License Issue with MySql

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sudip
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License Issue with MySql

Post by sudip » Fri Sep 11, 2009 1:44 pm

Hello Friends,

I read from one group that we are required to make our code public domain if we use MySql free!!!
Original Post: http://tech.groups.yahoo.com/group/harb ... sage/18177 (warning! you may need to logon with yahoo id to view the original post)
Is it true?

With best regards.

Sudip
Last edited by sudip on Sat Sep 12, 2009 7:10 pm, edited 1 time in total.
With best regards,
Sudip

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Post by Rathinagiri » Fri Sep 11, 2009 3:04 pm

Here is some discussion about this Sudip.

http://stackoverflow.com/questions/2259 ... developmen
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Post by Rathinagiri » Fri Sep 11, 2009 3:08 pm

Some of the answers from the above discussion:
Nope you don't need a commercial license for MySQL Community Server. You need a license for the Enterprise Server.

Also in general if you're just hosting an application and not distributing it there is no requirement for your project to be open source even if you're using other open source libraries or applications as part of it.
Your code would only need to be GPLd if your code links to GPLed code. Just aggregating a MySQL server install with your application isn't enough. You could have fancy installation wrappers, shared configuration tools, etc. All fine.

The question becomes less clear when you are talking about the client libraries which you would likely distribute. The law seems to be somewhat unclear; C and Java "link" things very differently, so if your app is a "derivative work" of the client lib is somewhat determined by which language is used!

Pragmatically speaking, I don't think that MySQL has ever gone after a commercial vendor shipping their libraries.

If you aren't distributing the software, if it is all used in house (or only providing a service), then you can do WTF you want with the code, for free.
No, you are not required to pay for a license to use GPL-licensed software such as MySQL in your closed-source project.

Yes, it does matter if you distribute MySQL with your project. MySQL uses the GPL License. This means that if you distribute GPL-licencsed technology (code or binary) then any of your code you distribute with it must also be licensed with the GPL. So your code becomes open-source too and you're obliged to make your source code available.

If you don't distribute your application, even if you make it publicly usable via your website, you don't have to make your project open-source. This is known as the "application service provider loophole" and it's a legitimate use of the free MySQL product (another flavor of the GPL exists, that is intended to plug this loophole, but MySQL uses the plain GPL).

If you distribute MySQL with your product, but you want to avoid the open-source requirement, you must pay for MySQL licenses. MySQL (now Sun Microsystems) owns the code, so they get to choose the terms of the license for any given user. If you pay them, they allow you to use the product under their non-GPL license.

That's my layman's explanation. I am not a lawyer, so I encourage you to confirm anything you read on the internet with a qualified legal professional. But for what it's worth, I've worked as a Release Engineer at a couple of software companies. I was responsible for our compliance with software licenses of the various open-source packages we included with our product.
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Post by Rathinagiri » Fri Sep 11, 2009 3:21 pm

This is one of the interesting answer. ;)
Simple, if you don't know or can't understand it, don't use it.

I mean, would you take a piece of code from MS, or Apple or IBM and just use it without knowing exactly under what terms you could? I mean seriously, what a silly question - free software is no different. It is not in the public domain, just because you can use it for free, it doesn't mean it has no conditions of use. Just like proprietary software, it has conditions under which you are allowed to use it in your applications. If you use it incorrectly it is theft, simple as that.

If you expect some economic benefit from using it (e.g. 'free code'), you have to pay the price, and in most cases that price is freedom. You'd better get used to it too, proprietary software is a dying business model. If you're not prepared to free your code, someone else will be, and eventually they will do the job cheaper and faster than you will ever be able to.
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Post by sudip » Fri Sep 11, 2009 5:13 pm

Hello Rathi,

Thanks a lot for these explanations. :)

I hope I shall not send MySql code with my project. My clients can download and use it free of cost. So, I shall not violate any licensing rule.

Please correct me if I am wrong.

With best regards.

Sudip
With best regards,
Sudip

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Post by Rathinagiri » Sat Sep 12, 2009 3:52 am

No, you are not correct, I am afraid. :(

In one of the sites they have mentioned this. "The linking method is important to find out the license requirement. If it is from ODBC/JDBC no commercial license is required. If the connection is through libmysql.dll, then the connecting program shall also have GPL."

In the mysql website, they have a forum. In that there is a separate section for licensing. It has numerous threads but on reading many of them, still I could not come to a conclusion.

Let us see.
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Post by sudip » Sat Sep 12, 2009 5:05 am

Hello Friend Rathi,

Thanks a lot for correcting me :)

I am also waiting regarding licensing issue. :)

I can't understand why MySql itself doesn't clarify itself what should and what should not. ;)

With best regards.

Sudip
With best regards,
Sudip

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Post by swapan » Sat Sep 12, 2009 11:29 am

sudip wrote:Hello Friend Rathi,

Thanks a lot for correcting me :)

I am also waiting regarding licensing issue. :)

I can't understand why MySql itself doesn't clarify itself what should and what should not. ;)

With best regards.

Sudip
So u people want to say that if I install my software (written in HMG ofcourse!) at client's site and want to use MySQL as backend - then I've to supply my software's source also?! If we have such a deal with our client(s) of passing the source (our intellectual property) then its ok, otherwise we do not share source with clients - hope this is the same story with most of us.

See, if we are using only the "executable" version of MySQL then also we've to "open" up our source?? Please clarify...........
MySQL is so heavely & widely used, must be there's some way to use it "free" in true sense.

Hope our HMG is not like that?! :)

Regards,

Swapan
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Post by Roberto Lopez » Sat Sep 12, 2009 12:04 pm

swapan wrote: Hope our HMG is not like that?! :)
HMG uses the same license has Harbour project (GPL + Harbour 'exception'). So, there is no problem at all :)

Regarding MySql license (if they not changed in the last months) the bottom line is: If your program relies solely/mainly on 'libmySQL.dll' for data processing you should distribute your app code or buy a MySql license (as rathinagiri pointed).

Anyway, the licensing issue is a very complicated thing and perhaps could be alternate interpretations.

Regards,

Roberto.
Regards/Saludos,

Roberto


(Veritas Filia Temporis)

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Post by Rathinagiri » Sat Sep 12, 2009 1:16 pm

Now, in this regard, what about the rival PostgreSQL's position?
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