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Re: MySQL only useable for GPL clients?

Martin Koegler <mkoegler@auto.tuwien.ac.at> writes:

> The newer MySQL client libraries are GPL (with the FLOSS exception),
> older versions were LGPL.
> At http://dev.mysql.com/doc/internals/en/licensing-notice.html
> MySQL has put a descrption of their network protocol, where they
> force programs using this protocol to be GPL:
>>The MySQL Protocol is proprietary.
>>The MySQL Protocol is part of the MySQL Database Management System.
>>As such, it falls under the provisions of the GNU Public License (GPL). 
>>A copy of the GNU Public License is available on MySQL's web site, and 
>>in the product download.
>>Because this is a GPL protocol, any product which uses it to connect
>>to a MySQL server, or to emulate a MySQL server, or to interpose
>>between any client and server which uses the protocol, or for any
>>similar purpose, is also bound by the GPL. Therefore if you use this
>>description to write a program, you must release your program as
>>GPL. Contact MySQL AB if you need clarification of these terms or if
>>you need to ask about alternative arrangements.

What are those people smoking?  Writing a program that implements a
protocol does not in any way I've ever heard of create anything
derived from the protocol specification.  An MPEG decoder is not a
derivative of the MPEG specification (patents issues are unrelated),
and this is no different in principle.  Remember that it is perfectly
legal to reverse engineer a protocol, and then proceed to write your
own programs using it.  Surely, there can't be more restrictions when
the specification is publicly available.

Måns Rullgård

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