My boss Monty has issued a call to action. It looks like the European Commission is set to rule on the Sun/Oracle merger, and Oracle has used its clout with its customers to generate a mass-mail campaign. So now it’s time for the Free Software community to do the same.
First, let me again say that I am employed by Monty Program, and so this request is not coming from a wholly disinterested party.
Second, the idea that Oracle should not acquire MySQL without limitations or conditions has been championed by such luminaries as Richard Stallman. While Eben Moglen wrote a missive on behalf of Oracle, his idea that any fork using GPL code has the exact same business opportunities Oracle has is, plainly, absurd. It shows a deep misunderstanding of how MySQL’s dual licensing has worked to build a viable business from Free Software. In short, Stallman “gets it,” Moglen does not.
Third, if Oracle believes the “anyone can fork it” argument, why did they not drop this whole matter months ago, saving themselves millions in revenue, and just fork it themselves? ZDnet published an article a month ago saying, “The longer this takes, the more money Sun is going to lose,” Ellison said at the time, insisting he wouldn’t spin off MySQL. Do I believe Larry Ellison is an astute businessman? You bet I do. So the fact he isn’t prepared to believe his own company’s “anyone can fork it!” mantra tells me something. It should tell you something, too.
Forking code saves the code. It does not save the business. Full stop.
Finally, read Monty’s post and act! Thanks!