[debian-mysql] [Fwd: Fwd: MySQL bug on Debian]

Stefan Hinz stefan at mysql.com
Thu Jul 5 14:14:35 UTC 2007

Hi Christian,
> On 2007-07-04 Stefan Hinz wrote:
>> I've highlighted the portion that I think should make it possible (and
>> fully legal) for Debian to distribute the MySQL documentation.
>> Let me know if there's anything missing in our legal notice that still
>> makes it impossible for Debian to distribute our docs! Otherwise, I'd
>> appreciate if you could replace that nasty message in Debian with our
>> (always up to date) man pages! :-)
> It would probably permit Debian to distribute the man pagages *legally* but
> if you read the Debian Free Software Guidelines¹ then you understand that
> it cannot be considered as "free software" - or free documentation in this
> case - so our FTP masters, who guard the archives license-wise, would reject
> it even if I would package it.

I'm sorry to hear that. From reading the guidelines I get the impression
that they cover only software and regard documentation as an implicit
part of software, which is probably why the problem with MySQL's "dual"
licenses (GPL for software, regular copyright for the docs) arises.

> But as soon as 5.1 loses its -beta tag it will move from experimental
> into the main Debian branch. Maybe it's time enough to change the MySQL
> license until then... 

The reason we're not making the docs "free" is that many people try to
adorn themselves with borrowed plumes by putting the MySQL Manual on
their web sites. That alone wouldn't be bad, but guess what: they never
update it. Since we're updating the Manual multiple times *per day* this
leads to many outdated copies out there.

So the people who (ab)use the MySQL Manual this way get all the credits
(in the form of page views and Google ad revenues), and we get all the
discredits (in the form of bad marketing, or even users complaining that
"our" docs are outdated). With our current license, we can at least try
to stop them.

I'm not sure how a compromise would look that would work for both Debian
and us. If you have an idea, please let me know!


Stefan Hinz <stefan at mysql.com>
MySQL AB Documentation Manager. Berlin, Germany (UTC +2:00)
Skype:stefanhinz Cell:+491777841069 Desk:+493082702940 Fax:+493082702941

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