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12/17/2009
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MySQL Campaign Heats Up

The open source database's author urges users to object to deal that would give Oracle ownership of MySQL.

MySQL author and former owner Michael "Monty" Widenius is continuing to object to Oracle gaining ownership of MySQL and is urging MySQL users to continue to send their concerns to the European Commission's Office on Competition.

"The most significant fact (from Oracle's list of 10 points of commitment to MySQL) is that everything is limited to five years. After that period, Oracle is free to do anything, including to stop developing an open source version of MySQL," he wrote in a Monty Says blog Wednesday.

Oracle called eight of its customers who were also MySQL users as witnesses before a hearing of the commission a week ago to say they supported Oracle as the prospective owner of the open source system. Oracle becomes the owner when it completes its acquisition of Sun Microsystems, but to do so it needs the go-ahead from the commission. In addition to the eight witnesses, Oracle has prompted about 200 customers to write to the commission.

At the same time, MySQL users number in the hundreds of thousands around the world, and thousands of them have registered their objections with the European Commission's Competition Office, according to Florian Mueller, an advisor to Widenius and veteran public opinion campaigner on European Union issues.

Widenius urged his blog readers Dec. 12 to contact the Office on Competition "to help save MySQL from Oracle's clutches. Without your immediate help, Oracle might get to own MySQL any day now," he wrote a day after the hearings ended on the case. A counter at the Web page titled, "Monty Says: Help Savign MySQL," showed that 8,883 messages had been sent as of noon Pacific Dec. 17.

Europe's antitrust authority is getting "many thousands" of emails from MySQL users every day, asking regulators to protect the open source database, said Florian Mueller, a former MySQL shareholder and adviser to Widenius, in a message to InformationWeek.

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