[development] Oracle buys SleepyCat

Khalid B kb at 2bits.com
Thu Feb 16 04:59:24 UTC 2006

> > This sums it up for MySQL AB:
> >
> > "The situation might be a little more perilous for MySQL AB, however,
> > and its customers as well. Oracle is now in a position to change the
> > licensing terms for both database backends, or even to make them
> > unavailable for dual-licensing altogether."
> I do have one question about this, and can they revoke the licence for
> existing customers or will this only affect new customers moving
> forward.

I am no expert, but it depends:

The free license cannot be revoked. That is the beauty of the GPL.

However, Oracle can say that future versions will not be dual licensed,
only commerical. This leaves the community with an old version of the
software to fork.

(Side note: this happened with a security project that was dual licensed.
They said they will no longer release free versions. I think it was Nessus).

The commercial license is between MySQL AB and its customers, and
Oracle has nothing to do with it. It all depends on the wording, duration,
renewal clauses, ...etc.

But Oracle can squeeze MySQL AB enough to leave MySQL AB into
unpleasant situations (e.g. they ask for an exorbitant amount of money
for InnoDB license renewal, or refuse to license it altogether).

Again, this is all crystal ball ...

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