Oracle Assumes MySQL is Open Core, Invites the Wrath of the Open Source Community

There has to be a day when Oracle stops disappointing the world of open source. Right after the acquisition of Sun Microsystems, everything Oracle has done took open-source projects under Sun Microsystems on a slide downhill. Recently,  many publications  are talking about  MySQL becoming open-core  but if we look closely, Oracle started out with this very outlook for MySQL! To be precise, Oracle says in  its announcement of commercial extensions  for MySQL,

Continuing the business model of MySQL, we are adding three new commercial extensions to MySQL Enterprise Edition.
Existing commercial customers who are entitled to a  MySQL Enterprise Edition  subscription can log into My Oracle Support and download these immediately.
For others who want to try these new capabilities, we will make them available shortly, via the  30-day
free trial of MySQL Enterprise Edition

Tell me why that does not sound familiar. We have seen this ideology earlier. Both Eclipse and Cygwin are based on the ideology of  Open Core  and MySQL seems to be taking the same path. Something about this open-core does not seem right. At least, it does not fall in line with the four basic freedoms of free-software, namely,

  • The freedom to run the program, for any purpose (freedom 0)
  • The freedom to study how the program works, and change it so it does your computing as you wish (freedom 1)
  • The freedom to redistribute copies so you can help your neighbor (freedom 2)
  • The freedom to distribute copies of your modified versions to others (freedom 3)

Open core maintains a feeling of goodwill while taking away the aesthetic value of these freedoms. With this move, Oracle shows that it has the right to distribute MySQL components as commercial products. In other words, what would otherwise have arrived, as an enhanced version of MySQL with added features, will come as MySQL with commercial enhancements.

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Chinmoy Kanjilal

Chinmoy Kanjilal is a FOSS enthusiast and evangelist. He is passionate about Android. Security exploits turn him on and he loves to tinker with computer networks. He rants occasionally at You can connect with him on Twitter @ckandroid.