[DB-SIG] Opinion License mxODBC-Module

M.-A. Lemburg mal@lemburg.com
Wed, 14 Mar 2001 20:24:17 +0100

Andrew Kuchling wrote:
> On Mon, Feb 26, 2001 at 11:33:26AM +0100, Matthias Kirst wrote:
> >- mxODBC , the quasi-standard ODBC - module has a commercial developer
> >license which costs almost 1500 US$
> The actual standard is the DB-API, and mxODBC just an implementation.
> Marc-Andre is free to pursue whatever licensing he cares to with his
> module, and I wish him the best of luck with it.  (Though I suspect
> charging for mxODBC will backfire and result in a resurgence of
> competition as people implement one-off modules for their database
> system of choice -- we'll see...)
> >What will happen to Python when all of the other modules like pyXML will
> >switch to this licensing model ??!!
> Not likely to happen.  PyXML was written by several people (4Suite,
> Lars Marius Garshol, Martin von Loewis, etc.) and it would be unlikely
> that we'd all agree to take it commercial.

Perhaps I should clarify the reasons for moving from the MySQL-
style license to the new more simple one:

*  The MySQL-license just didn't work out: I never received any
   payment even though I knew about people using the module
   in consulting and even in products.

*  mxODBC was never a free product. The MySQL-license basically
   means "if you make money with this, then the author should receive
   his share of it too". As mentioned above, this hasn't worked
   out for me.

*  Developing mxODBC and the other mx tools takes up a lot of
   time and can no longer fund this development myself (as I did
   in the last few years).

*  mxODBC is still free for non-commercial use (and always has been).

*  About the pricing: a single installation of mxODBC costs USD 75
   -- I don't consider this bloated in any way. Matthias was probably
   referring to the developer license which allows redistribution
   of mxODBC together with products developed using this license.
   Since there are no additional licensing fees to pay, I again
   think that USD 1250 is very reasonable given the possibilities
   this opens for commercial software vendors.

*  The new pricing is much cheaper than for the pre-2.0.0 versions:
   under the MySQL license mxODBC cost USD 500 per installation and
   up to 10% of the product revenue.

I am currently thinking about adding a special option for Open
Source software which allows using mxODBC for free in those
applications as well.

Marc-Andre Lemburg
Company & Consulting:                           http://www.egenix.com/
Python Pages:                           http://www.lemburg.com/python/