back to article Oracle launches paid support for 'free' NoSQL database

Oracle has added a paid support option to the "free" version of its BerkeleyDB-based NoSQL database. The addition of paid support to the Community Edition of the Oracle NoSQL database was announced by Ellison & Co.'s veep of database server technologies Andrew Mendelsohn in his keynote speech at the NoSQL Now! conference in San …

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Linux

Of course Google doesn't like it

If Google's paid for AppEngine used some AGPL code, they would have to publish all of its source code on the same basis as the person they "borrowed" the AGPL code from. Horror or horrors. That means the person they borrowed it off start up a competing AppEngine. Ekkk!

The AGPLv3 would be my favourite open source license, if it wasn't for that TiVo clause. Unlike AGPLv2 it includes a patent clause, and unlike GPLv3 it works in a cloud based world.

Gawd, how I hate the TiVo clause.

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What have you got against the de-tivoization?

AGPLv1 deals with patents in section 7: http://directory.fsf.org/wiki/License:AGPLv1 (It is based on GPLv2 and gets its patent language from there, without picking up the Tivo provisions of GPLv3.)

Tivo decided to use GPLv2 software in their devices, but to restrict those devices to software cryptographically signed by Tivo. This prevented Tivo owners from using software of their choice on devices they had bought. GPLv3 was created to deal with this (and other problems). Tivo could have obeyed the V3 license by allowing owners to install their own keys. Owners could then sign their own choice of software and delete any other keys to prevent NSA updates.

Jack Clark: The A in AGPL adds a requirement not to remove or work around code that distributes the source code of AGPL software to anyone using AGPL software - and 'using' includes visitors to a website generated by AGPL code. The purpose of AGPL was the prevent companies like Google taking GPL software and using improved versions of it internally without contributing those improvements back to the community. It is hardly surprising that Google is peeved when programmers choose to distribute their own work with the AGPL license. Keeping the source code distributed by AGPL software up to date with the software itself is hardly beyond the ability of programmers able to make improvements to a distributed database. I heartily recommend reading https://www.gnu.org/licenses/gpl-faq.html instead of relying on the standard FUD written about free software licenses. The V2 licenses are quite short and clear. The V3 licenses are bigger and more detailed to deal with Tivo-like, Google-like and patent troll attempts to tax free software, or use it without contributing improvemnets back to the community.

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Linux

Re: What have you got against the de-tivoization?

I'm against it because as far as I can see it actively harms the adoption of open source software. Can we use GPLv3 software in an app store environment? Nope - Google / Apple / Whoever control the keys. It is compatible with TPM anonymous attestation? Nope - the hardware manufacturer controls the keys.

And for what? Does the anti TiVo provision somehow force even greater contributions by companies like TiVo to open source software? Nope. If anything the reverse, as TiVo may decide to use something else. Does it prevent someone else from using TiVo's software on their own hardware? Nope.

The bottom line is that anti TiVo clause has done more harm to the FSF that anything in recent memory. If it wasn't there, the GPLv3 would have been adopted by all GPLv2 users without a whimper. It is a far stronger licence, and beautifully written. But it does have the TiVo clause so that hasn't happened. Which is a shame, because the world would be a better place if we had a suite of GPL licences everybody who likes copyleft could stomach.

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Anonymous Coward

Clever

Professional enterprises avoid the [A]GPL due to its infectious nature (you have to give everything away that derives from or links to GPL code, and thus can´t recoup investment costs) and so will switch to the paid version.

There used to be the option with the GPL to keep your changes private (i.e. don´t pass them on to a third party) but the AGPL removes even this, leading to a toxic license that simply cannot be touched.

I always find it bizzare that the [A]GPL calls itself a ¨free¨ software license when the one thing it restricts most heavily is freedom!

If you are running a project, pick a license other than [A]GPL to ensure adoption.

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Re: Clever

The GPL obliges you to give a copy of the code to anyone to who distribute a binary. If someone just uses the code remotely (eg a web application) you don't have to give the code since the binary/script runs on your own machine.

The AGPL is GPL + you need to make available a copy of the code to those who use it remotely (eg web).

This is a good license to publish under since it means that if someone uses your code in a public way (eg web site) they need to give enhancements back.

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Re: Clever

"its infectious nature (you have to give everything away that derives from or links to GPL code, and thus can´t recoup investment costs) "

You write this as if it is bad, you know that you took someone else's work and expect to make money from it without giving anything back?

"If you are running a project, pick a license other than [A]GPL to ensure adoption."

If you are running a project, either respect the original author(s) rights, or do the whole damn thing yourself from scratch.

Fixed it for you...

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Clever

¨You write this as if it is bad, you know that you took someone else's work and expect to make money from it without giving anything back?¨

I have no issue with contributing patches back to linked code should I find a bug or running tests (i.e.being part of the project). That´s when I volunteer MY time to THEIR code.

When I spend my money and time to develop an extension/integration, I need to recoup those costs. That code, which is in a separate library/application, is MINE. I wrote it, I tested it, I paid all the bills for it, I hold the copyright and (potentially) patents. MINE.

The GPL remove MY RIGHT to MY CODE.

I am sorry if this concept confuses you.

¨either respect the original author(s) rights¨

I´ll respect their rights the second they respect mine by not using a license that seeks to steal MY CODE. Until then, I´ll refuse to use any GPL library and ensure my teams don´t use them either.

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Re: Clever

"The GPL remove MY RIGHT to MY CODE."

The GPL protect the original author's rights to their code. They offered it openly with the intention that others would benefit and DO THE SAME for others. As I said, if you don't want to reciprocate then you have no rights to make use of such open source code.

Keeping code secret is not the only way to make money, though in some cases necessary. If you work from scratch you can do what you like with your work, but as soon as you want to make use of other's work you need to respect their rights.

Also if you get code under LGPL then it is acceptable to link it is as a library, but any changes to that library code need to be released back. Use things according to the author's intentions.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Clever

"They offered it openly with the intention that others would benefit and DO THE SAME for others."

I will happily contribute patches to their code. This is not at issue.

What is at issue is that when I write a separate library which merely makes use of a GPL library, I am forced to release my own code. *MY RIGHTS* to *MY CODE* have been removed from me due to [A]GPL infection.

"Keeping code secret is not the only way to make money"

Oh please. "Buy a support contract and get a free application!" That model has been tried time and again, and failed time and again. There are a few statistical oddities, but these are by far the exception.

"Use things according to the author's intentions."

I'll agree to that hence policy: "At no time will the use any system, library or function released under the GPL [any variant, any version] be sanctioned".

The GPL is fine for hobbyists and tinkerers whose efforts will never enter mainstream professional use. For professional or enterprise use other licenses such as (but not limited to) Apachev2, MIT or BSD are MUCH more compatible with business practices.

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Re: Clever

"when I write a separate library which merely makes use of a GPL library, I am forced to release my own code. *MY RIGHTS* to *MY CODE* have been removed from me due to [A]GPL infection."

No, you seem to be unable to grasp the idea that the GPL library exists only for use by those who will agree with the author's intentions.

Why complain? You are not being forced in to using other's work, you are complaining that you can't legally take short cuts to developing an application without rewarding the GPL author(s) in terms of freedom, rather than money.

Funny you should consider GPL to be "fine for hobbyists and tinkerers whose efforts will never enter mainstream professional use" when a large number of contributors to, for example the GPL'd Linux kernel, include such money-hating organisations as IBM, Intel, Oracle, Cisco, and even MS made it in to the top-20.

Oh, and Redhat's current market cap of $9.76B clearly shows you can't possibly make money off a service business...

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Clever

"agree with the author's intentions."

Wrong. Free software cannot impose limitations on use, imposing a limitation on use is removing freedom. Also, time and again, I have stated quite clearly that I have no issue in contributing back to *THEIR* code. *MY* code, however, is *MINE*. They should not have the right to force me to give away what is *MINE*.

"an application without rewarding the GPL author(s) in terms of freedom"

Their freedom ends the second it impinges on my freedom. The GPL restricts my freedom by placing restrictions on what *I* can do with *MY* work. Thus it cannot be considered a free software license, an "ideological software license", perhaps. MIT (to name just one) is a *TRUE* free software license.

"for example the GPL'd Linux kernel"

I must be imagining the vast swathes of binary blobs that have to be added to the kernel to make it actually work with hardware. And it's GPLv2, why? Because Linus now sees that the GPL is shit and he won't touch v3. It'd kill-off the entire embedded sector. Do you need to re-load so you can aim at the other foot?

"Oh, and Redhat's current market cap of $9.76B clearly shows you can't possibly make money off a service business..."

Statistical anomaly. Most companies trying the "buy support, get a free application" model have gone to the wall. I addressed these outliers, do try comprehending the complete argument next time.

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Re: Clever

"Free software cannot impose limitations on use"

I am sorry you seem to lack the ability to understand copyright laws and software licenses. Software that is "free" is released for use under the conditions expressed by the authors, which may be the GPL. They can, and do, insist that if you choose to use their code that you respect that intention.

What you do with your own code is up to you, but should you wish to use GPL code then you have to play according to the rules of those authors.

"it cannot be considered a free software license, an "ideological software license", perhaps"

Call it what you want, but it is still a license and a large number of people chose to use it. You don't have to use it, after all you could re-invent the same work on your own if you chose not to abide by the GPL.

The GPLv2 versus GPLv3 argument is a lot more complex than you seem to comprehend. One key point is v2 has allowed the likes of TiVo to use the software in hardware but to prevent the owners of the hardware from changing it due to boot loader signing, v3 was intended to address that restriction on the end user's freedom.

"Statistical anomaly. Most companies trying the "buy support, get a free application" model have gone to the wall. I addressed these outliers, do try comprehending the complete argument next time."

Can you give some examples of these failures?

Off hand I can think of some obvious success, like Redhat and IBM with support as a directly paid service, and others like Mozilla and Android that are indirectly paid via advertising revenue.

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Re: Clever

Also to add to the debate around the GPL, you do realise that you can still charge for software under the GPL?

http://www.gnu.org/licenses/gpl-faq.html#DoesTheGPLAllowMoney

Of course, the requirement to distribute to source code with any binary may still not work for your type of application (you have not said what that is, and posted as AC there is no obvious way to find out) but for big range of application areas where the customer is moderately trustworthy this can be an advantage in completing a sale.

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Anonymous Coward

What support will you get?

Given our experience of Oracle's pathetic inability to fix the software in their storage appliances after *years* of bug reporting, what exactly do you get for your $2k/server-eyar?

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Anonymous Coward

Re: What support will you get?

Do you really want to use any software that Oracle has touched?

Just look at the mess that is Java - and at the Oracle DB (over 1,000 known vulnerabilities in V10 now!)

See http://secunia.com/advisories/product/3387/

and compare that to another vendor's similarly aged product:

http://secunia.com/advisories/product/6782/

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Roo
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Flame

Re: What support will you get?

You get extra spam in your inbox free of charge, and you get to give personal data to Oracle so they can use them for whatever they feel like in return.

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Bronze badge

Re: What support will you get?

They email you a link to the article you were just reading that was no help at all.

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