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3 MySQL licensing and support

This chapter describes MySQL licensing and support arrangements, including:

3.1 MySQL licensing policy

The formal terms of the license for non-Microsoft operating systems such as Unix or OS/2 are specified in section J The MySQL server license for non Microsoft operating systems. Basically, our licensing policy is as follows:

  • For normal internal use, MySQL generally costs nothing. You do not have to pay us if you do not want to.
  • A license is required if:
    • You sell the MySQL server directly or as a part of another product or service
    • You charge for installing and maintaining a MySQL server at some client site
    • You include MySQL in a distribution that is non redistributable and you charge for some part of that distribution
  • For circumstances under which a MySQL license is required, you need a license per machine that runs the mysqld server. However, a multiple-CPU machine counts as a single machine, and there is no restriction on the number of MySQL servers that run on one machine, or on the number of clients concurrently connected to a server running on that machine!
  • You do not need a license to include client code in commercial programs. The client access part of MySQL is in the public domain. The mysql command line client includes code from the readline library that is under the GNU Public License.
  • For customers who have purchased 1 license or MySQL support, we provide additional functionality. Currently, this means we provide the myisampack utility for creating fast compressed read-only databases. (The server includes support for reading such databases but not the packing tool used to create them.) When support agreements generate sufficient revenue, we will release this tool under the same license as the MySQL server.
  • If your use of MySQL does not require a license, but you like MySQL and want to encourage further development, you are certainly welcome to purchase a license anyway.
  • If you use MySQL in a commercial context such that you profit by its use, we ask that you further the development of MySQL by purchasing some level of support. We feel that if MySQL helps your business, it is reasonable to ask that you help MySQL. (Otherwise, if you ask us support questions, you are not only using for free something into which we've put a lot a work, you're asking us to provide free support, too.)

For use under Microsoft operating systems (Win95/Win98/WinNT), you need a MySQL license after a trial period of 30 days, with the exception that licenses may be obtained upon request at no cost for educational use or for university- or government-sponsored research settings. See section K The MySQL license for Microsoft operating systems. A shareware version of MySQL-Win32 that you can try before buying is available at http://www.mysql.com/mysql_w32.htmy. After you have paid, you will get a password that will enable you to access the newest MySQL-Win32 version.

If you have any questions as to whether or not a license is required for your particular use of MySQL, please contact us. See section 3.5.2 Contact information.

If you require a MySQL license, the easiest way to pay for it is to use the license form at TcX's secure server at https://www.mysql.com/license.htmy. Other forms of payment are discussed in section 3.5.1 Payment information.

3.2 Copyrights used by MySQL

There are several different copyrights on the MySQL distribution:

  1. The MySQL-specific source needed to build the mysqlclient library and programs in the `client' directory is in the public domain. Each file that is in the public domain has a header which clearly states so. This includes everything in the `client' directory and some parts of the mysys, mystring and dbug libraries.
  2. Some small parts of the source (GNU getopt) are covered by the ``GNU LIBRARY LIBRARY GENERAL PUBLIC LICENSE''. See the `mysys/COPYING.LIB' file.
  3. Some small parts of the source (GNU readline) are covered by the ``GNU GENERAL PUBLIC LICENSE''. See the `readline/COPYING' file.
  4. Some parts of the source (the regexp library) are covered by a Berkeley style copyright.
  5. The other source needed for the MySQL server on non-Microsoft platforms is covered by the ``MySQL FREE PUBLIC LICENSE'', which is based on the ``Aladdin FREE PUBLIC LICENSE.'' See section J The MySQL server license for non Microsoft operating systems. When running MySQL on any Microsoft operating system, other licensing applies.

The following points set forth the philosophy behind our copyright policy:

  • The SQL client library should be totally free so that it can be included in commercial products without limitations.
  • People who want free access to the software into which we have put a lot of work can have it, so long as they do not try to make money directly by distributing it for profit.
  • People who want the right to keep their own software proprietary, but also want the value from our work, can pay for the privilege.
  • That means normal in-house use is FREE. But if you use MySQL for something important to you, you may want to help further its development by purchasing a license or a support contract. See section 3.6 Types of commercial support.

3.2.1 Possible future copyright changes

We may choose to distribute older versions of MySQL with the GPL in the future. However, these versions will be identified as GNU MySQL. Also, all copyright notices in the relevant files will be changed to the GPL.

3.3 Distributing MySQL commercially

This section is a clarification of the license terms that are set forth in the ``MySQL FREE PUBLIC LICENSE'' (FPL). See section J The MySQL server license for non Microsoft operating systems.

MySQL may be used freely, including by commercial entities for evaluation or unsupported internal use. However, distribution for commercial purposes of MySQL, or anything containing or derived from MySQL in whole or in part, requires a written commercial license from TcX AB, the sole entity authorized to grant such licenses.

You may not include MySQL ``free'' in a package containing anything for which a charge is being made, except as noted below.

The intent of the exception provided in the second clause of the license is to allow commercial organizations operating an FTP server or a bulletin board to distribute MySQL freely from it, provided that:

  1. The organization complies with the other provisions of the FPL, which include among other things a requirement to distribute the full source code of MySQL and of any derived work, and to distribute the FPL itself along with MySQL;
  2. The only charge for downloading MySQL is a charge based on the distribution service and not one based on the content of the information being retrieved (i.e., the charge would be the same for retrieving a random collection of bits of the same size);
  3. The server or BBS is accessible to the general public, i.e., the phone number or IP address is not kept secret, and anyone may obtain access to the information (possibly by paying a subscription or access fee that is not dependent on or related to purchasing anything else).

If you want to distribute software in a commercial context that incorporates MySQL and you do not want to meet these conditions, you should contact TcX AB to find out about commercial licensing, which involves a payment. The only ways you legally can distribute MySQL or anything containing MySQL are by distributing MySQL under the requirements of the FPL, or by getting a commercial license from TcX AB.

3.4 Example licensing situations

This section describes some situations illustrating whether or not you must license the MySQL server. Generally these examples involve providing MySQL as part of a product or service that you are selling to a customer, or requiring that MySQL be used in conjunction with your product. In such cases, it is your responsibility to obtain a license for the customer if one is necessary. (This requirement is waived if your customer already has a MySQL license. But the seller must send customer information and the license number to TcX, and the license must be a full license, not an OEM license.)

Note that a single MySQL license covers any number of CPUs/users/customers/mysqld servers on a machine!

3.4.1 Selling products that use MySQL

To determine whether or not you need a MySQL license when selling your application, you should ask whether the proper functioning of your application is contingent on the use of MySQL and whether you include MySQL with your product. There are several cases to consider:

  • Does your application require MySQL to function properly? If your product requires MySQL, you need a license for any machine that runs the mysqld server. For example, if you've designed your application around MySQL, then you've really made a commercial product that requires the engine, so you need a license. If your application does not require MySQL, you need not obtain a license. For example, if MySQL just added some new optional features to your product (such as adding logging to a database if MySQL is used rather than logging to a text file), it should fall within normal use, and a license would not be required. In other words, you need a license if you sell a product designed specifically for use with MySQL or that requires the MySQL server to function at all. This is true whether or not you provide MySQL for your client as part of your product distribution. It also depends on what you're doing for the client. Do you plan to provide your client with detailed instructions on installing MySQL with your software? Then your product may be contingent on the use of MySQL; if so, you need to buy a license. If you are simply tying into a database that you expect already to have been installed by the time your software is purchased, then you probably don't need a license.
  • Do you include MySQL in a distribution and charge for that distribution? If you include MySQL with a distribution that you sell to customers, you will need a license for any machine that runs the mysqld server, because in this case you are selling a system that includes MySQL. This is true whether the use of MySQL with your product is required or optional.
  • Do you neither require for your product nor include MySQL with it? Suppose you want to sell a product that is designed generally to use ``some database'' and that can be configured to use any of several supported alternative database systems (MySQL, PostgreSQL, or something else). That is, your product does not not require MySQL, but can support any database with a base level of functionality, and you don't rely on anything that only MySQL supports. Does one of you owe us money if your customer actually does choose to use MySQL? In this case, if you don't provide, obtain or set up MySQL for the customer should the customer decide to use it, neither of you need a license. If you do perform that service, see section 3.4.2 Selling MySQL-related services.

3.4.2 Selling MySQL-related services

If you perform MySQL installation on a client's machine and any money changes hands for the service (directly or indirectly), then you must buy a MySQL license.

If you sell an application for which MySQL is not strictly required but can be used, a license may be indicated, depending on how MySQL is set up. Suppose your product neither requires MySQL nor includes it in your product distribution, but can be configured to use MySQL for those customers who so desire. (This would be the case, for example, if your product can use any of a number of database engines.)

If the customer obtains and installs MySQL, no license is needed. If you perform that service for your customer, then a license is needed because then you are selling a service that includes MySQL.

3.4.3 ISP MySQL services

Internet Service Providers (ISPs) often host MySQL servers for their customers.

If you are an ISP that allows customers to install and administer MySQL for themselves on your machine with no assistance from you, neither you nor your customer need a MySQL license.

If you charge for MySQL installation and administrative support as part of your customer service, then you need a license because you are selling a service that includes MySQL.

3.4.4 Running a web server using MySQL

If you use MySQL in conjunction with a web server, you don't have to pay for a license.

This is true even if you run a commercial web server that uses MySQL, since you are not selling MySQL itself. However, in this case we would like you to purchase MySQL support, because MySQL is helping your enterprise.

3.5 MySQL licensing and support costs

Our current license prices are shown below. All prices are in US Dollars. If you pay by credit card, the currency is EURO (European Union Euro) so the prices will differ slightly.

Number of licenses Price per copy Total
1 US $200 US $200
10 pack US $150 US $1500
50 pack US $120 US $6000

For high volume (OEM) purchases, the following prices apply:

Number of licenses Price per copy Minimum at one time Minimum payment
100-999 US $40 100 US $4000
1000-2499 US $25 200 US $5000
2500-4999 US $20 400 US $8000

For OEM purchases, you must act as the middle-man for eventual problems or extension requests from your users. We also require that OEM customers have at least an extended email support contract.

If you have a low-margin high-volume product, you can always talk to us about other terms (for example, a percent of the sale price). If you do, please be informative about your product, pricing, market and any other information that may be relevant.

After buying 1 MySQL license, you will get a personal copy of the myisampack utility. You are not allowed to redistribute this utility but you can distribute tables packed with it.

A full-price license is not a support agreement and includes very minimal support. This means that we try to answer any relevant question. If the answer is in the documentation, we will direct you to the appropriate section. If you have not purchased a license or support, we probably will not answer at all.

If you discover what we consider a real bug, we are likely to fix it in any case. But if you pay for support we will notify you about the fix status instead of just fixing it in a later release.

More comprehensive support is sold separately. Descriptions of what each level of support includes are given in section 3.6 Types of commercial support. Costs for the various types of commercial support are shown below. Support level prices are in EURO (European Union Euro). One EURO is about 1.17 USD.

Type of support Cost per year
Basic email support EURO 170
Extended email support EURO 1000
Login support EURO 2000
Extended login support EURO 5000

You may upgrade from any lower level of support to a higher level of support for the difference between the prices of the two support levels.

3.5.1 Payment information

Currently we can take SWIFT payments, cheques or credit cards.

Payment should be made to:

Postgirot Bank AB
105 06 STOCKHOLM, SWEDEN

TCX DataKonsult AB
BOX 6434
11382 STOCKHOLM, SWEDEN

SWIFT address: PGSI SESS
Account number: 96 77 06 - 3

Specify: license and/or support and your name and email address.

In Europe and Japan you can use EuroGiro (that should be less expensive) to the same account.

If you want to pay by cheque, make it payable to ``Monty Program KB'' and mail it to the address below:

TCX DataKonsult AB
BOX 6434, Torsgatan 21
11382 STOCKHOLM, SWEDEN

If you want to pay by credit card over the Internet, you can use TcX's secure license form.

You can also print a copy of the license form, fill it in and send it by fax to:

+46-8-729 69 05

If you want us to bill you, you can use the license form and write ``bill us'' in the comment field. You can also mail a message to with your company information and ask us to bill you.

3.5.2 Contact information

For commercial licensing, or if you have any questions about any of the information in this section, please contact the MySQL licensing team. The much preferred method is by E-Mail to these may take much longer (Fax +46-8-729 69 05).

David Axmark
Detron HB
Kungsgatan 65 B
753 21 UPPSALA
SWEDEN
Voice Phone +46-18-10 22 80     (Timezone GMT+1. Swedish and English spoken)

3.6 Types of commercial support

3.6.1 Basic email support

Basic email support is a very inexpensive support option and should be thought of more as a way to support our development of MySQL than as a real support option.

At this support level, the MySQL mailing lists are the preferred means of communication. Questions normally should be mailed to the primary mailing list (mysql@lists.mysql.com) or one of the other regular lists (for example, mysql-win32@lists.mysql.com for Windows-related MySQL questions), as someone else already may have experienced and solved the problem you have. See section 2.2 Asking questions or reporting bugs.

However, by purchasing basic email support, you also have access to the support address mysql-support@mysql.com, which is not available as part of the minimal support that you get by purchasing a MySQL license. This means that for especially critical questions, you can cross-post your message to mysql-support@mysql.com. (If the message contains sensitive data, you should post only to mysql-support@mysql.com.)

REMEMBER! to ALWAYS include your registration number and expiration date when you send a message to

Basic email support includes the following types of service:

  • If your question is already answered in the manual, we will inform you of the correct section in which you can find the answer. If the answer is not in the manual, we will point you in the right direction to solve your problem.
  • We guarantee a timely answer for your email messages. We can't guarantee that we can solve any problem, but at least you will receive an answer if we can contact you by email.
  • We will help with unexpected problems when you install MySQL from a binary distribution on supported platforms. This level of support does not cover installing MySQL from a source distribution. ``Supported'' platforms are those for which MySQL is known to work. See section 4.2 Operating systems supported by MySQL.
  • We will help you with bugs and missing features. Any bugs that are found are fixed for the next MySQL release. If the bug is critical for you, we will mail you a patch for it as soon the bug is fixed. Critical bugs always have the highest priority for us, to ensure that they are fixed as soon as possible.
  • Your suggestions for the further development of MySQL will be taken into consideration. By taking email support you have already helped the further development of MySQL. If you want to have more input, upgrade to a higher level of support.
  • If you want us to help optimize your system, you must upgrade to a higher level of support.
  • We include a binary version of the myisampack packing tool for creating fast compressed read-only databases. The current server includes support for reading such databases but not the packing tool used to create them.

3.6.2 Extended email support

Extended email support includes everything in basic email support with these additions:

  • Your email will be dealt with before mail from basic email support users and non-registered users.
  • Your suggestions for the further development of MySQL will receive strong consideration. Simple extensions that suit the basic goals of MySQL are implemented in a matter of days. By taking extended email support you have already helped the further development of MySQL.
  • Typical questions that are covered by extended email support are:
    • We will answer and (within reason) solve questions that relate to possible bugs in MySQL. As soon as the bug is found and corrected, we will mail a patch for it.
    • We will help with unexpected problems when you install MySQL from a source or binary distribution on supported platforms.
    • We will answer questions about missing features and offer hints how to work around them.
    • We will provide hints on optimizing mysqld for your situation.
  • You are allowed to influence the priority of items on the MySQL TODO. This will ensure that the features you really need will be implemented sooner than they might be otherwise.

3.6.3 Login support

Login support includes everything in extended email support with these additions:

  • Your email will be dealt with even before mail from extended email support users.
  • Your suggestions for the further development of MySQL will be taken into very high consideration. Realistic extensions that can be implemented in a couple of hours and that suit the basic goals of MySQL will be implemented as soon as possible.
  • If you have a very specific problem, we can try to log in on your system to solve the problem ``in place.''
  • Like any database vendor, we can't guarantee that we can rescue any data from crashed tables, but if the worst happens we will help you rescue as much as possible. MySQL has proven itself very reliable, but anything is possible due to circumstances beyond our control (for example, if your system crashes or someone kills the server by executing a kill -9 command).
  • We will provide hints on optimizing your system and your queries.
  • You are allowed to call a MySQL developer (in moderation) and discuss your MySQL-related problems.

3.6.4 Extended login support

Extended login support includes everything in login support with these additions:

  • Your email has the highest possible priority.
  • We will actively examine your system and help you optimize it and your queries. We may also optimize and/or extend MySQL to better suit your needs.
  • You may also request special extensions just for you. For example:
    mysql> select MY_CALCULATION(col_name1,col_name2) from tbl_name;
    
  • We will provide a binary distribution of all important MySQL releases for your system, as long as we can get an account on a similar system. In the worst case, we may require access to your system to be able to create a binary distribution.
  • If you can provide accommodations and pay for traveler fares, you can even get a MySQL developer to visit you and offer you help with your troubles. Extended login support entitles you to one personal encounter per year, but we are as always very flexible towards our customers!


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