Re: License question
Posted by: Allan Hardy
Date: May 13, 2005 04:56AM
I too am trying to work out MySQL licensing and advise my company and customers. You seem to have a tough job on this, one that I would have thought was well documented by now.
Where you said:
-- See fsf.org for interpretations of the GPL.
Why? I mean your the copyright holder. Its your interpratation and enforcement thats relavent, not FSFs. They can only advise you.
(Which they have done a poor job of advising anyone with this issue of collective works and linking, so they put you in a bind. )
In any case they can't take action against me for any improper use of mySQL, only you can. So your a much more important source of information then them.
Ed asked some great questions about 'linking' a few posts back. Any Comments?
If we do look to FSF for any help, consider that their compliancy lab guidelines say these types of connections/linking would cause an issue, in thier minds:
1-Static linking with a GPL'ed component
2-Dynamically linking at runtime with a GPL'ed component, through a system such as dlopen(), insmod, or a generally equivalent system.
3-Communication with a GPL'ed component via a rich, non-standard IPC or network interface that gives all the same functionality normally given by static or dynamic linking
4-Distribution of a component that is explicitly designed to link with a specific GPL'ed component. (For example, distributing object code for a GCC front-end and telling the user: "To make this work, get GCC yourself" is considered a violation, but distributing a binary component that requires a standardized, commonly implemented POSIX API is not considered a violation.)
Notice in #3 it points out using non-standard interface to a GPL'ed product is linking.
However SQL is a standard? JDBC, ODBC, are standards?
Notice #4 says using a standard interface is not linking
(for now I am interpreting this as a POSIX API as a meaning a common, standardized API, or interface, like say SQL) and not The POSIX API specifically and only)
So If I implement my commercial app using JDBC, and the customer decides to implement Connect/J and MYSQL, as one of several database options 'they' have, under which definition of linking would my commercial app become a GPL violator?
Perhaps there is a much finer discusison on interfaces and drivers to be had.
Thanks for your time and patience on this. I guess you can tell that some of us find it important. Though I do understand the 'jeez just spend a few bucks on commercial license' idea and hence the question of why spend time and resources. But if you would just do it once it would help. On the other hand you (MySQL AB) choose GPL, with all of its warts and open issues, so sympathy doesn't run to deep :)