MySQL shuns GPL version 3

MySQL has changed its software licensing terms for MySQL 5.0 and 5.1 to prevent the code being governed by the upcoming General Public Licence version 3 (GPLv3). Previous licensing terms offered users a choice between the current GPL2 or any later version. The company has decided to opt out of GPL3 for now because it wants to gauge the market response to the licence before its release, according to Kaj Arnö, community vice president at MySQL.

"MySQL AB continues to work with the Free Software Foundation for GPLv3 to be the new widespread licence under which free software is licensed," Arnö wrote in a blog posting in December. "However, until we get clear and strong indications for the general acceptance of GPLv3 over GPLv2, we feel comfortable with a specific GPLv2 reference in our licence."

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News source: vnunet

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GPL 2 allows any code to be written, as long as it you also distribute the source under the GPL

GPL3 forbids tying your code to hardware DRM (also called "TIVO-ization", which distributed the code, but it was useless as it was tied to proprietary hardware). GPL 3 also has terminology dealing with patent-sharing to respond to teh Novell/Microsoft deal which apparently might split GPL code into "protected from litigation" and "unprotected", based on where you downloaded or received the code from.

The biggest difference is GPL2 is published and if you use it you know exactly what it requires. GPL3 on the other hand is still a draft. Meaning it is subject to change and when finished may not be what you expected. MySQL as a company cannot put they're product under a license that they may change at the last minute and hurt their business.