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Comment Re:It depends (Score 1) 306

Well, even if the maintainers have the copyrights, that only means future versions can be closed source. They can't terminate the already-outstanding licenses without a breach of terms.

Oracle doesn't need to take MySQL closed-source or even make any money from it directly. By buying Sun and hence MySQL, they'll disrupt MySQL's development, giving Oracle DBMS a jump in development time, and presumably in features/quality, market share, etc.

It takes time to set up a real fork, and Mr. Widenius may not have the resources to hire as many employees as MySQL AB did without the commercial dual licensing arrangement. As for the development within the MySQL subsidiary, Oracle can slow that down simply by rewriting the release schedule.

In sum, if the goal of this acquisition was to address the threat of MySQL to Oracle DBMS (which I think it may have been, in part), then that task is accomplished not by making money from MySQL but by slowing down its development. Even a difference of 6 or 12 months would be a huge advantage for Oracle DBMS.

That's why I felt that antitrust laws should be considered here, because it's an anticompetitive strategy, but it would be hard to prove because the effect is only indirect.

Also, a less-informed regulator or judge would look at industry figures that show the database market to be highly competitive and not at risk of a monopoly. But industry figures are based on revenue, not adoption, which masks MySQL's true penetration because most MySQL installations are of the free version.

Comment free as in beer matters too (Score 2, Interesting) 906

While this is obviously a problem for FOSS, as somebody who works for startup companies, I am also very concerned about potential changes to the pricing structure. Startup companies and SMB's use MySQL instead of Oracle because they can't afford to pay for a database on top of all of their other costs. Cheap/free database software is part of what makes entrepreneurship possible for so many people.

If Oracle slowly kills MySQL through neglect, it could have ramifications for the broader economy, unless another database software (e.g. PostgreSQL) can fill the void.

Fortunately, it's all based on the SQL standard, but there are still differences between RDBMS's that developers will need to learn to switch.

And yes, why is there no antitrust attention when Oracle tries to buy the owner of MySQL?

The Courts

Submission + - Suit: RIAA Threatened to Interrogate 10 Year Old

eliot1785 writes: A woman has sued the RIAA after she claimed they threatened to confront and interrogate her 10 year old daughter in pursuit of a case that they knew was failing. Apparently the woman in question had the preponderance of evidence in her favor, but the RIAA was afraid of dropping the case for fear it would embolden other defendants, so they compensated for the lack of evidence with empty threats. The RIAA's fear is very real, by the way — their shotgun legal strategy would be too expensive for themselves if they had to actually prosecute every case instead of settling.

Comment I had an opposite experience (Score 2, Interesting) 329

I installed a free copy of Vista I got from Dell about 2 weeks ago as well, and immediately uninstalled it. I had made an image of my hard drive pre-upgrade with Norton Ghost so it was pretty easy to do so. I was actually pretty excited about Vista, and ended up being disappointed. My primary complaints include (there may have been more but I uninstalled too quickly to find them):

- they eliminated the expanding "All Programs" menu from the Start menu (wtf?), so instead you have to scroll up and down interminably on a little window in the Start menu. Think of it like using Start on your Blackberry. It's either that or use search to find your program.
- 10,000 shades of teal mixed with an unchangeable grey/black/silver Taskbar / Start menu = extreme nausea, plus there is no way to change it.
- Flip 3D is not useful because you have to use either a 3-key combo to use it or click on a little button on the taskbar to use it. I would have preferred just using my mouse scrollwheel...
- The "User Access Control" thing warned me 3 times in a row about WinRAR and I couldn't just approve the program...
- The start button is a lot harder to click on now since it's not synonymous with the corner - you have to visually find it.

I really liked IE until they screwed everything up in IE7, and now I've started using Firefox. I am wondering whether Vista will do the same thing and force me to start using a Mac and/or Linux. Linux still isn't an option though because the media copyright issues make it hard to use for multimedia applications. And a Mac screams "vendor lock-in". So maybe I'll just use XP forever...

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