Last week Eben Moglen, founder and executive director of the Software Freedom Law Center (SFLC), submitted an independent opinion on the Oracle/Sun merger to the European Union (EU). Moglen summarized his submission as follows:
A number of people have recently raised the issue of the threat that cloud computing poses to the monetization of open source by specialist vendors, including Savio Rodrigues, Matt Asay, and Mike Hogan.
I believe that cloud computing provides an opportunity for open source specialists, but agree that cloud services based on open source code could potentially eat into the business opportunities for open source specialists since the cloud providers have no …[Read more]
Symbian’s future in the balance? All Go for Chrome OS. And more.
For the latest on Oracle’s acquisition of MySQL via Sun, see Everything you always wanted to know about MySQL but were afraid to ask[Read more]
The two predominant forms of open source licenses are BSD and
GPL. PostgreSQL is licensed under the BSD license ,
while MySQL is licensed under GPL . While the details
are arcane, the business impact is significant, and that is what
this post addresses.
The BSD (or BSD-style) License: This license basically says: ‘This code is provided as is, do what you want with it, and include this copyright in your resulting product.’
The GPL License: This license, also known as the copyleft license, essentially says: ‘This is free and distributed as source code, and any addition or extension must also be distributed under these exact terms.’
BSD essentially says I prefer open source code, so I’m making my source code open and freely available, but what …
The attendees were not satisfied with the first answer RMS gave to Brian, that Harish Pillay (Chief Technical Architect, Red Hat Singapore), chose to ask RMS what more he had to say, with regards to the letter he’d written. He answered quite candidly in this video, which Brian chimed in for as well.
At foss.my 2009, Brian Aker asked Richard Stallman at his keynote, about the Oracle/Sun acquisition (with a focus on MySQL), with regards to the parallel licensing approach used by MySQL. Brian was referring to:
As only the original rights holder can sell commercial licenses, no new forked version of the code will have the ability to practice the parallel licensing approach, and will not easily generate the resources to support continued development of the MySQL platform.
from Richard’s Letter to the EC opposing Oracle’s acquisition of MySQL. Listen to the discussion between Brian and Richard.
By now you are probably aware that the European Commission has decided to launch an extended investigation into Oracle’s acquisition of Sun based on concerns over MySQL.
The new has prompted a lot of criticism of the EC, much of it suggesting that the delay will do considerable harm to Sun (and therefore Oracle). This argument is valid - Sun’s already declining revenue has been in freefall since the deal was announced and one wonders how far it will fall in another 90 days of stasis.
Other criticism, (such as this from Matt Asay) focuses on the suggestion that the delay will do little to help MySQL or its users, and that the EC fails to understand open source.
This also has some …[Read more]
It appears that little MySQL has just become a disproportionally big player in the Oracle-Sun takeover deal…. article by Associated Press: EU probes Oracle’s bid to buy Sun notes:
EU Competition Commissioner Neelie Kroes said Thursday that regulators needed to examine the effect of a deal “when the world’s biggest proprietary database company proposes to take over the world’s leading open-source database company.”
Ah, Neelie Kroes. Dutch lady from the liberal (that’s seriously right-wing in NL, my American friends party, formerly minister for infrastructure in NL, long time ago.
So what can happen now? The EU can (and I’m skipping a few steps for brevity here) force the MySQL part of Sun to be auctioned separately, to allow the remainder of the detail to go through. One thing is fairly …[Read more]