Tag Archives: BSD

EU probes Oracle’s bid to buy Sun

It appears that little MySQL has just become a disproportionally big player in the Oracle-Sun takeover deal…. article by Associated Press: EU probes Oracle’s bid to buy Sun notes:

EU Competition Commissioner Neelie Kroes said Thursday that regulators needed to examine the effect of a deal “when the world’s biggest proprietary database company proposes to take over the world’s leading open-source database company.”

Ah, Neelie Kroes. Dutch lady from the liberal (that’s seriously right-wing in NL, my American friends ;-) party, formerly minister for infrastructure in NL, long time ago.

So what can happen now? The EU can (and I’m skipping a few steps for brevity here) force the MySQL part of Sun to be auctioned separately, to allow the remainder of the detail to go through. One thing is fairly predictable, the price is probably not going to be $1 bln. As far as it wasn’t overpriced back then, a fair amount of talent and activity is not actually inside Sun any more. Less predictable, who might buy what is now there?

And on a side note, where will Drizzle fit… would be regarded as part of the MySQL bundle as it uses its IP for its foundation? If MySQL goes, and Drizzle stays, then Sun(/Oracle) will have a project for which it does not own the core IP. That can be perfectly fine, but that’s not what it’s been aiming for: Drizzle accepts contributions under BSD license, which means that the core IP owner (currently Sun) is actually able to dual-license it just like MySQL. Not saying that’s what it intends with Drizzle, but the arrangement currently makes Drizzle a potential net asset rather than merely a cool/useful project.

There’s plenty of independent interest (not just intellectual but business/money) in MySQL and Drizzle. I for one prefer that angle in the ecosystem now, it might be better off without core IP ownership. Dual licensing was ok for a time in MySQL’s history, but it’s fairly irrelevant and mainly a nuisance.

In any case… who would have thought, that little database originally written by Monty in Helsinki, causing so much trouble ;-)