Welcome!

Containers Expo Blog Authors: Liz McMillan, Elizabeth White, Sematext Blog, Lori MacVittie, Pat Romanski

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
In addition to all the benefits, IoT is also bringing new kind of customer experience challenges - cars that unlock themselves, thermostats turning houses into saunas and baby video monitors broadcasting over the internet. This list can only increase because while IoT services should be intuitive and simple to use, the delivery ecosystem is a myriad of potential problems as IoT explodes complexity. So finding a performance issue is like finding the proverbial needle in the haystack.
The idea of comparing data in motion (at the sensor level) to data at rest (in a Big Data server warehouse) with predictive analytics in the cloud is very appealing to the industrial IoT sector. The problem Big Data vendors have, however, is access to that data in motion at the sensor location. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Scott Allen, CMO of FreeWave, discussed how as IoT is increasingly adopted by industrial markets, there is going to be an increased demand for sensor data from the outermos...
Data is the fuel that drives the machine learning algorithmic engines and ultimately provides the business value. In his session at 20th Cloud Expo, Ed Featherston, director/senior enterprise architect at Collaborative Consulting, will discuss the key considerations around quality, volume, timeliness, and pedigree that must be dealt with in order to properly fuel that engine.
In his general session at 19th Cloud Expo, Manish Dixit, VP of Product and Engineering at Dice, discussed how Dice leverages data insights and tools to help both tech professionals and recruiters better understand how skills relate to each other and which skills are in high demand using interactive visualizations and salary indicator tools to maximize earning potential. Manish Dixit is VP of Product and Engineering at Dice. As the leader of the Product, Engineering and Data Sciences team at D...
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...
Whether your IoT service is connecting cars, homes, appliances, wearable, cameras or other devices, one question hangs in the balance – how do you actually make money from this service? The ability to turn your IoT service into profit requires the ability to create a monetization strategy that is flexible, scalable and working for you in real-time. It must be a transparent, smoothly implemented strategy that all stakeholders – from customers to the board – will be able to understand and comprehe...
"Once customers get a year into their IoT deployments, they start to realize that they may have been shortsighted in the ways they built out their deployment and the key thing I see a lot of people looking at is - how can I take equipment data, pull it back in an IoT solution and show it in a dashboard," stated Dave McCarthy, Director of Products at Bsquare Corporation, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @ThingsExpo, held November 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
What happens when the different parts of a vehicle become smarter than the vehicle itself? As we move toward the era of smart everything, hundreds of entities in a vehicle that communicate with each other, the vehicle and external systems create a need for identity orchestration so that all entities work as a conglomerate. Much like an orchestra without a conductor, without the ability to secure, control, and connect the link between a vehicle’s head unit, devices, and systems and to manage the ...
Amazon has gradually rolled out parts of its IoT offerings in the last year, but these are just the tip of the iceberg. In addition to optimizing their back-end AWS offerings, Amazon is laying the ground work to be a major force in IoT – especially in the connected home and office. Amazon is extending its reach by building on its dominant Cloud IoT platform, its Dash Button strategy, recently announced Replenishment Services, the Echo/Alexa voice recognition control platform, the 6-7 strategic...
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...
As data explodes in quantity, importance and from new sources, the need for managing and protecting data residing across physical, virtual, and cloud environments grow with it. Managing data includes protecting it, indexing and classifying it for true, long-term management, compliance and E-Discovery. Commvault can ensure this with a single pane of glass solution – whether in a private cloud, a Service Provider delivered public cloud or a hybrid cloud environment – across the heterogeneous enter...
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...
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.
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 ...
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...
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.
More and more brands have jumped on the IoT bandwagon. We have an excess of wearables – activity trackers, smartwatches, smart glasses and sneakers, and more that track seemingly endless datapoints. However, most consumers have no idea what “IoT” means. Creating more wearables that track data shouldn't be the aim of brands; delivering meaningful, tangible relevance to their users should be. We're in a period in which the IoT pendulum is still swinging. Initially, it swung toward "smart for smar...
"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.
"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.
"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.