynamics are even more obvious. One need only look at the impact of Sun's own $1billion acquisition of MySQL. Although Sun brought to the acquisition its credentials as an open source developer, Sun sought to perfect its investment in the $15billion DB market by assuaging large enterprise customers and prospects, by encouraging developers, and by making assurances to the open source community ... soliciting their new and renewed participation. This makes clear how even within the open source community, the Sun acquisition held the potential to quell interest among, both, developers and enterprise users. Sun's behavior provides a pattern for how a company acts when it intends to preserve and extend an asset it considers valuable. In this light Oracle's silence speaks of its anticompetitive intentions.

[1] http://www.oracle.com/technology/products/jdev/htdocs/jdevpricefaq.html

Cresco said...

Finland stands behind you Monty…

thorsten said...

The government should not influence the market on this level and I am pretty sure they will not.
If a product is strong and free enough, it will survive (like GNU/Linux will survive). If not, it will die for good reasons and a new project will take its place. This is the course of the world and this process moves things forward.
Anyway, MySQL is a great piece of software. All my respect to Monty and his courage.

dodger said...

Blogged:
http://www.ciberterminal.net/blog/?p=129
I hope Oracle never own MySQL

Rayhan Chowdhury said...

Hi monty,

I have sent my email to EC and also letting others know about the situation.

But my personal opinion is you people mishandled MySQL.

--
Rayhan

Cyril said...

The information had been transmited to the French MySQL User Group (lemug.fr) and to the french PHP User Group (afup.org).

Hope Oracle will never get MySQL

Mostak Ahmed said...

I consider mysql as blessing for all human being in the globe.

So, I support mysql by any means

Angel Cabrera said...

A summary in spanish: http://miruidofavorito.blogspot.com/2009/12/peligran-las-licencias-gpl-de.html

somejan said...

I'll send the EC a mail.



To all those who say Oracle has legally bought MySQL and can now do whatever they want with it:

I'm fully in favor of free markets. But once a market becomes a monopoly or an oligopoly (a market with just a had full of large players), the free market model starts to break down. All economists acknowledge this and that is why there is antitrust/competition law. That is also why the EC and US government must approve mergers/acquisitions of large companies: to ensure they do not gain to much power in the market. In this case there is a real risk that everyone using a database will be off worse from this acquisition.

Abdull Khair Kamaruddin said...

This what giant companies do to their small but competitive rivals; buy them, then crush them.

This will make sure that they can dominate the market and control the price. I think Oracle need to take down MySQL because currently MySQL is the dominant DBMS for small companies and personal users.

elench said...

Starting a facebook group called help save MySQL would bring heaps of people into the fold. Facebook does have it's uses there.

Miguel Pérez said...

The anarchocapitalist hypocrites who talk about the free market in a way that makes me think they would be happy to see nervous gas sold at their local supermarket forget a tiny little fact: there's no free market if there's a monopoly.

The free market is exactly the reason why the EC has to stop Oracle: you cannot be free if there's one big major vendor with a ninety-something percet market share in several departments including those as important as the WWW.

They certainly do omit the part that says monopolies go against the free market because they are plutocrats happy to see everything ending up owned by humongous, most often American corporations ruled by share prices that will sit in governments and lobby their way to make more money, even if it costs us child labour or the entire planet.

Nikolaos Dimopoulos said...

It is very disappointing and disheartening to read this blog post.

MySQL has been the choice of many products and applications thus reducing their cost and making them very competitive.

If Oracle starts charging for any part of MySQL, they will be responsible for the 'death' of many small companies operating on a niche market.

It is sad to see that a company with more money (Oracle) is in a position to 'silence' competition (MySQL) by buying them out.

Sad - very sad and disappointing.

Kochab said...

To gabar:
I prefered your explanation and plea to Monty's suggestion, and I took the liberty to base my own e-mail to the EC on your post. Thanks.

Ravi said...

i have tried sending the mail but those EC guys had managed to spam our mails :(

mga said...

does this press release mean this initiative is working?

http://www.marketwire.com/press-release/Oracle-Corporation-NASDAQ-ORCL-1090000.html

Monty said...

To mga:
Yes, it looks like our initiative have had some effects on Oracle. However, if you look close to what they promises, it's not much (at least for people wanting MySQL to continue being Open Source):

- All promises is only for 5 years; After that they are free to kill of MySQL and stop closed storage engines from being used (even with already released code).
- Closed source storage engines can be made without a license, as long as they only uses the 'MySQL storage engine API'; As all commercial storage engines uses more than this, it doesn't really help anyone.
- They promise to put more money into MySQL development, but they don't say if the money will be put into the open or closed version of MySQL. (Guess into which they will put more money...)
- They talk about advisory boards, but Sun/MySQL already have these.

To summarise, what Oracle promises is new releases (but not what will be in them), that support continues and that the manual will continue to exist under the same license as now. Better than nothing but not that much.
Note also that what they promise is not legally binding and it would be hard to ensure that they will keep their promises. They only way to ensure that is to ensure that Oracle works with the EC and agrees to clear, well defined remedies that are acceptable. So please continue to send emails to EC!

Raihan said...

I worked with mysql code for doing my thesis. I just love this thing still then. Cant let it go under Oracle,I'm with you........

Victor said...

I don't really think this is a matter of who owns MySQL and what they do with it.

There are a few issues that don't seem right though:
1. How can a company own the rights over an Open source project. The nature of open source projects means everybody owns the whole thing as everybody contributed to it. I remember some time ago Apple had to ask for copyright from the lead developer of a project they were interested in controlling and even though they got that they still didn't own the project.

2. I don't think it's ok for a company to buy one of the two free(or low cost) competitors. It's clear to anybody in their right minds that Oracle is not so much interested in the technology or the revenue MySQL creates.

I think this is more of a fight against a monopolist move rather than a discussion on whom should own the rights over MySQL.

Also as a closing para. The sell to Sun was a different thing. Sun wanted the database so that they could manage it and profit from it. As far as I know Sun didn't have a competing in house project and well they did some great jobs with other OSS projects.

Detlef Müller said...

My reply to Monty's reply to Adi (December 13, 2009 11:47 AM)

"..When MySQL was sold to Sun, I had no possibility to affect the contract.."
Someone must have sold it to SUN. You cannot sell anything that belongs to public. So someone owned rights he could sell.

"...I was not then concerned about the freedom of MySQL as Sun has every reason in the world to continue to develop as an Open Source project...."

"... It's not a question of what happened in the past...."

Isn't it quite naive? Come on, there's a thing called market, whether I like it or not - but that's not my point. If you step into market you have to accept the rules. So, in this case, I think it is quite important to look at the past. As I said, someone must have sold MySQL to SUN and obviously he had the right to do so.

But my main point is that

1) Everybody here seems to believe that Oracle acquired SUN because of MySQL. This is rubbish
2) Everybody here seems to believe that only MySQL will guarantee the freedom of choice. I'd like to mention that Oracle's competitors are mainly IBM and MSFT in the enterprise market. Don't get me wrong, that does not imply that MYSQL is not a competitor in certain areas, but not in general as many of the commentators implicate.

Everyone can do whatever he wants (of course as long he keeps the laws :-) ), so everyone is free to choose the right software for his needs. MySQL is Open Source right? So the source is open to everybody. Did Oracle say that it will close the code base?

See http://www.marketwire.com/press-release/Oracle-Corporation-NASDAQ-ORCL-1090000.html chapter 4.

So, what's the problem ?

Final words before everyone will open the fire. I do not have any interests in losing the freedom of choice. But I'd like to plead for accepting reality and to get onto a certain level of objectiveness. No one in this form (including me) really knows what strategies are planned behind the scenes so everyone can only speculate what will come. I mainly see very subjective argumentation here so this discussion seems to be more "religious" driven. The argumentation will loose power if you're on a level of speculations and subjectivity or even ideology.

san said...

I think oracle should write their promises in the buying papers, so it will be forced on it by law if it tries to break them. plus, the lawyers of sun should gather enough rules to be signed by oracle, on this matter.

Javier said...

Sorry Monty, I don't agree with you at all.

Being european, a former Sun employee and an Open Source Software enthusiast I think EU's position here is effectively killing Sun and is not making any good to MySQL either. Sun employees are now desperate; layoffs are happening with increasing frequency and Sun competitors are ripping them apart taking advantage of this weird position.

Besides, I personally think you lost all credit and credibility here when you decided to sell in the first place. By criticising Oracle's Sun buyout and its consequences for MySQL you're swimming here in the dangerous waters of hypocrisy.

This is not about protecting MySQL or Open Source. This is about the EU giving protection to other interests and lobbyists and pissing off the US government for not good enough reason.

I hope Oracle gets clearance to go ahead soon enough. They have a better trajectory of maintaining whatever they acquire than other companies (and way better than Sun).

K.L-Konlinux Opensource said...

Hi!
According to my workmates around here, Mysql should stay where it has been.

We know that a private Company will close the source code making it a proprietary one.

We claim for its FREEDOM, tha world has already learned that copyrights and so on stops innovative ideas and development.

We want Mysql to go on free, Opensource, not under a proprietary owner.

http://www.konlinux.com.br

Juha said...

I'd be very disappointed if Oracle was to discontinue opensource MySQL Community edition.

Governments and public sector should see the benefits of having an opensource database available for use as an alternative in their projects. They could just save loads of taxpayers' money.

Would Google be a better company for the future of MySQL? At least Oracle'd have a big competitor if Google was to buy MySQL. They sure have all the resources to do it!

feef said...

I'll try and keep this brief.

There is a conflict of interests between Oracle and MySQL. If there isn't a direct conflict now, there will be soon as the more "enterprise" functionality is developed.

A fork might be viable from a purely functional aspect, and MariaDB, Drizzle and others are doing just that, but you can't fork a brand, you can't fork that loyalty and you can't fork the business model, support contracts and goodwill. This becomes more and more relevant as you penetrate deeper into the enterprise, and corporate markets.

Monty and David didn't have a direct say in the sale, so I disagree with the sentiments that they sold out, and should swallow it up.

I support you, Monty, 100% in this endeavour. Sun was a good "parent" for MySQL. Oracle is not, even if they don't restrict or dismiss the development and growth of MySQL. Just what other open source projects have Oracle produced and managed succesfully?

Rachel said...

Monty - lets just hope this works, you have a lot of support, Ive add you to my blog as well.
http://www.spanglishwebs.com/

Abhishek said...

Hi Monty....

I have been following this deal closely as MySQL is my bread n butter.
I am a Mysql DBA and have been using mysql for 2 years.

I am totally against the deal and want mysql to be the way it has been for y ears.

However what if Oracle wins the deal ..what will happen to all the MySQL DBA's. Do they have to shift to other RDBMS. I am really confused and worry about my future as mysql future is my future.

I dont know if this post really would count...but this is the fact of my life.

Kindly give me the email address to EC and will mail to them.

thanks

andrew said...

Hi, Monty!
I post the Russian sight to this problem in my blog http://www.master-blog.ru/page/mysql-and-european-comission

We, Russian Open Source Community, with you! ;)

Frank Koehl III said...

While I fully support MySQL's continued presence in the open source database arena, Monty really doesn't have a leg to stand on here, assuming the deal is found not to be monopolistic.

My rationale goes a bit deeper than a brief comment post would allow:

http://frankkoehl.com/2009/12/mysql-founder-michael-widenius-concerned-about-sale-to-oracle

YMas said...

But I'd like to plead for accepting reality and to get onto a certain level of objectiveness.

This is nonsense.

Define reality? Succumbing to a deal that is detrimental to MySQL? Why? Because Oracle is in credit.

Monty made a mistake, but, as we're all human, we all make mistakes at some point in our life. Monty is trying to fix it, how dare you suggest that's not objective? I assume you think it's acceptable for Oracle to mobilize its minions to affect the EU's decision, but it's not objective for Monty to counteract this vicious act of violence?

If you're trying to say that being objective means giving MySQL to a bunch of reptiles without any conditions that at least explicitly guarantee the survival of this critical project then your motives must be called into question.

It's awkward when people pretend to be on both sides. Stop it!

Monty, I wish you the best of luck.

Ffoeg said...

I like MySQL the way it is :(

I write web applications for a living and I don't want to have to start selling my clients on a $500 database server or something like that. I'll switch to Postgre or even start coding sites with SQLite if I have to but I like MySQL.

thmrichards said...

Sure, spin it or sell it off sounds easy, but who is going to pay Oracle $500-1000M to do this? Mysql employees have been professionalized, they need the jobs if Oracle doesn't pay them who will?

sandu said...

MySQL is the best! I am 100% with you!

alex zaru said...

It MySQL cannot be Normal Open Source it can be First Step Destroy open source databases world! Next Step Microsoft buy PostGreSQL!!!

Umesh Shastry said...

Monty - I'm agree with you on this, and we will fight for this.

http://ushastry.blogspot.com/

robinmitra1 said...

I have sent the email..Hope I am not too late! God bless MySQL and the Open Source spirit...

Jagat said...

Hi, Monty.

Have sent email to EC. Hope things will be in the favor of MySQL Users,
Developers & Customers & Entire Open Source Community
.

pier said...

At the end we will have the same result of "Adobe eating Macromedia", as seen some years ago.
The result is under our eyes. There are more examples, but we don't need a list. When a big fish eats a concurrent company, there is always a loser in the end: the user.

Asklepios said...

The following has been sent to the EC:
I am one of many millions of people around the world who either knowingly or unknowingly run the MySQL database software on their computers. It is at the heart of countless applications in general everyday use - in my case, medical office software, for example.

The European Monopolies Commission has already seen what can happen when a giant corporation such as Microsoft controls the source code of software: it becomes arrogant and monopolistic, and exploits hundreds of millions of computer users to its own advantage. Over the past 15 or so years computer users have come to realize the importance of maintaining key software products as "open source". This allows for an army of private individuals to develop and improve the product for the betterment of all citizens of the planet. This is best exemplified by remarkable growth over the past decade of the Linux operating system. In fact this operating system is at the heart of items from domestic appliances to mobile 'phones to 'tablet' computers, - as well as an increasing number of desktop computers in domestic and corporate environments.

The EC should make it a priority to protect the very concept of 'open source' software, not only for the benefit of its own citizens, but for the world at large. The EC should not allow MySQL to be taken over by Oracle or any other privately motivated software company.
Asklepios.

Hercules Percules said...

Monty

I have a question...

1) Why isn't the documentation/manual in the same repository as the code, and hence covered by the same GPL, just like most other open source software? Can't it just be forked at the same time as the code, if you ultimately find that Oracle is writing proprietary code into the main branch?

I suspect that you may be doing more harm than good with this campaign, if you have not already explored and exhausted your other options. Have you tried communicating directly with Oracle’s senior management to discover its intentions, proposing any considerations that would make its purchase of MySQL helpful and acceptable to the MySQL community?

I fear that this public ‘call to arms’ will put Oracle on the defensive and make impossible any negotiation or compromise in the future.

I feel the best strategy would be for you to act as an interface between Oracle and the community, communicating the concerns of the community to Oracle, and your progress back to the community in order to maintain and strengthen the support.

Please could you explain the efforts that you have made to negotiate directly with Oracle? What was the response?

With thanks
H

Anonymous said...

Hi Monty,

we also support this campagne from our german side (and many bulletin boards):

http://www.helpmysql.org/de/theissue/customerspaythebill

Keep this project alive.

Best regards
Jay

Anonymous said...

Hi Monty

I work for a company that makes use of Novell software, seems like some commercial companies have given up on MySQL already and are offering Postgress as an alternative. I would love to keep using MySQL going and am certain Oracle would find some way kill it off. Good luck saving MySQL.

Monty said...

Answering Hercules:

About the Manual:

Unfortunately the Manual is not GPL and can't be forked. Many people in the MySQL group worked in Sun for it to be released under a more permissive license, and in February Sun announced that this would finally happen, but then Sun retracted this promise.

About communicating with Oracle:

I have both publicly and privately tried to reach Oracle to discuss this issue, but so far no meaningful responses from them.

The only response we have got from Oracle is the 10 public promises they made available, but as it has been shown in my previous blog the promises don't amount to much when it comes to ensuring that MySQL is further developed as Open Source or ensuring that MySQL will continue to be a competitive force in the market and thus keep database prices down.

Drupal tutorials said...

Russian web developers also support you! Live long MYSQL!

David said...

Everyone should relax. If it all goes down, we'll probably see a MySQL fork become seamlessly integrated into PHP 7 or 8. MySQL is too important to PHP for it not to do this. I believe PHP's inclusion of APC into PHP6 shows that there is at least some precedence for this idea.

Anonymous said...

I hope Oracle realises that it can not bully all the users. It may take me some time but I will change over to some other OPEN SOURCE option. I believe people who are committed to open source are there due to the fact that they HATE the rip-off for the service they get. So it is only with the passage of time - Oracle will feel the difference.

Web Development Company said...

Monty,

MySQL is ever green platform. We should have free market. I am also using this mySQL version 3.

it outsourcing services said...

Oracle has a lot to gain by letting MySQL slowly die. If we can generate a lot of awareness about this, there is a good chance that Oracle will not get MySQL unconditionally, which gives MySQL a much better chance to survive, which is good for everyone that is using MySQL. It will also help keep prices down in the database market, which is good for all Oracle users (but not good for Oracle, the company)

Üreim said...

Mysql must be Free, i m not rich

Andrej Volčanšek said...

what is the state of this now? will we be forced to pay for mysql in the future?

Andrej Volčanšek said...

what is the current state of this? i suppose they remoove the community edition and were all paying?

omegagrl said...

how will this effect my wordpress blogs that use mysql. I hope this didn't happen. Did it?

iWeb Expert said...

Don't worry man! We are with you. I am a loyal MySQL user though I have tried using oracle too.They worked the same but MySQL shines them all because it's free and could be easily accessed by the many users.

Industrial machines said...

It shows the value of MySQL Monty ..Thanks for the Awesome article !