Everybody can fork MySQL. But what about market penetration?

When I talked with journalists, lawyers and analysts about the Oracle/Sun merger case questions were raised about the possibility to fork MySQL and that everybody who is not satisfied with Oracle’s future way regarding MySQL could do this. I don’t agree with that and I think it’s best to put Monty’s own words (found in a comment in his blog) here because I can’t explain it better:

In addition, the MySQL trademark is so strong that it’s hard to impossible for a fork to attract enough attention to be able to compete in a meaningful manner if MySQL would be owned by a vendor that refuses to cooperate and works against the fork.


Von Björn Schotte

Björn Schotte ist geschäftsführender Gesellschafter der Mayflower GmbH und Senior Consultant im Umfeld von Software- und Agilen Organisations-Themen. Er twittert unter @BjoernSchotte und ist auf Xing sowie LinkedIn erreichbar. Seine Vorträge finden sich bei Slideshare.

4 Kommentare

  1. If the mainline maintainers of any GPL project are not meeting the needs of the community, then eventually others will rally to fork the project to meet those needs. This is how the fork attracts attention. It has nothing to do with how strong the trademark of the mainline is.

    If the fork is having trouble drawing attention it would only be because the mainline maintainers are doing „good enough“ to please most users.

  2. Let Monty repaid for $1B (or may be a bit less because of economy) and he can change the license to whatever he wish. Monty is a greedy man…..

    Dream on Monty

  3. If Oracle wanted to kill MySQL, why didn’t they kill InnoDB years ago? Oracle has owned InnoDB for 5 years, and they haven’t done anything bad to InnoDB….indeed, they’ve improved it, including making it into the first plugin storage engine.

    1. Sheeri, while that might be true, there’s a difference between InnoDB and MySQL itself.

      InnoDB is just a storage engine (a good one!).

      But MySQL is the database software itself, the trademark, the dual licensing model and the whole ecosystem around it.

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