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Re: MariaDB and the SCA
On 03/09/2009, at 10:54 PM, Paul McCullagh wrote:
As far as I know, with the advent of the BSD licensed libdrizzle (https://launchpad.net/libdrizzle
), which also runs with MySQL (and I assume MariaDB), the dual
licensing model is now irrelevant.
You're legally correct (apart from libmysqld type apps that link in
the entire server) but that's not how it's been sold for the last 5
years. The sales people's definition of "embedding" is not the same as
what you and I see. They also futz with the definition of linking, and
do some scare-mongering on IP risk (see, someone is making money -
indirectly- off the SCO mess ;-)
The result is that they have clients that purchased licenses that
didn't need them, for various reasons.
In 2007-2008 they even made the creator of an independent client
library pay for interacting with the server; again that was done on
the basis of risk. When I found out at the MySQL conf I slapped MySQL
legal (I was already external) and told 'em if I ever saw it again I'd
be quite public about it. They knew fulwell that there was no legal
basis, and admitted as much. But it's happened since, this year in
fact. So despite sane and conscientious lawyers, the fun continues.
Revenue comes first.
With "risk" as the validation force, the sales attitude will not
chance until that leverage no longer exists anywhere in the server.
The sales people run on commission and work with quarterly goals; they
will do whatever it takes to close, including twist and lie. There is
no "be a good citizen" or "be nice for the future". It's do the slick
talk, close, and move on to the next client aka victim. It's
essentially become an extortion scheme. But since clients can be
presumed to be savvy enough to stand up for themselves or take
appropriate legal advice, it's -as far as I know- legal. Doesn't make
it right though.
There are good people at Sun, there are good people at MySQL, and
there are even good Sales people at Sun/MySQL.
But MySQL AB regarded it was valid tactics ("necessary freedom to do
their work" was what VP Kaj told me when I raised concern about
tactics employed by Louis Fahrberger and Kerry Ancheta), and while Sun
explicitly stating that this was not how it wanted to conduct its
business, it has continued. It's very difficult to change what's
essentially corporate policy. Specifically when the renumeration
method for sales encourages (I won't say necessitates) it.
And thus I no longer direct anyone to a MySQL sales person; it
wouldn't be a fair thing to do to a fellow human being.
Hence my opinion that dual licensing needs to go, from all parts of
the server. Otherwise this will not stop.
Having the BSD client library by Eric Day is fabulous both for
licensing and for its nice design, but unfortunately it hasn't made
the sales problem go away yet.
Arjen Lentz, Exec.Director @ Open Query (http://openquery.com)
Exceptional Services for MySQL at a fixed budget.
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