mySQL on ISP cannot be used for free by customers of ISP

Andre Garzia andre at
Sun Feb 15 16:20:07 EST 2009

Thats why when someone asks me what DB they should use, I always point
them to postgreSQL...

I prefer to use BSD or MIT licenses over GPL and I never understood
dual licensing.

software politics are hard

On Sun, Feb 15, 2009 at 4:42 PM, Richard Gaskin
<ambassador at> wrote:
> MySQL'a dual licensing has been the source of a lot of confusion for quite a
> long time, and what few notes can be found at their site about when their
> license requires a license doesn't help a great many people make an
> appropriate determination.
> I've written them to get clarification on three specific usage scenarios
> that are not uncommon, and while their sales staff was quick to reply to my
> interest in possibly getting a license I've not heard back from them on
> whether it's actually needed in the scenarios I'm considering.
> Here's an example of the confusion, from JoelOnSoftware:
> <>
> This comment there tries to help sort it out:
>   Most of the things mentioned here are irrelevant.
>   Read
>   more specifically:
>   "If you develop and distribute a commercial application and
>   as part of utilizing your application, the end-user must
>   download a copy of MySQL; for each derivative work, you (or,
>   in some cases, your end-user) need a commercial license for
>   the MySQL server and/or MySQL client libraries."
> Unfortunately that URL no longer points to the material cited, so you have
> to wade through the links there to try to find guidance on how the license
> applies to a given use.
> Here's a scenario I can't figure out:  if I make a DB on my server using my
> own proprietary code running on top of MySQL, and I sell subscriptions to
> this proprietary system, do the "per seat" definitions for MySQL licensing
> apply to my customers as "seats" for my DB use? Still waiting to hear back
> from them on that.
> It's too bad they don't make it simpler for folks to understand when it's
> necessary to purchase a license and how much it will cost.  It's confusing
> for the market and no doubt they lose a great many sales based on the
> near-ubiquitous -- if erroneous -- presumption that it's always gratis. Free
> as in freedom != free as in beer. ;)
> Ruslan, I couldn't find the original post you quoted. Where did this thread
> originate?
> It would be ironic in a discussion of copyright protection to have material
> copied without permission from the author. ;)
> --
>  Richard Gaskin
>  Fourth World Media Corporation
>  ___________________________________________________________
>  Ambassador at
> Ruslan Zasukhin wrote:
>> On 2/15/09 1:41 PM, "Thorsten Hohage" <thohage at>
>> wrote:
>> Hi Thorsten,
>> This is very interesting and I should say new info for me.
>> I believe many times on RB and Revolution list (especially) people express
>> point that they can use mySQL of their ISPs for free.
>> Info which you provide below changes things a lots.
>> I will CC this to REV list for info.
>>>>> But mySQL is not totally free, even when used at an ISP! Many, many
>>>>> customer of ISPs go in a big trap, because they used the offered mySQL
>>>>> licence from the ISP for their commercial use what is in sense of
>>>>>  mySQL
>>>>> legals not allowed.
>>>> Why you think so?
>>> Because I read and discussed the given mySQL licence terms when
>>> dealing with that issues (and I break them like anybody else :-))
>>> The fact that mySQL is free for ISPs and they put them on their
>>> servers does NOT mean everybody being a customer for such a package
>>> can use it for free!
>>> Of course e.g. when you're going to use let us say Joomla, then Joomla
>>> is Open Source, too and AFAIK then your content will not be some kind
>>> of "Open Content".
>>> But when you develop a software using this hosted mySQL, then you must
>>> decide PAY or Open Source it, and it doesn't matter if this is hosted
>>> at your ISP or not.
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