I’m pleased to say that the Open Source Initiative Board has accepted the MariaDB Foundation’s application to become an Affiliate Member of OSI. The MariaDB Foundation Board decided to join OSI to demonstrate our support for the principle of software freedom and to be able to participate in OSI projects more directly under their new Working Group mechanism. MariaDB community members are of course still invited to become individual members of OSI!

It has recently been brought to our attention that the MySQL man pages have been relicensed. The change was made rather silently going from MySQL 5.5.30 to MySQL 5.5.31. This affects all pages in the man/ directory of the source code.

You can tell the changes have come during this short timeframe (5.5.30->5.5.31). The old manual pages were released under the following license:

This documentation is free software; you can redistribute it and/or modify it only under the terms of the GNU General Public License as published by the Free Software Foundation; version 2 of the License.

The new man pages (following 5.5.31 and greater – still valid for 5.5.32) are released under the following license:

This software and related documentation are provided under a license agreement containing restrictions on use and disclosure and are protected by intellectual property laws. Except as expressly permitted in your license agreement or allowed by law, you may not use, copy, reproduce, translate, broadcast, modify, license, transmit, distribute, exhibit, perform, publish, or display any part, in any form, or by any means. Reverse engineering, disassembly, or decompilation of this software, unless required by law for interoperability, is prohibited.

This is clearly not very friendly of MySQL at Oracle. The new license has become a lot longer as well (to make it clear it is not released under the GPL). While the following was taken from the resolveip tool, the copyright notice is the same for all the man pages. You can compare the man page in 5.5.30 vs the man page in 5.5.31.comparison

Update: Oracle is saying that this is a bug and will be fixed: http://bugs.mysql.com/bug.php?id=69512

The MariaDB Foundation Board has now been meeting for a few months and we have been gradually taking steps to establish the Foundation as an independent organisation with member-led governance. The Board has asked me, as CEO, to provide regular updates on our progress here on the MariaDB Blog, so watch for posts in the Foundation category.

I’ve a larger news update in preparation for next week, but first a news item about our relationship with the wider community. Given the threat software patents pose to all free and open source developers, it’s important to use every defence available as well as to unite to frustrate patent aggressors. To that end, the MariaDB Foundation has become a licensee of the Open Invention Network, a patent non-aggression community with a number of facets including patent pooling, cross-licensing and defensive filing. While the impact on MariaDB may not immediately be huge, the Board felt this gesture of solidarity was important.