Click here to close now.

Welcome!

Agile Computing Authors: Liz McMillan, Carmen Gonzalez, Harry Trott, Lacey Thoms, Adrian Bridgwater

Related Topics: Recurring Revenue, Linux Containers, Release Management

Recurring Revenue: Article

MySQL Creator Wants War with Oracle

Monty Widenius calls for “open war” between the MySQL community and Oracle

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:

  1. All of MySQL will continue to be fully Open Source/free software in the future (no closed source modules)
  2. 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)
  3. 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

More Stories By Maureen O'Gara

Maureen O'Gara the most read technology reporter for the past 20 years, is the Cloud Computing and Virtualization News Desk editor of SYS-CON Media. She is the publisher of famous "Billygrams" and the editor-in-chief of "Client/Server News" for more than a decade. One of the most respected technology reporters in the business, Maureen can be reached by email at maureen(at)sys-con.com or paperboy(at)g2news.com, and by phone at 516 759-7025. Twitter: @MaureenOGara

Comments (0)

Share your thoughts on this story.

Add your comment
You must be signed in to add a comment. Sign-in | Register

In accordance with our Comment Policy, we encourage comments that are on topic, relevant and to-the-point. We will remove comments that include profanity, personal attacks, racial slurs, threats of violence, or other inappropriate material that violates our Terms and Conditions, and will block users who make repeated violations. We ask all readers to expect diversity of opinion and to treat one another with dignity and respect.


@ThingsExpo Stories
SYS-CON Events announced today that BMC will exhibit at SYS-CON's 16th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. BMC delivers software solutions that help IT transform digital enterprises for the ultimate competitive business advantage. BMC has worked with thousands of leading companies to create and deliver powerful IT management services. From mainframe to cloud to mobile, BMC pairs high-speed digital innovation with robust IT industrialization – allowing customers to provide amazing user experiences with optimized IT per...
The true value of the Internet of Things (IoT) lies not just in the data, but through the services that protect the data, perform the analysis and present findings in a usable way. With many IoT elements rooted in traditional IT components, Big Data and IoT isn’t just a play for enterprise. In fact, the IoT presents SMBs with the prospect of launching entirely new activities and exploring innovative areas. CompTIA research identifies several areas where IoT is expected to have the greatest impact.
2015 predictions circa 1970: houses anticipate our needs and adapt, city infrastructure is citizen and situation aware, office buildings identify and preprocess you. Today smart buildings have no such collective conscience, no shared set of fundamental services to identify, predict and synchronize around us. LiveSpace and M2Mi are changing that. LiveSpace Smart Environment devices deliver over the M2Mi IoT Platform real time presence, awareness and intent analytics as a service to local connected devices. In her session at @ThingsExpo, Sarah Cooper, VP Business of Development at M2Mi, will d...
The Industrial Internet revolution is now underway, enabled by connected machines and billions of devices that communicate and collaborate. The massive amounts of Big Data requiring real-time analysis is flooding legacy IT systems and giving way to cloud environments that can handle the unpredictable workloads. Yet many barriers remain until we can fully realize the opportunities and benefits from the convergence of machines and devices with Big Data and the cloud, including interoperability, data security and privacy.
Explosive growth in connected devices. Enormous amounts of data for collection and analysis. Critical use of data for split-second decision making and actionable information. All three are factors in making the Internet of Things a reality. Yet, any one factor would have an IT organization pondering its infrastructure strategy. How should your organization enhance its IT framework to enable an Internet of Things implementation? In this session, James Kirkland, Red Hat's Chief Architect for the Internet of Things and Intelligent Systems, will describe how to revolutionize your architecture and...
The Internet of Things is tied together with a thin strand that is known as time. Coincidentally, at the core of nearly all data analytics is a timestamp. When working with time series data there are a few core principles that everyone should consider, especially across datasets where time is the common boundary. In his session at Internet of @ThingsExpo, Jim Scott, Director of Enterprise Strategy & Architecture at MapR Technologies, discussed single-value, geo-spatial, and log time series data. By focusing on enterprise applications and the data center, he will use OpenTSDB as an example t...
We’re entering a new era of computing technology that many are calling the Internet of Things (IoT). Machine to machine, machine to infrastructure, machine to environment, the Internet of Everything, the Internet of Intelligent Things, intelligent systems – call it what you want, but it’s happening, and its potential is huge. IoT is comprised of smart machines interacting and communicating with other machines, objects, environments and infrastructures. As a result, huge volumes of data are being generated, and that data is being processed into useful actions that can “command and control” thi...
All major researchers estimate there will be tens of billions devices - computers, smartphones, tablets, and sensors - connected to the Internet by 2020. This number will continue to grow at a rapid pace for the next several decades. With major technology companies and startups seriously embracing IoT strategies, now is the perfect time to attend @ThingsExpo, June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City. Learn what is going on, contribute to the discussions, and ensure that your enterprise is as "IoT-Ready" as it can be
Scott Jenson leads a project called The Physical Web within the Chrome team at Google. Project members are working to take the scalability and openness of the web and use it to talk to the exponentially exploding range of smart devices. Nearly every company today working on the IoT comes up with the same basic solution: use my server and you'll be fine. But if we really believe there will be trillions of these devices, that just can't scale. We need a system that is open a scalable and by using the URL as a basic building block, we open this up and get the same resilience that the web enjoys.
We are reaching the end of the beginning with WebRTC, and real systems using this technology have begun to appear. One challenge that faces every WebRTC deployment (in some form or another) is identity management. For example, if you have an existing service – possibly built on a variety of different PaaS/SaaS offerings – and you want to add real-time communications you are faced with a challenge relating to user management, authentication, authorization, and validation. Service providers will want to use their existing identities, but these will have credentials already that are (hopefully) i...
SYS-CON Events announced today that MetraTech, now part of Ericsson, has been named “Silver Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 16th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 9–11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York, NY. Ericsson is the driving force behind the Networked Society- a world leader in communications infrastructure, software and services. Some 40% of the world’s mobile traffic runs through networks Ericsson has supplied, serving more than 2.5 billion subscribers.
Thanks to widespread Internet adoption and more than 10 billion connected devices around the world, companies became more excited than ever about the Internet of Things in 2014. Add in the hype around Google Glass and the Nest Thermostat, and nearly every business, including those from traditionally low-tech industries, wanted in. But despite the buzz, some very real business questions emerged – mainly, not if a device can be connected, or even when, but why? Why does connecting to the cloud create greater value for the user? Why do connected features improve the overall experience? And why do...
SYS-CON Events announced today that O'Reilly Media has been named “Media Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 16th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 9–11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. O'Reilly Media spreads the knowledge of innovators through its books, online services, magazines, and conferences. Since 1978, O'Reilly Media has been a chronicler and catalyst of cutting-edge development, homing in on the technology trends that really matter and spurring their adoption by amplifying "faint signals" from the alpha geeks who are creating the future. An active participa...
Imagine a world where targeting, attribution, and analytics are just as intrinsic to the physical world as they currently are to display advertising. Advances in technologies and changes in consumer behavior have opened the door to a whole new category of personalized marketing experience based on direct interactions with products. The products themselves now have a voice. What will they say? Who will control it? And what does it take for brands to win in this new world? In his session at @ThingsExpo, Zack Bennett, Vice President of Customer Success at EVRYTHNG, will answer these questions a...
The 4th International Internet of @ThingsExpo, co-located with the 17th International Cloud Expo - to be held November 3-5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA - announces that its Call for Papers is open. The Internet of Things (IoT) is the biggest idea since the creation of the Worldwide Web more than 20 years ago.
The Internet of Things is a misnomer. That implies that everything is on the Internet, and that simply should not be - especially for things that are blurring the line between medical devices that stimulate like a pacemaker and quantified self-sensors like a pedometer or pulse tracker. The mesh of things that we manage must be segmented into zones of trust for sensing data, transmitting data, receiving command and control administrative changes, and peer-to-peer mesh messaging. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Ryan Bagnulo, Solution Architect / Software Engineer at SOA Software, focused on desi...
An entirely new security model is needed for the Internet of Things, or is it? Can we save some old and tested controls for this new and different environment? In his session at @ThingsExpo, New York's at the Javits Center, Davi Ottenheimer, EMC Senior Director of Trust, reviewed hands-on lessons with IoT devices and reveal a new risk balance you might not expect. Davi Ottenheimer, EMC Senior Director of Trust, has more than nineteen years' experience managing global security operations and assessments, including a decade of leading incident response and digital forensics. He is co-author of t...
The multi-trillion economic opportunity around the "Internet of Things" (IoT) is emerging as the hottest topic for investors in 2015. As we connect the physical world with information technology, data from actions, processes and the environment can increase sales, improve efficiencies, automate daily activities and minimize risk. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Ed Maguire, Senior Analyst at CLSA Americas, will describe what is new and different about IoT, explore financial, technological and real-world impact across consumer and business use cases. Why now? Significant corporate and venture...
While great strides have been made relative to the video aspects of remote collaboration, audio technology has basically stagnated. Typically all audio is mixed to a single monaural stream and emanates from a single point, such as a speakerphone or a speaker associated with a video monitor. This leads to confusion and lack of understanding among participants especially regarding who is actually speaking. Spatial teleconferencing introduces the concept of acoustic spatial separation between conference participants in three dimensional space. This has been shown to significantly improve comprehe...
Today’s enterprise is being driven by disruptive competitive and human capital requirements to provide enterprise application access through not only desktops, but also mobile devices. To retrofit existing programs across all these devices using traditional programming methods is very costly and time consuming – often prohibitively so. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Jesse Shiah, CEO, President, and Co-Founder of AgilePoint Inc., discussed how you can create applications that run on all mobile devices as well as laptops and desktops using a visual drag-and-drop application – and eForms-buildi...