MySQL and TrollTech dual-license model and asymetry.

Bruce Perens bruce at
Wed Apr 13 02:14:58 UTC 2005

Joel West wrote:

>Only one entity has to grant non-reciprocal licenses to the large number of corporate users who want one. (Hence Marten Mickos' venture capital and growing sales figures).
This would not be the case if the MySQL server had a significant
community involvement in its development. But the fact is that Monty
Wirzenius is the sole developer and that's the way they like it. MySQL's
business purpose for Open Source has been to market their system through
use as a component in other Open Source products, rather than to
leverage significant Open Source development of the server.

I think a better case would be TrollTech. They have had a good deal more
Open Source development and use dual-license with GPL. As far as I'm
aware, they have hired most of the people who made significant
contributions to their products.

It may be that these two companies have asked other developers to assign
copyrights or the right to relicense without hiring or paying them, but
I've not heard about it. It's not at all clear to me that either company
is being unfair to any Open Source partner.



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