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MySQL Ends Enterprise Server Source Tarballs 413

vboulytchev writes "The folks at MySQL has quietly announced that it will no longer be distributing the MySQL Enterprise Server source as a tarball. It's been about a year since the split between the paid and free versions of the database project. The Enterprise Server code is still under the GNU General Public License (GPL), and as a result MySQL appears to be making it harder for non-customers to access the source code. 'One of the things that many users worry about is whether they're getting an inferior version of MySQL by using the Community version. Urlocker says that MySQL "wants to make sure the Community version is rock solid," but admitted that the company has introduced features into the Community edition of the software that "[weren't] as robust as we thought, and created some instabilities." Because of that, the company is revising its policies about when features go into the Community releases.'" Update: 08/10 04:56 GMT by CN :While it is slightly harder to get, the source isn't closed by any means, so I updated the title to reflect that.
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MySQL Ends Enterprise Server Source Tarballs

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  • [] is still there, and AFAIK it isn't going away anytime soon.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday August 09, 2007 @06:17PM (#20175813)
    MySQL versions 5.0.38 to 5.0.45 have had such major bugs that they have rendered themselves useless for a huge range of applications. Applications that use dates, or ones that expect the database to *NOT* insert random NULL values in a group by query.

    I mean, even the most basic test suite would have easily caught these.

    Here are just a few of the major ones:
    Bug #28336 []
    Bug #28936 []
  • Re:Yay! (Score:3, Informative)

    by scribblej ( 195445 ) on Thursday August 09, 2007 @06:18PM (#20175827)
    You can get a VPS for $10 a month, put postgresql on it yourself. It is what I do. I don't know what you consider cheap but $10/month isn't a burden over here.

  • Yes, it's legal (Score:4, Informative)

    by Carnildo ( 712617 ) on Thursday August 09, 2007 @06:19PM (#20175847) Homepage Journal
    Before anyone bitches about it, this is perfectly legal. The GPL only requires you to provide source code to people who you also provide the compiled software to. You just can't restrict what they in turn do with the source code, which is why most GPL developers make the source code available to everyone and their dog.
  • This is no big deal. (Score:5, Informative)

    by bmo ( 77928 ) on Thursday August 09, 2007 @06:19PM (#20175865)
    It's right in keeping with the GPL. The GPL doesn't say "you have to give the source to all and sundry." No, they just have to give the source code to those they gave the binaries to, i.e., their paying customers.

    The work-around for the community is hinted at here:

    "Though MySQL AB will not be distributing the source tarball, Urlocker says that MySQL isn't going to try to stop distribution of Enterprise Server source by others. "If somebody wants to, that's fine. People can distribute it.... "

    Getting the source code as a tarball on a public server for everyone is an intellectual exercize for the reader.

    I read this as a "We're not going to be hosting for leeches. You want a public server, set your own up"

  • Re:Wait a second.... (Score:1, Informative)

    by hardburn ( 141468 ) <hardburn&wumpus-cave,net> on Thursday August 09, 2007 @06:20PM (#20175869)

    If they own all the copyrights to the source, they can license it however they want.

    Additionally, the requirements to release the source only apply to derivative works. In theory, the original copyright holder could put a binary release under the GPL without providing any source code.

  • Re:Cha-Ching (Score:5, Informative)

    by larry bagina ( 561269 ) on Thursday August 09, 2007 @06:20PM (#20175871) Journal
    They are planning an IPO [].
  • Re:Wait a second.... (Score:2, Informative)

    by mark-t ( 151149 ) <markt@nerdflat.cCHICAGOom minus city> on Thursday August 09, 2007 @06:20PM (#20175875) Journal
    Because they are the copyright holder and they are allowed to dictate whatever licensing terms they want for their own stuff. The GPL doesn't trump that. The only reason a person is obligated to put modifications to GPL'd code under the GPL is because that falls under the category of a derivative work and is thus subject to the copyright restrictions of the original. MYSQL, being their own code entirely, and not a derivative of somebody else's GPL'd project, can be put under whatever distribution terms and licensing they want... even closing up the source.
  • Terrible submission (Score:1, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday August 09, 2007 @06:21PM (#20175899)
    "The folks at MySQL has quietly..." thats just awful, I know we don't read the articles... but we aren't even reading the first sentence of the submission now?
  • Re:Wait a second.... (Score:2, Informative)

    by AxXium ( 964226 ) on Thursday August 09, 2007 @06:21PM (#20175905)
    They have to distribute the "Enterprise" source along with the "Enterprise" binaries. They do not have to ship the "Enterprise" source with the "Community" stuff. On I side note they say they will not stand between one of the "Enterprise" customers hosting the source. :) AxXium
  • Re:Wait a second.... (Score:5, Informative)

    by Todd Knarr ( 15451 ) on Thursday August 09, 2007 @06:22PM (#20175919) Homepage

    If they provide the source code along with the binaries, the GPL considers that to have satisfied their obligations. After that, they're not obliged to give the source code to anybody else. Not even customers.

    Now, if they don't provide the source code with the binaries, if customers are obliged to get it separately from the binary package, then the obligation is to provide the source to anybody who asks for it, customer or not, and that obligation lasts for 3 years after the last binary was distributed. Note that if the binaries are available via download, offering the source for download at the same time and from the same page satisfies the GPL's requirement to provide source along with the binaries even if the customer doesn't actually download the source code at the time.

  • Re:Wait a second.... (Score:5, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday August 09, 2007 @06:23PM (#20175933)
    Yeah, those damn MySQL idiots are acting just like this crazy Emacs hippie back in the 80s... what was his name... Richard Stallman I think. Anyway, the greedy bugger only distributed the source to people who bought the software! Even though it was GPL'd! And the FSF did nothing!
  • Re:Wait a second.... (Score:2, Informative)

    by gr3kgr33n ( 824960 ) on Thursday August 09, 2007 @06:23PM (#20175945) Homepage Journal
    IANAL however to my knowledge, The GNU doesn't say you can't make a profit, only that the source code has to be available to your customers and all contributers to the project thus far have a say in any re-licensing and/or distribution.

    AFAIK the IP holder retains the rights to whom it considers "customers" therefor decides whom may access the source based on who has legal rights to the product. Transgaming, RedHat, MySQL, et al.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday August 09, 2007 @06:30PM (#20176031)
    There's nothing "closed" about the source to MySQL Enterprise Server. It's still under the GPL. MySQL AB is simply choosing not to make the source accessible from their ftp servers to the general public, which doesn't stop anyone else from choosing to distribute it themselves.
  • Re:Yay! (Score:2, Informative)

    by GiMP ( 10923 ) on Thursday August 09, 2007 @06:36PM (#20176103)
    Whoops, should've used "preview", I'll just avoid the links this time... provides a list of a number of inexpensive providers, although it is not all-inclusive. There is also a list on the Xen Wiki, and probably on the OpenVZ wiki too. can be a good resource, but be careful there... And personally, I'm associated with VPS Village (
  • Re:Wait a second.... (Score:3, Informative)

    by Alchemar ( 720449 ) on Thursday August 09, 2007 @06:37PM (#20176115)
    They can not release their own code under the GPL and not release the source because the GPL itself is protected under copyright and trademark laws. By not releasing the source, then they are releasing under a different license but calling it GPL which dilutes the GPL trademark. They are free to distribute under the license of their choice, but they cannot change an existing license and call it the same thing. This would also be considered fraud, because the person receiving the binary would have a reasonable expectation that since it was advertised as GPL and GPL requires source that they advertised they would also provide the source code. If they want to make a new "MySQL" license that has 99% of the same things as the GPL with one or two restrictions, they are also free to do that, just don't try and call the new license GPL.

    To answer the parent's parent, people distributing GPL code can charge whatever they want for the binary, the requirement is that they must also provide the source code with it, and cannot limit the distribution of the source except as provided by the GPL, so the first person buys it for $insane_dollars and then distributes the source to all his friends, family, and bittorrent. There is no requirement to make GPL code with no cost, it just has an inherent driving force that leads to that end
  • Re:Wait a second.... (Score:2, Informative)

    by chromatic ( 9471 ) on Thursday August 09, 2007 @06:43PM (#20176177) Homepage

    As such, they are completely above board in terms of the GPL....

    As the copyright holder, they are completely above board in terms of the GPL. It doesn't apply to them.

  • by penix1 ( 722987 ) on Thursday August 09, 2007 @06:44PM (#20176197) Homepage
    You are spot on with one problem....

    Code that was "contributed" doesn't belong to MySQL but to the individual authors. Unless they have something assigning the rights to MySQL (always a possibility since I don't use MySQL I wouldn't know) those copyrights still belong to the authors of that code. In short, they would still need the "official" OK in some form from the authors (ALL of them) of the code. That is why a license change is always something to be avoided where GPL is concerned.
  • Re:In related news (Score:4, Informative)

    by utopianfiat ( 774016 ) on Thursday August 09, 2007 @06:47PM (#20176241) Journal
    fuck you zonk!
    no, I've had enough of your bullshit! take this goddamn article down right fucking now and change the title you worthless fucking excuse for a yellow journalist! For fucksake you READ the goddamn article before you post it, I HOPE.
    Fucking immune from moderation troll-assed motherfucker, I will sacrifice my "excellent" karma to bring you down!
  • Inferior version (Score:3, Informative)

    by bl8n8r ( 649187 ) on Thursday August 09, 2007 @06:53PM (#20176345)
    "One of the things that many users worry about is whether they're getting an
    inferior version of MySQL by using the Community version."

    They already have SCO, how much more inferior can they get. 5 []
  • Re:Say what? (Score:5, Informative)

    by Omnifarious ( 11933 ) * <> on Thursday August 09, 2007 @06:56PM (#20176375) Homepage Journal

    The title does not accurately reflect the summary or the real state of affairs. It is sensationalist in the extreme.

  • by Todd Knarr ( 15451 ) on Thursday August 09, 2007 @06:58PM (#20176387) Homepage

    Not technically correct. They can limit giving the source code to only their customers if and only if they provide the source code along with the binaries. If they provide the source code seperately, then the GPL requires them to offer the source code to any third party that asks for it for at least 3 years from their last binary distribution. This is because any party who receives the binary is entitled to the source even if they didn't get it directly from MySQL AB.

  • Re:Interesting trend (Score:3, Informative)

    by bladesjester ( 774793 ) <slashdot @ j a m ... l l> on Thursday August 09, 2007 @07:08PM (#20176493) Homepage Journal have always tacked open source on as an afterthought.
    Their contributor agreement is effectively
    'thanks, your patch, copyright and patents belong to us now, but here's a free t-shirt for your trouble'.

    GNU basically requires the same thing of whatever you contribute to a GNU project.
  • by Decibel ( 5099 ) on Thursday August 09, 2007 @07:08PM (#20176501) Journal
    MySQL requires code contributions to be re-assigned to MySQL AB, so AFAIK they actually own every last line of code. Which of course means that they are free to do anything they want, including close-source the whole thing.
  • Firebird (Score:3, Informative)

    by tepples ( 727027 ) <> on Thursday August 09, 2007 @07:19PM (#20176627) Homepage Journal

    Then again there's also Firebird, forgot whose codebase they used.
    Firebird [] is the community continuation of Interbase. (Interestingly enough, the license for Firebird is based on the MPL, better known as the license for Firefox.)
  • Re:Yes, it's legal (Score:4, Informative)

    by jeaton ( 44965 ) on Thursday August 09, 2007 @07:23PM (#20176663)

    Scenario: Let's say company X takes some super-cool GPL code, modifies that code, but only offers that modified code to customers paying for the binaries. Of course, in order to get the privilege of paying for the binaries, you have to sign a contract commercially stating you won't ask for the code, and/or you won't distribute that code. Thus, Company X can now charge for modified GPL code, without breaking the terms of the GPL for not distributing their modified code back to the community at large, since the only folks getting the binaries are people they have binding commercial contracts with...
    This is explicity forbidden by the GPL, in section 6:

    You may not impose any further restrictions on the recipients' exercise of the rights granted herein.
  • Re:In related news (Score:2, Informative)

    by chromatic ( 9471 ) on Thursday August 09, 2007 @07:26PM (#20176703) Homepage

    You mean they actually went ahead and tried to use shady shenanigans to force developers who have no need for anything from their organization whatsoever beyond a copy of the community developed codebase to pay for access to the codebase?

    No. Did you read the article?

  • not quite (Score:5, Informative)

    by infonography ( 566403 ) on Thursday August 09, 2007 @07:43PM (#20176847) Homepage
    The issue isn't that they are keeping what they made. They didn't make it all since they used stuff others had contributed under a certain condition. That being Open Source. The open source model is that you let others help you build the software. To close the source they would have to comb back through the contributions of other people over the years and take out all OS code that is what they didn't pay for in-house. Otherwise they would have to rewrite a whole new system from scratch and walk away from the MySQL code base as it stands.

    It's like getting divorced and your ex gets only the second floor and the garage.
  • by kilodelta ( 843627 ) on Thursday August 09, 2007 @09:06PM (#20177499) Homepage
    From what I can tell, the only real differences between Enterprise and Community is support. We run community version for major production databases with no issues whatsoever.

    And we're not the only ones doing so. MySQL had really better re-think the whole thing, whats the point of offering Enterprise when 90% of shops are going to go with the free product.
  • by archen ( 447353 ) on Thursday August 09, 2007 @09:27PM (#20177683)
    I think it depends on what you would like to do. As a Posgres fanboy I will be the first to support it. Been absolutely solid and I've gone upgrading from 7.1 each release up to 8.2.4 with hardly a hitch (except the known things to watch for between 7.x and 8.x). However you do pay the price in terms of flexibility. I'm not a DBA I'm an IT manager, and I mainly need a database to "keep shit in". I also only want ONE database (for this task). Sometimes I'd think I'd like to add on a ticket system, or something else. These things are typically MySQL only. I'm not sure what your appliance does, but if it basically only interacts with itself I'd go postgresql all the way. If you want flexibility then you might want to weigh in your options a bit more. More and more things are picking up Postgres support though.
  • Re:In related news (Score:5, Informative)

    by wwahammy ( 765566 ) on Thursday August 09, 2007 @09:57PM (#20177915)
    While the response is a bit... over the top, the sentiment is understandable. MySQL is not closing off its source. It's just choosing not to distribute the source code for one version of its product in one way. It doesn't violate the GPL in any way and if you still really want the source you can get it from their repository.

    Zonk's title isn't even remotely related to the reality of the situation. If I could mod him down, I sure would.
  • Re:Wait a second.... (Score:2, Informative)

    by hardburn ( 141468 ) <hardburn&wumpus-cave,net> on Thursday August 09, 2007 @11:34PM (#20178481)

    The GPL's (v3) own copyright is covered by this statement at the beginning:

    Copyright (C) 2007 Free Software Foundation, Inc. <>

    Everyone is permitted to copy and distribute verbatim copies of this license document, but changing it is not allowed.

    Legally speaking, the GPL can't practically restrict what the original copyright holder can do with their own code. What the AC reply implied was correct; the only group the copyright holder could sue is itself.

    I haven't seen anything to indicate the FSF holds a registered trademark on the term "GPL". Citation to the contrary is welcome.

  • Re:Firebird (Score:2, Informative)

    by justlost ( 1140637 ) on Thursday August 09, 2007 @11:47PM (#20178581)
    I've used firebird on a POS system I was developing. I've used the embeded version and the server classic version and they work very well. As a matter of fact I learned SQL from firebird. The syntax just works every where else. Very compliant!. You will not find auto indexers, but you can create your own with triggers. In my option, firebird can be used to replace most databases with little work.
  • by theolein ( 316044 ) on Friday August 10, 2007 @05:14AM (#20180273) Journal
    The pressure on mysql to constantly offer new features, instead of focusing on mysql's strengths, which is highspeed, a decent group of features and simplicity to maintain and operate is going to cost mysql in the long run. This is only the start. The new features in mysql 5+ such as stored procedures, triggers, functions etc are very poorly implemented and come nowhere near the full implementations of databases like Oracle and Postgresql. The result is that DBAs and developers who like mysql for its easy maintenance and speed end up being disillusioned when problems start cropping up.

    I don't think many places would switch to Postgresql, since the administration side is more complex and therefore more costly, but I can see shops weighing the pros and cons of switching to postgresql, since that DB has an excellent reputation.
  • Re:In related news (Score:3, Informative)

    by accessdeniednsp ( 536678 ) <detoler@g m a i l . com> on Friday August 10, 2007 @09:35AM (#20181869)
    Microsoft SQL Server was derived from Sybase many eons ago. Like any good project, tho, I would venture a guess that they've "gone their own way" by now (at least I hope).

    (can I link to Wikipedia for this and not get flamed? The info here really is quite accurate: [])

Karl's version of Parkinson's Law: Work expands to exceed the time alloted it.