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Re: <nettime> floss enforcement/compliance
Benjamin Geer on Sun, 29 Feb 2004 11:53:04 +0100 (CET)


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Re: <nettime> floss enforcement/compliance


ed phillips wrote:
> I'm curious. They seem in their licensing literature(
> http://www.mysql.com/products/opensource-license.html )
> to be trying to scare non-Linux users, companies, and government
> organizations into purchasing commercial licenses.

I thought MySQL's interpretation of the GPL seemed strange at first, but
now it seems to me that they're right, since they recently switched the
licence of their client libraries from LGPL to GPL:

http://www.mysql.com/products/licensing-faq.html

This means that if you distribute an application that's linked to their
client libraries, your application must be GPL as well.

I think the ethical basis for this is sound: using free software in
non-free software is a parasitical activity.  To make it less parasitical,
MySQL AB are charging a fee for it, and using the money to develop more
free software.

In the long term, if all software becomes free, MySQL AB will of course
have to find some other way to survive.  But by then, a lot of other
things will probably have changed as well. :)

As for government organisations, it's in the public interest for them to
use free software and open standards, and release as free software any
software that they distribute.  Indeed many of them are doing just that.

Ben




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