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Using MySQL in commercial product?

Posted on 2003-11-04
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Last Modified: 2006-11-17
As I understand MySQL is under GPL.

Could someone put it _simply_:

I Have a commercial stand-alone-installed application that uses SQL database for storing its variables and misc data.
If I use MySQL (without sourcecode modifications) does that allow me to keep all my own sources secret.
Or does the licence bind me to other big things I should know?

Thank You - "Cant understand the legal mumbojumbo"
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Question by:TMan
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by:vk33
ID: 9677983
afaik no. You cannot supply your app without source code if it contains any GNU components.
But there are commercial licenses available:
https://order.mysql.com/?sub=pg&pg_no=1

Hope it helps!
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Squeebee earned 250 total points
ID: 9679291
Having discussed this at length with the MySQL guys I can say that vk33 is right (at least from MySQL AB's point of view).
If your software depends on MySQL being installed, then you need a commercial license.

If your application optionally uses MySQL, (as in during configuration you can choose to use MySQL, or you can use flat files, or you can use Access) then you are ok, because your application does not depend on MySQL being installed to run. This is why applications like Crystal Reports are GPL complaint, as they do not depend on GPL software to run, but instead just provide compatability.
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by:iaind
ID: 9683774
I'm not a lawer.. but....

From their web site. (http://www.mysql.com/downloads/index.html)

"You need to purchase commercial non-GPL MySQL licenses:
-If you distribute MySQL Software with your non open source software,
-If you want warranty from MySQL AB for the MySQL software,
-If you want to support MySQL development."

Now the key here is the first item... if you are providing MySQL Software with your non open source software then you need to buy a commercial licence from MySQL.  If you dont provide their software, but require your users to download it them selves then you 'should not' need a commercial licence.

The two key parts of the licence (http://www.mysql.com/products/licensing.html) are:

"2. Free use for those who never copy, modify or distribute
As long as you never distribute (internally or externally) the MySQL Software in any way, you are free to use it for powering your application, irrespective of whether your application is under GPL or other OSI approved license or not.

3. Commercial use for everyone else
If your application is not licensed under GPL or compatible OSI license approved by MySQL AB and you intend to distribute MySQL software (be that internally or externally), you must first obtain a commercial license to the MySQL software in question."

These are extracts for the full thing make sure you read the above link.
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by:Squeebee
ID: 9683957
"If you dont provide their software, but require your users to download it them selves then you 'should not' need a commercial licence."

Once again, after pretty extensive conversations with guys at MySQL AB, I can say that the above is not a loophole in MySQL's eyes. As long as you app depends on MySQL you need a license, this includes having the user download MySQL themselves.

What you see in point two is a case for companies who host a server and only clients get distributed. If you host a web site backed by MySQL you are ok.
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