|By Maureen O'Gara||
|December 13, 2009 05:30 PM EST||
MySQL Session at Cloud Expo
Oracle’s reaching out to customers to defend its acquisition of Sun and its MySQL open source database has spooked alienated MySQL creator Monty Widenius and his spokesman Florian Mueller, both of them enriched by Sun’s billion dollar purchase of MySQL last year, into calling for “open war” between the MySQL community and Oracle.
Oracle has accused the European Commission, which is blocking its acquisition of Sun because of MySQL, of twisting the results of its antitrust investigation to suit its own MySQL bias by misrepresenting, cherry-picking or ignoring what users said about the market and the competitive scene and so Oracle brought a string of large accounts to its closed-door hearing before the regulator on Thursday and Friday to support its contention that the “great majority of customers” do not oppose the deal.
According to the Wall Street Journal more than 200 others are writing letters.
In response, Widenius, afraid that the EC will change its mind because of Oracle’s campaign, is asking the open source community to flood the EC with e-mails opposing the acquisition.
In an e-mail to the press late Saturday Mueller claims, without mustering any proof, that Oracle dictated the contents of the 200 letters. For his part Widenius has provided boilerplate for the open source community to use in their e-mails.
The Widenius camp, which wants the EC to force Oracle to divest MySQL, scorns Oracle’s resort to users although the EC, in its cockamamie process, questioned users to begin with in its investigation.
It also criticizes Oracle for reportedly appealing to customers with a wider interest in Sun’s future than just MySQL, which they might regard by comparison simply as a pimple on the ass of progress.
Anyway, this is Mueller’s e-mail:
“I’d like to give you an update on dramatic developments in the tug-of-war over the Oracle/Sun merger. Monty, MySQL's creator and founder, has made an urgent call on the open source community to send emails to the European Commission concerning the proposed takeover of Sun’s MySQL by Oracle.
“I’m not allowed to talk about the Oracle/Sun hearing that took place in Brussels on Thursday and Friday. What I can say about the case in general is that in my view the facts are just the same [as] they’ve been all along. But as Oracle’s lawyer even stated in public, they believe now that Europe will change [its] mind due to messages from big customers in favor of the transaction.
“It’s just that Oracle mobilized customers to write letters to the Commission and basically dictated the content by telephone. Based on what we heard from at least one such customer, Oracle apparently tried to particularly appeal to customers who also use Java and/or Sun hardware, and Oracle basically tried to capitalize on customer concerns about Sun’s overall future in case the deal falls through, while the European Commission’s concerns are only about MySQL, not about the rest of Sun. Monty just wants a solution for MySQL (the simplest and most effective one would be for Oracle to commit to sell MySQL to a suitable third party).
“In light of this aggressive campaigning by Oracle, Monty made the following call on the open source community a few hours ago: http://monty-says.blogspot.com/2009/12/help-saving-mysql.html.
There is already some initial Internet momentum even though it’s the middle of the night in Europe: http://bit.ly/info/66vFwm. (That’s just some statistics from the bit.ly URL shortener, which is popular but not the only that people use. Apparently people have already begun sharing it via Twitter etc.)
“I want to stress that this was Monty’s personal decision and it’s easy to see the difference between Monty’s writing style and mine. I continue to believe Oracle should, in the first place, never have started with customer-related campaigning around a regulatory process. I think a case like this should be decided entirely on its merits, not on the basis of mobilization, and I told that view to the Commission a couple of days ago. However, I can absolutely understand that Monty took this decision because he’s just too afraid that in the end some letters orchestrated by Oracle could make a difference at a decisive point in time. If the open source community understands it, it can probably generate far more messages to the Commission than Oracle has achieved.
“A few years ago I ran a campaign against software patents that repeatedly called on companies and the open source community to write letters/emails. But that was a legislative process in the European Parliament. I don’t think Oracle should have done something like that in connection with merger control, which is supposed to be a purely facts-based regulatory process. But they did, and now Monty hopes the open source community will show them how strong it is, how fast it can mobilize people and how this community stands together.
“Further below please find an example of an email that Oracle sent to customers a few weeks ago, asking to set up a conference call with someone in their US headquarters to discuss the acquisition of Sun. When people accepted those invitations to conference calls, Oracle then made all sorts of promises (neither legally binding nor truly useful) as to what they would do after the acquisition and once the customer reacted favorably, they then asked the customer to write a letter to the Commission to request immediate approval of the takeover. The email below was given to me by one such customer and of course I have meanwhile provided it to the European Commission in order to prove that this isn’t an independent outpouring of customer support: it’s simply an Oracle campaign. The email below is in German because that is the only language in which I have obtained it so far, but there’s every indication that Oracle did this throughout Europe, not only in Germany.”
[The e-mail below simply asks to talk to the recipient about his or her views on the Sun transaction – MOG.]
Von: [[NAME OF ORACLE SALES DIRECTOR REMOVED]] [email address: FIRST_NAME.LAST_NAME at oracle.com]] Gesendet: Montag, 23. November 2009 [[TIME REMOVED]] An: [[NAME OF CUSTOMER CONTACT PERSON REMOVED]] Cc: [[NAME OF ORACLE ACCOUNT MANAGER REMOVED]] Betreff: Terminanfrage - Gespräch zum Thema Oracle und SUN
Sehr geehrter Herr [[CUSTOMER LAST NAME REMOVED]],
Unserem Unternehmen ist sehr daran gelegen, die Einstellung unserer wichtigen Kunden zur SUN Akquisition zu verstehen. Gerne möchten wir Ihre Sicht zu dieser Transaktion kennenlernen.
Deswegen bittet Sie Herr Joakim Johansson - Director Corporate Development - aus unserem Headquarter in Redwood Shores um ein kurzes Telefonat von 10 bis 15 Minuten.
Wir würden uns sehr freuen, wenn Sie für dieses Gespräch zur Verfügung stehen und uns einige Terminvorschläge für ein Telefonat - vorzugsweise nachmittags - nennen könnten.
[[NAME OF ACCOUNT MANAGER REMOVED]], Account Manager für [[CUSTOMER COMPANY NAME REMOVED]] wird gerne die weitere Koordination übernehmen.
Wir freuen uns auf Ihre Antwort. Vielen Dank und beste Grüße [[ORACLE SALES DIRECTOR NAME REMOVED]]
[[ORACLE SALES DIRECTOR NAME REMOVED]] | Vertriebsdirektor Phone: [[NUMBER REMOVED]] | | Fax: [[NUMBER REMOVED]] | | Mobile: [[NUMBER REMOVED]] Oracle Enterprise Sales
ORACLE Deutschland GmbH | [[STREET ADDRESS REMOVED]] | [[POSTAL CODE AND CITY REMOVED]]
Below is the blog posting by Monty Widenius.
What he does not explain, as Groklaw does, quoting his submissions to the EC and thinking that Microsoft is behind them, is that he would swap MySQL’s GPL-based dual-licensing for so-called open-core licensing, “which combines closed source modules with the open source core software.”
Supposedly that’s why he wants an Apache or BSD license substituted for the GPL because, as Widenius told the EC, the “GPL license represents a particular obstacle not only to revenue generation by the fork vendor but also to the overall adoption and market penetration of MySQL, MySQL forks and MySQL storage engines.” And Widenius’ latest venture revolves around his MariaDB fork of MySQL.
Anyway, he says:
“I, Michael “Monty” Widenius, the creator of MySQL, is asking you urgently to help save MySQL from Oracle’s clutches. Without your immediate help Oracle might get to own MySQL any day now. By writing to the European Commission (EC) you can support this cause and make things much harder for Oracle....
“I have spent the last 27 years creating and working on MySQL and I hope, together with my team of MySQL core developers, to work on it for many more years.
“Oracle is trying to buy Sun, and since Sun bought MySQL last year, Oracle would then own MySQL. With your support, there is a good chance that the EC (from which Oracle needs approval) could prevent this from happening. Without your support, it might not. The EC is our last big hope now because the US government approved the deal while Europe is still worried about the effects.
“Instead of just working out this with the EC and agree [sic] on appropriate remedies to correct the situation, Oracle has instead contacted hundreds of their big customers and asked them to write to the EC and require unconditional acceptance of the deal. According what I been told, Oracle has promised to the customers, among other things, that ‘they will put more money into MySQL development than what Sun did’ and that ‘if they would ever abandon MYSQL, a fork will appear and take care of things.’
“However just putting money into development is not proof that anything useful will ever be delivered or that MySQL will continue to be a competitive force in the market as it’s now.
“As I already blogged about before, a fork is not enough to keep MySQL alive for all future, if Oracle, as the copyright holder of MySQL, would at any point decide that they should kill MySQL or make parts of MySQL closed source.
“Oracle claims that it would take good care of MySQL but let’s face the facts: Unlike ten years ago, when MySQL was mostly just used for the web, it has become very functional, scalable and credible. Now it’s used in many of the world’s largest companies and they use it for an increasing number of purposes. This not only scares but actually hurts Oracle every day. Oracle salespeople have to lower prices all the time to compete with MySQL when companies start new projects. Some companies even migrate existing projects from Oracle to MySQL to save money. Of course Oracle has a lot more features, but MySQL can already do a lot of things for which Oracle is often used and helps people save a lot of money. Over time MySQL can do to Oracle what the originally belittled Linux did to commercial Unix (roughly speaking).
“So I just don’t buy it that Oracle will be a good home for MySQL. A weak MySQL is worth about one billion dollars per year to Oracle, maybe more. A strong MySQL could never generate enough income for Oracle that they would want to cannibalize their real cash cow. I don’t think any company has ever done anything like that. That’s why the EC is skeptical and formalized its objections about a month ago.
“Richard Stallman [head of the Free Software Foundation] agrees that it’s very important which company owns MySQL, that Oracle should not be allowed to buy it and that it can’t just be taken care of by a community of volunteers. http://keionline.org/ec-mysql.
“Oracle has NOT promised (as far as I know and certainly not in a legally binding manner) that:
“ - They keep (all of) MySQL under an open source license
“ - Not add closed source parts, modules or required tools.
“ - To not rise MySQL license or MySQL support prices
“ - To release new MySQL versions in a regular and timely manner
“ - To continue with dual licensing and always provide affordable commercial licenses to MySQL to those who needs them (to storage vendors and application vendors) or provide MySQL under a more permissive license
“ - To develop MySQL as an open source project
“ - To actively work with the community
“ - Apply submitted patches in a timely manner
“ - Not discriminate patches that makes MySQL compete more with Oracles other products.
“ - To ensure that MySQL is improved also in manners that make it compete even more with Oracles’ main offering.
“From looking at how Oracle handled the InnoDB acquisition, I don’t have high hopes that Oracle will do the above right if not required to do so:
“For InnoDB: “ - Bug fixes where done (but this was done under a contractual obligation) “ - New features, like compression that was announced before acquisition, took 3 years to implement “ - No timetables or insight into development “ - The community where [sic] not allowed to participate in development “ - Patches from users (like Google) that would have increased performance was not implemented/released until after Oracle announced it was acquiring Sun. “ - Oracle started working on InnoDB+, a better ‘closed source’ version of InnoDB “ - In the end Sun had to fork InnoDB, just to be able to improve performance.
“It’s true that development did continue, but this was more to be able to continue using InnoDB as a pressure on MySQL Ab. “
Note that Oracle’s development on the Linux kernel is not comparable with MySQL, because:
“ - Oracle is using Linux as the main platform for their primary database product (and thus a better Linux makes Oracle’s platform better)
“ - The GPL code in the kernel is not affecting what is running on top on it (because of an exception in Linux).
“Because we don’t have access to a database of MySQL customers and users the only way we can get the word out is to use the MySQL and open source community. I would never have resorted to this if Oracle would not have broken the well-established rules in anti-competitive merger cases and try to influence the EC by actively mobilizing the customers.
“This is very critical to this AS SOON AS POSSIBLE as EC, depending on what Oracle is doing, needs to make a decision either on Monday (2009-12-14) or within two weeks. Because of the strict deadline, every email counts!
“What I want to ask you to do (until 2009-12-19):
“ - Forward this email to everyone that you know is using MySQL or open source/free software and to all email list where you know there are people present that use or care about MySQL and open source (please check first that this email hasn’t been sent there before)
“ - Alternatively send emails with information about this and tell them to read http://monty-says.blogspot.com/2009/12/help-saving-mysql.html
“ - Add links on your web site to http://monty-says.blogspot.com/2009/12/help-saving-mysql.html with the text "We are using MySQL, help save it", for the duration of the next two week.
“ - Blog about this (feel free to include this text or just link to my blog)
“ - Call by phone (don’t contact by email, this is urgent) your boss or VP and ask him to read this email and send a letter to the EC Commission ASAP!
“ - If you don’t have anyone to contact above, send an email to the EC! “As we want the EC to get a correct picture of the situation, we want you to first fill in the upper part and then choose one of the proposed texts belove [sic] that best matches your view of the situation. Feel free to supply your own text and additional information if you think this will help the EC to reach a better understanding of how MySQL is used.
“Send this to: [email protected].
“If you have extra time to help, fill in the following, if not, just skip to the main text. Name: Title: Company: Size of company: How many MySQL installations: Total data stored in MySQL (megabyte): For what type of applications is MySQL used:
Should this email be kept confidential by EC: Yes/No
Copy or use one of the below texts as a base for your answer:
a) I don’t trust that Oracle will take good care of MySQL and MySQL should be divested to another company or foundation that have everything to gain by developing and promoting MySQL. One should also in the future be able to combine MySQL with closed source application (either by exceptions, a more permissive license or be able to dual license MySQL under favorable terms)
b) I think that Oracle could be a good steward of MySQL, but I would need EC to have legally binding guarantees from Oracle that:
- All of MySQL will continue to be fully Open Source/free software in the future (no closed source modules)
- That development will be done in community friendly way. The manual should be released under a permissive license (so that one can fork it, the same way one can fork the server)
- That MySQL should be released under a more permissive license to ensure that forks can truly compete with Oracle if Oracle is not a good steward after all.
Alternatively: - One should be able to always buy low priced commercial licenses for MySQL. There should also be mechanism so that if Oracle is not doing what is expected of it, forks should be able to compete with Oracle c) I trust Oracle and I suggest that EC will approve the deal unconditionally. Let us prove to Oracle and EC that the Open Source community is a true force and we take good care of our citizens and we prefer to work with companies that does the same!
The future of MySQL is in your hands!
Thanks for the help! Michael Widenius Creator of MySQL
Everyone knows that truly innovative companies learn as they go along, pushing boundaries in response to market changes and demands. What's more of a mystery is how to balance innovation on a fresh platform built from scratch with the legacy tech stack, product suite and customers that continue to serve as the business' foundation. In his General Session at 19th Cloud Expo, Michael Chambliss, Head of Engineering at ReadyTalk, discussed why and how ReadyTalk diverted from healthy revenue and mor...
Dec. 7, 2016 04:30 PM EST Reads: 1,670
The many IoT deployments around the world are busy integrating smart devices and sensors into their enterprise IT infrastructures. Yet all of this technology – and there are an amazing number of choices – is of no use without the software to gather, communicate, and analyze the new data flows. Without software, there is no IT. In this power panel at @ThingsExpo, moderated by Conference Chair Roger Strukhoff, Dave McCarthy, Director of Products at Bsquare Corporation; Alan Williamson, Principal...
Dec. 7, 2016 04:15 PM EST Reads: 316
The 20th International Cloud Expo has announced that its Call for Papers is open. Cloud Expo, to be held June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, brings together Cloud Computing, Big Data, Internet of Things, DevOps, Containers, Microservices and WebRTC to one location. With cloud computing driving a higher percentage of enterprise IT budgets every year, it becomes increasingly important to plant your flag in this fast-expanding business opportunity. Submit your speaking proposal ...
Dec. 7, 2016 03:45 PM EST Reads: 2,245
You have great SaaS business app ideas. You want to turn your idea quickly into a functional and engaging proof of concept. You need to be able to modify it to meet customers' needs, and you need to deliver a complete and secure SaaS application. How could you achieve all the above and yet avoid unforeseen IT requirements that add unnecessary cost and complexity? You also want your app to be responsive in any device at any time. In his session at 19th Cloud Expo, Mark Allen, General Manager of...
Dec. 7, 2016 03:30 PM EST Reads: 1,768
Successful digital transformation requires new organizational competencies and capabilities. Research tells us that the biggest impediment to successful transformation is human; consequently, the biggest enabler is a properly skilled and empowered workforce. In the digital age, new individual and collective competencies are required. In his session at 19th Cloud Expo, Bob Newhouse, CEO and founder of Agilitiv, drew together recent research and lessons learned from emerging and established compa...
Dec. 7, 2016 02:30 PM EST Reads: 939
"IoT is going to be a huge industry with a lot of value for end users, for industries, for consumers, for manufacturers. How can we use cloud to effectively manage IoT applications," stated Ian Khan, Innovation & Marketing Manager at Solgeniakhela, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @ThingsExpo, held November 3-5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
Dec. 7, 2016 02:30 PM EST Reads: 4,308
Bert Loomis was a visionary. This general session will highlight how Bert Loomis and people like him inspire us to build great things with small inventions. In their general session at 19th Cloud Expo, Harold Hannon, Architect at IBM Bluemix, and Michael O'Neill, Strategic Business Development at Nvidia, discussed the accelerating pace of AI development and how IBM Cloud and NVIDIA are partnering to bring AI capabilities to "every day," on-demand. They also reviewed two "free infrastructure" pr...
Dec. 7, 2016 02:15 PM EST Reads: 1,110
Financial Technology has become a topic of intense interest throughout the cloud developer and enterprise IT communities. Accordingly, attendees at the upcoming 20th Cloud Expo at the Javits Center in New York, June 6-8, 2017, will find fresh new content in a new track called FinTech.
Dec. 7, 2016 02:15 PM EST Reads: 2,193
Information technology is an industry that has always experienced change, and the dramatic change sweeping across the industry today could not be truthfully described as the first time we've seen such widespread change impacting customer investments. However, the rate of the change, and the potential outcomes from today's digital transformation has the distinct potential to separate the industry into two camps: Organizations that see the change coming, embrace it, and successful leverage it; and...
Dec. 7, 2016 02:15 PM EST Reads: 3,383
"Dice has been around for the last 20 years. We have been helping tech professionals find new jobs and career opportunities," explained Manish Dixit, VP of Product and Engineering at Dice, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 19th Cloud Expo, held November 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
Dec. 7, 2016 01:45 PM EST Reads: 1,110
SYS-CON Events has announced today that Roger Strukhoff has been named conference chair of Cloud Expo and @ThingsExpo 2017 New York. The 20th Cloud Expo and 7th @ThingsExpo will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. "The Internet of Things brings trillions of dollars of opportunity to developers and enterprise IT, no matter how you measure it," stated Roger Strukhoff. "More importantly, it leverages the power of devices and the Internet to enable us all to im...
Dec. 7, 2016 12:30 PM EST Reads: 726
Extracting business value from Internet of Things (IoT) data doesn’t happen overnight. There are several requirements that must be satisfied, including IoT device enablement, data analysis, real-time detection of complex events and automated orchestration of actions. Unfortunately, too many companies fall short in achieving their business goals by implementing incomplete solutions or not focusing on tangible use cases. In his general session at @ThingsExpo, Dave McCarthy, Director of Products...
Dec. 7, 2016 12:30 PM EST Reads: 844
"At ROHA we develop an app called Catcha. It was developed after we spent a year meeting with, talking to, interacting with senior citizens watching them use their smartphones and talking to them about how they use their smartphones so we could get to know their smartphone behavior," explained Dave Woods, Chief Innovation Officer at ROHA, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 19th Cloud Expo, held November 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
Dec. 7, 2016 12:30 PM EST Reads: 630
We are always online. We access our data, our finances, work, and various services on the Internet. But we live in a congested world of information in which the roads were built two decades ago. The quest for better, faster Internet routing has been around for a decade, but nobody solved this problem. We’ve seen band-aid approaches like CDNs that attack a niche's slice of static content part of the Internet, but that’s it. It does not address the dynamic services-based Internet of today. It does...
Dec. 7, 2016 12:00 PM EST Reads: 1,120
"ReadyTalk is an audio and web video conferencing provider. We've really come to embrace WebRTC as the platform for our future of technology," explained Dan Cunningham, CTO of ReadyTalk, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at WebRTC Summit at 19th Cloud Expo, held November 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
Dec. 7, 2016 11:30 AM EST Reads: 679
20th Cloud Expo, taking place June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY, will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. Cloud computing is now being embraced by a majority of enterprises of all sizes. Yesterday's debate about public vs. private has transformed into the reality of hybrid cloud: a recent survey shows that 74% of enterprises have a hybrid cloud strategy.
Dec. 7, 2016 11:15 AM EST Reads: 2,295
IoT solutions exploit operational data generated by Internet-connected smart “things” for the purpose of gaining operational insight and producing “better outcomes” (for example, create new business models, eliminate unscheduled maintenance, etc.). The explosive proliferation of IoT solutions will result in an exponential growth in the volume of IoT data, precipitating significant Information Governance issues: who owns the IoT data, what are the rights/duties of IoT solutions adopters towards t...
Dec. 7, 2016 11:01 AM EST Reads: 218
WebRTC is the future of browser-to-browser communications, and continues to make inroads into the traditional, difficult, plug-in web communications world. The 6th WebRTC Summit continues our tradition of delivering the latest and greatest presentations within the world of WebRTC. Topics include voice calling, video chat, P2P file sharing, and use cases that have already leveraged the power and convenience of WebRTC.
Dec. 7, 2016 10:30 AM EST Reads: 1,712
Unsecured IoT devices were used to launch crippling DDOS attacks in October 2016, targeting services such as Twitter, Spotify, and GitHub. Subsequent testimony to Congress about potential attacks on office buildings, schools, and hospitals raised the possibility for the IoT to harm and even kill people. What should be done? Does the government need to intervene? This panel at @ThingExpo New York brings together leading IoT and security experts to discuss this very serious topic.
Dec. 7, 2016 10:00 AM EST Reads: 433
In his keynote at 18th Cloud Expo, Andrew Keys, Co-Founder of ConsenSys Enterprise, provided an overview of the evolution of the Internet and the Database and the future of their combination – the Blockchain. Andrew Keys is Co-Founder of ConsenSys Enterprise. He comes to ConsenSys Enterprise with capital markets, technology and entrepreneurial experience. Previously, he worked for UBS investment bank in equities analysis. Later, he was responsible for the creation and distribution of life sett...
Dec. 7, 2016 09:15 AM EST Reads: 7,258