MySQL AB to Tweak Open-Source LicenseBy Lisa Vaas | Posted 2004-02-19 Email Print
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MySQL AB's open-source database license has long confused ISVs who aren't sure if they need to purchase a license. MySQL now plans a new VAR program that will be rolled out at its user conference in April.MySQL AB's open-source database license has long confused ISVs and others who want to support MySQL but aren't sure whether they need to purchase a license. To remedy these licensing gray areas, MySQL is beta testing a new VAR program that will be rolled out at its user conference in April, officials said.
The program will allow ISVs to cost-effectively license MySQL's server. MySQL Vice President of Marketing Zack Urlocker told eWEEK.com that, eventually, the company is planning to install a driver that moves the burden of compliance onto customers.
As it now stands, the open-source company has a dual license that works on a quid pro quo basisi.e., if you're free, MySQL is free. If you're closed, you need a license.
Such uncertainty has motivated MySQL to rework the licensing language. After all, nobody wants to alienate ISVs, who could drive considerable business toward MySQL, Urlocker said. "We're happy to address the issue because it means there's interest on the part of ISVs for supporting the software. That's good," he said.
The unclear language pertains to who exactly has the responsibility to purchase a license in a VAR setup: the VAR, or the end user? The GPL is ambiguous in regards to these matters, Urlocker said, but it's simply the best open-source licensing model that now exists.
The VAR program now being tested includes several ISVs as beta testers. With the program, MySQL is testing authenticated client libraries that VARs can include for a nominal charge as part of MySQL's partner program.
The company expects to roll out the program at its user conference, April 14-16, in Orlando, Fla., along with a new MySQL Cluster product.