ayers's blog

Free Software on a Free Market

GNU GPLv3 added to the FOSS-License Exceptions of libmysql

I have a few hats on in the greater Free Software community which puts me a position where many folks approach me with their licensing issues.  One of those hats is the PR representative of the Open Source Experts Group [sic] of the Austrian chamber of commerce.  In that position I was approached by the APOSDLE project a few months ago, which implemented a learning on the job solution comprising many third party components.  Some of these components were licensed under Apache license, others under the GNU GPLv3 but there was one library that was causing licensing issues due to incompatibility.  This of course was the MySQL client library.

This incompatibility is well known in the MySQL community.  The initial responses from the vendor included an offer to purchase the proprietary license.  Yet that offer doesn’t solve the issue.  The license may save the project from a compliance complaint from the current MySQL copyright holder.  Yet the project would still be in violation of the GNU GPLv3 terms of the other libraries.  This meant that the source of the project could not be published.  The MySQL copyright holder could not offer me any other viable options at that time, which lead to a pretty frustrating situation.

But few days ago I received a follow up mail from the MySQL copyright holders, that they have now added GNU GPLv3 to their FOSS License Exception. I congratulate them to this step.  Many projects licensed under the GNU GPLv2 have removed the users option to distribute the software under the terms of the future versions of the GNU GPL .  This logical contribution will allow many projects to use current software licensed under GPLv3 together with MySQL client library.

I can now announce that the source code of APOSDLE will go public in the upcoming weeks.  I would like to express my gratitude to all those involved, as I’m sure we were not the only ones who approached the MySQL copyright holders to achieve this state.

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