Posted Wednesday, January 16, 2008 10:49:12 AM by Paul Davis
Well, it continues to happen and I'm not surprised. This time an open source company, mySQL, is bought by another company, SUN. I am curious, given the open source product development, as to the profits. See, a long time ago I heard a proprietary software developer laugh at the open source movement, something like "Someone is going to make a lot of money off of that and it won't be the contributors". Well it seems those words came to pass. The owners of mySQL are raking in a fortune while those who made it happen (the little people) got to participate.
Compound that with companies, like facebook, which use open source tools, like mySQL and who sell parts of their company for millions - you've just got to wonder - how can I get a staff of people working for an open source project I own for free so that I can sell the company, who owns the main copyright of the open source project, years later for millions?
To the point of the purchase, I do wonder what this will hold for mySQL? What will SUN do with the project? Will it become like Red Hat's distro for Linux - all for profit entries with the source files for the distro off somewhere else? Will the pre-install licensing change? One thing is for sure, the mySQL is open source, so they can't change that - and it will still be widely used and installed for some time to come. I would love to see the database make it to the next level of maturity and include enterprise level functionality (beyond what it has now) that will make it a slam dunk decision for most applications. What I think would also be really awesome would be an application distribution, like MS Access, to bring it to the desktop or to be married to Java somehow and made inter-operable with the language! Now that would be cool!