Petition against Oracle acquisition of Sun Microsystems and MySQL gathers momentum

Over 18,000 people have signed a petition against the proposed acquisition of Sun Microsystems' MySQL by Oracle.

Back in December, MySQL founder Michael Widenius asked for the EC to block the $7 billion deal as a way to protect the company's future and urged people to contact their representatives to help block Oracle's purchase, saying that it is imperative for the future of competition - and for MySQL itself.

He said: “We are now launching a worldwide campaign in several languages to get a very large number of names that we will give to those taking the decision. This will include the European Commission (EC) and the representatives of the 27 EU Member States who will meet in Brussels in early January to discuss the case. It will also include regulators in other jurisdictions (where it would, unlike in Europe, not be acceptable to announce in public who they are)."

He had asked supporters to write to the EC, but the petition states 'please fill out this petition even if you have already sent an email to the European Commission or other regulators on your own'. Widenius said that the petition will be presented in different parts of the world, and generally have an effect that goes beyond direct messages to any particular regulator.

The petition states the signer ensures future innovation relating to MySQL and safeguarding MySQL as a major competitive force. It declares: "I, the Undersigned, use MySQL professionally and believe that Oracle, if it acquired Sun's MySQL, would create a fundamental conflict of interests between MySQL (and its different editions and storage engines) on the one hand and Oracle's high-priced products on the other hand.

"Promises made by Oracle concerning its future conduct of business can at best have a transitional effect (if any) but cannot ensure true innovation related to MySQL and safeguard MySQL as a major competitive force. Therefore, if Oracle acquires Sun, there must be a structural solution in place that enables one or more companies other than Oracle to provide and successfully commercialise substantial MySQL-related innovation and to compete effectively with all vendors including Oracle."

It requests that competition authorities around the world block Oracle's acquisition of Sun unless MySQL is divested to a suitable third party that can continue to develop it under the GPL, that Oracle must commit to a linking exception for applications that use MySQL with the client libraries (for all programming languages), for plug-ins and libmysqld. It also requests that MySQL itself remains licensed under the GPL, or that Oracle must release all past and future versions of MySQL (until December 2012) under the Apache Software License 2.0 or similar permissive licence so that developers of applications and derived versions (forks) have flexibility concerning the code.

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