Save MySQL petition kicks off 2010

Online petition collects over 16,000 signatures in under a week in an attempt to prevent Oracle from controlling MySQL

Florian Mueller began 2010 by demonstrating why he was named EU Campaigner of the Year by the Economist magazine five years ago. While most of us were prepping for New Year's Eve celebrations or contemplating New Year's resolutions, Mueller and MySQL co-founder and creator Michael "Monty" Widenius spent Dec. 28 launching an online Save MySQL petition against the Oracle acquisition of MySQL via Sun. Mueller reports via e-mail: campaign delivers first 14,000 signatures against Oracle's proposed acquisition of MySQL to European, Chinese and Russian competition authorities. In less than one week, during the Holiday Season, we gathered 50 times more customer support than Oracle claimed three weeks ago.

You can read the full press release. The campaign is displaying stats from petition signees. This post is based on the first 16,306 signees as of 9 a.m. EST on Monday, Jan. 4. If the results change markedly with new signees, I'll post an update.

[ InfoWorld's Bill Snyder says Europe is engaging in a dishonest squeeze play on Oracle over MySQL, while Neil McAllister traces who wins if Oracle loses MySQL. | Back in September, MySQL users expressed nervousness about Oracle acquiring Sun, and Michael "Monty" Widenius has said Oracle should sell the database. ]

MySQL enterprise usage

Whether MySQL poses a competitive threat to Oracle's database business has been a point of significant disagreement between Oracle and opponents of the MySQL acquisition, including Monty and Mueller. Oracle says there is little to no overlap. Monty argues that MySQL has become feature rich and is a suitable replacement for Oracle's database in several situations.

Nearly a quarter of respondents identified themselves as working at a company using MySQL, and not simply an independent or self-employed software or Web developer. Of the respondents working at a company using MySQL, just over 20 percent worked at a company with 1,000 or more employees. This is clearly a customer group where Oracle databases would compete.

These results would seem to support Monty's claims about MySQL competitiveness against Oracle. On the other hand, there's no reason that a large company wouldn't want to use both MySQL and Oracle databases for small and large projects, respectively. In such a situation, did the MySQL usage displace Oracle usage or, as Oracle would argue, SQL Server usage? The former would support Monty's claim, while the latter would support Oracle's claim. A generalized version of this question would have been a helpful addition to the Save MySQL petition.

Signees would require Oracle to sell MySQL

Of the three solutions that Mueller and Monty suggest that Oracle should agree to before being allowed to complete the Sun acquisition, over 90 percent of signees believe MySQL must be divested to a suitable third party. Only 60 percent of signees believe that Oracle should be allowed to acquire MySQL as part of the Sun acquisition. These signees would require Oracle to either commit to a linking exception for applications that use MySQL or require Oracle to release past and future versions of MySQL under the Apache Software License 2.0.

Go ahead and take a look at the petition.

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p.s.: I should state: "The postings on this site are my own and don't necessarily represent IBM's positions, strategies, or opinions."

This story, "Save MySQL petition kicks off 2010," was originally published at Follow the latest developments in open source at

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