|By Maureen O'Gara||
|January 4, 2010 10:00 AM EST||
MySQL Journal on Ulitzer
MySQL creator Monty Widenius’ petition to stop Oracle from getting the MySQL open source database along with Sun Microsystems collected more than 14,000 signatures before Widenius started circulating the results to “regulators, governmental bodies, parliaments and journalists” in the wee hours of Monday morning European time.
According to campaign organizer Florian Mueller, “The numbers collected so far are phenomenal given the holiday season in large parts of the market. They will go up a lot in the days to come further dwarfing whatever Oracle has presented.”
It’s “50 times more customer support than Oracle claimed three weeks ago,” he said.
He described the majority of signatories as “business users: more than 5,000 self-employed developers and more than 3,000 people using it in companies of all sizes.”
Mueller said deliveries of new signatures to the authorities will take place once or twice a week until the campaign is either heard or burns itself out.
Within the EU, the petition was reportedly sent to the 27 national antitrust authorities of the bloc’s member countries, who are scheduled to meet in Brussels in mid-January to discuss the Oracle-Sun case.
In case the European Commission ignores the petition, Widenius has also sent it to the Russian Federal Antimonopoly Service (FAS) and the Chinese Ministry of Commerce (MOFCOM) and will dispatch it to the Swiss Wettbewerbskommission (Weko) once he has an appropriate e-mail address as well as competition authorities in Japan and Brazil.
According to its self-imposed deadline the EC has until January 27 to decide whether to wave the deal through or not although Oracle has broadly hinted that it has the EC’s approval in its pocket.
Widenius claims Oracle’s acquisition of MySQL would be a conflict of interest and that the undertakings Oracle gave to the EC about MySQL a few weeks ago to nudge it into approval are “empty promises.”
The statistics on the petition’s web site Sunday New York time, which are reportedly updated roughly every 10 minutes, claimed over 14,000 names, most of them individual MySQL developers or users and most of them calling for Oracle to be forced to divest MySQL to a third party for further development.
To get the deal through the EC vetting process, Oracle committed to spending more than $24 million a year for the next three years on MySQL R&D. Widenius claims Oracle will cheat.
One suspects Widenius, who is now working on a MySQL fork called MariaDB, is hoping Sun will be forced into an IP yard sale where he can buy the billion-dollar property back at 10 cents on the dollar.
The petition has also collected support for alternate remedies such as making Oracle commit to a linking exception for applications that use MySQL with the client libraries (for all programming languages) for plug-ins and libmysql or requiring Oracle to release all past and future versions of MySQL until December 2012 under the Apache Software License 2.0, which would benefit Widenius’ latest start-up.
See http://www.helpmysql.org/en/stats for the latest numbers.
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