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Re: Including GPL and LGPL'ed software in a solution

From: davidjones
Subject: Re: Including GPL and LGPL'ed software in a solution
Date: 19 Dec 2005 02:22:01 -0800
User-agent: G2/0.2

Alexander Terekhov wrote:
> wrote:
>>A java application that collects the data and stores it in a MySQL
>>database.  This uses an LGPL library.
>>The MySQL database, straight out of the box.  I want to use the GPL
>>A java servlet that queries the database and serves HTML pages.  I will
>>write this from scratch.
>>>From the MySQL web page; "Under the Open Source License, you must
> ("Our software is 100% GPL (General Public License);")
>>release the complete source code for the application that is built on
>>MySQL."  My application uses MySQL, but I do not believe it to be a
>>derivative work, as it only makes queries.  I could leave the customer
>>to install their own database, but that is just not going to happen.
>>Is there enough ambiguity for a complaint to be made?  That would be
>>enough for me to lose my job probably.
>>Thanks for any advice.
> Oh dear. Don't you know that MySQL's "100% GPL" spreads through
> networks (not to mention APIs)?
> "7.1. Licensing Notice
>  The MySQL Protocol is proprietary.
>  The MySQL Protocol is part of the MySQL Database Management System.
>  As such, it falls under the provisions of the GNU Public License
>  (GPL). A copy of the GNU Public License is available on MySQL's web
>  site, and in the product download.
>  Because this is a GPL protocol, any product which uses it to connect
>  to a MySQL server, or to emulate a MySQL server, or to interpose
>  between any client and server which uses the protocol, or for any
>  similar purpose, is also bound by the GPL. Therefore if you use this
>  description to write a program, you must release your program as
>  GPL. Contact MySQL AB if you need clarification of these terms or
>  if you need to ask about alternative arrangements. "

I guess I should really be having this discusion with the MySQL AB (?),
but here goes.  The (only?) question is does the interaction with MySQL
result in my code becomeing a derivertive work.  I guess it is a very
similar question to the dynamic linking question in C. I was under the
impression that most, if not everyone, was agreed that if there was a
direct replacement for a GPL'ed library, using the API did not
constitute a derivative work.

My code uses the standard SQL commands SELECT and INSERT.  I cannot see
how using these would make my work a derivative of MySQL.  The only
other line that could be interpreted as such would be when I initalize
the JDBC with Class.forName("com.mysql.jdbc.Driver");  If this makes my
work a derivative work I could simply include this in a text file, and
provide alternative ones for eg. PostgreSQL.

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