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RE: Mysql version question

On Wed, 6 Oct 2004, Graham Cossey wrote:

> <snip>
> > > Why is FC 2 still using version 3.23 of mysql?  Version 4.x and 5.x have
> > > been out for some time.  Is there a problem upgrading?
> > >
> > > TIA
> > >
> >
> > Because it's not technically free (as in beer) any more. The license has
> > changed. Check the site for details, then make up your own mind.
> >
> <snip>
> MySQL uses dual licensing dependant on it's use.
> http://www.mysql.com/products/mysql/
> "The MySQL database server is available under the MySQL AB "dual licensing"
> model. Under this model, users may choose to use MySQL products under the
> free software/open source GNU General Public License (commonly known as the
> "GPL") or under a commercial license."
> If you want it for 'free' read this:
> http://www.mysql.com/company/legal/licensing/opensource-license.html
> Graham

A quick summary:  In versions later than the one in FC2, MySQL changed the
"free" license form the LGPL to the GPL.  The LGPL permits distributing
binaries linked to programs that are not themselves GPL, whereas the GPL
does not.  Thus, in particular, Fedora is not permitted to distribute
PHP/MySQL binaries with new MySQL.  This restriction does not prevent the
user from getting GPL MySQL from the MySQL site and building their own PHP

While GPL code can only be distributed linked with GPL code, LGPL code can
be linked to anything.  In an attempt to reach a compromise, MySQL has
created an "OSS licensing exception" that permits thier GPL code to be
linked to OSS--but not proprietary--code (see

Hopefully, this will be an adequate step to allow Red Hat and Fedora to
distribute up-to-date MySQL in the future.  But only official Fedora and
Red Hat spokespeople can say for sure.

		Matthew Saltzman

Clemson University Math Sciences
mjs AT clemson DOT edu

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