|By Open Source News||
|October 15, 2005 05:00 PM EDT||
The press release was distributed to the media by a popular newswire service: MySQL and SCO simply agreed "to jointly deliver a certified, commercial version of the popular MySQL database for SCO OpenServer 6, the newest release of SCO's UNIX solutions platform."
The release continued, "As part of the agreement, the companies will work together on a range of joint marketing, sales, training, business development and support programs that will benefit customers throughout the Americas, Europe and Asia. Additionally, SCO will include a trial subscription to the MySQL Network enterprise database service with each new copy of SCO OpenServer -- and offer full MySQL Network subscriptions through its reseller channel."
This may seem an innocuous enough development, the sort of technology-company partnering that is announced all the time, two companies with mutual interests agreeing that they can benefit from one another, even if they are philosophically different or even compete with one another in other aspects of their business.
But it has ignited a verbal firestorm, a small one at least, due to SCO's status as open-source pariah due to a lawsuit it has against IBM that conceivably threatens the future of open source as the industry knows it, and also due to MySQl's status as an open-source hero due to its leveraging of open-source technology in challenging Oracle.
MySQL CEO Marten Mickos has reportedly been the recipient of many negative e-mails and attacks in industry forums, attacks that have been branded as "Stalinist" by a recent report in the online version of Forbes magazine. Mickos told Forbes that MySQL "is making money on (the SCO deal)...I think every single company is in the business of making money.”
Two questions spring to mind, and this report leaves it to SYS-CON's readers to answer them:
1. Even if the SCO/MySQL deal makes business sense, is it a philosophical betrayal of the open-source community?
2. Should open-source companies be held accountable by those who speak up within the open-source community, or by its customers and investors only?