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MySQL Rejects GPL Version 3 For Now

Version 3 of the General Public License has proposed a digital rights management provision and other optional restrictions that some open-source developers don't like.

Charles Babcock

January 4, 2007

1 Min Read

MySQL AG is changing its approach to GPL licensing so that the company isn't required to upgrade its popular open-source database to GPL 3 when it becomes available later this year.

Kaj Arno, MySQL's VP of community relations, said in a posting on his blog in late December that the copyright notice in the MySQL source code will change from stating the code is covered by "either GPL Version 2 or later" licenses to "GPL Version 2 only."

The move reflects the hesitation in the open-source community to embrace the next version of the General Public License, being drafted by the Free Software Foundation's Eben Moglen. Linux and other open-source code have achieved great success on Version 2, and Linus Torvalds and other Linux developers have expressed skepticism about whether Linux should move to Version 3.

Version 3 of the GPL has proposed a digital rights management provision and other optional restrictions that some Linux developers don't like.

"Six years ago, our founders David Axmark and Michael Widenius [chose GPL Version 2] because the GPL was a license followed and respected by everyone. We have kept to it, because the GPL is the most palatable license and poses the least friction for our user base," wrote Arno.

MySQL will consider using GPL Version 3, but not "until we get clear and strong indications for the general acceptance of GPLv3 over GPLv2," Arno said.

On the other hand, the Samba team, supplier of open-source Samba for file conversion between Linux and Windows, has endorsed GPL Version 3.

About the Author(s)

Charles Babcock

Editor at Large, Cloud

Charles Babcock is an editor-at-large for InformationWeek and author of Management Strategies for the Cloud Revolution, a McGraw-Hill book. He is the former editor-in-chief of Digital News, former software editor of Computerworld and former technology editor of Interactive Week. He is a graduate of Syracuse University where he obtained a bachelor's degree in journalism. He joined the publication in 2003.

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