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3 MySQL Licensing and Support

This chapter describes MySQL support and licensing arrangements:

3.1 MySQL Licensing Policy

The formal terms of the GPL license can be found at section L GNU General Public License. Basically, our licensing policy and intepretation of the GPL is as follows:

Note that older versions of MySQL are still using a more strict license. See the documentation for that version for more information. If you need a commercial MySQL license, because the GPL license doesn't suit your application, you can buy one at https://order.mysql.com/license.htmy.

For normal internal use, MySQL costs nothing. You do not have to pay us if you do not want to.

A license is required if:

A license is NOT required if:

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!

If you have any questions as to whether or not a license is required for your particular use of MySQL, please read this again and then contact us. See section 3.4.2 Contact Information.

If you require a MySQL license, the easiest way to pay for it is to use the license form on MySQL's secure server at https://order.mysql.com/license.htmy. Other forms of payment are discussed in section 3.4.1 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 is licensed under the LGPL and programs in the `client' directory is GPL. Each file has a header that shows which copyright is used for that file.
  2. The client library and the (GNU getopt) library are covered by the ``GNU LIBRARY GENERAL PUBLIC LICENSE.'' See section M GNU Library General Public License.
  3. Some parts of the source (the regexp library) are covered by a Berkeley-style copyright.
  4. All the source in the server and the (GNU readline) library is covered by the ``GNU GENERAL PUBLIC LICENSE.'' See section L GNU General Public License. This is also available as the file `COPYING' in the distributions.

One goal is that the SQL client library should be free enough that it is possible to add MySQL support into commercial products without a license. For this reason, we chose the LGPL license for the client code.

This means that you can use MySQL for free with any program that uses any of the free software licenses. MySQL is also free for any end user for his own or company usage.

However, if you use MySQL for something important to you, you may want to help secure its development by purchasing licenses or a support contract. See section 3.5 Types of Commercial Support.

3.2.1 Copyright Changes

The stable versions of MySQL are still using a more strict license. See the documentation for that version for more information.

3.3 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 an integral part of a product.

Note that a single MySQL license covers any number of CPUs and mysqld servers on a machine! There is no artificial limit on the number of clients that connect to the server in any way.

3.3.1 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 dependent on the use of MySQL and whether you include the MySQL server with your product. There are several cases to consider:

3.3.2 ISP MySQL Services

Internet Service Providers (ISPs) often host MySQL servers for their customers. With the GPL license this does not require a license.

On the other hand, we do encourage people to use ISPs that have MySQL support, as this will give them the confidence that if they have some problem with their MySQL installation, their ISP will be able to solve the problem for them (in some cases with the help from the MySQL development team).

All ISPs that want to keep themselves up-to-date should subscribe to our announce mailing list so that they can be aware of fatal issues that may be relevant for their MySQL installations.

Note that if the ISP doesn't have a license for MySQL, it should give its customers at least read access to the source of the MySQL installation so that its customer can verify that it is patched correctly.

3.3.3 Running a Web Server Using MySQL

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

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

3.4 MySQL Licensing and Support Costs

Our current license prices are shown below. These prices are now under review because of the change to a GPL copyright. New prices and terms will be posted on the MySQL web site http://www.mysql.com/ as soon as they are ready.

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 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 Per copy Minimum 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 e-mail support contract. Note that OEM licenses only apply for products where the user doesn't have direct access to the MySQL server (embedded system). In other words, the MySQL server should only be used with the application that was supplied you.

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.

A full-price license is not a support agreement and includes very minimal support. This means that we try to answer any relevant questions. 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 3.5 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 e-mail support. See section 3.5.1 Basic E-mail Support. EURO 170
Extended e-mail support See section 3.5.2 Extended E-mail Support. EURO 1000
Login support See section 3.5.3 Login Support. EURO 2000
Extended login support See section 3.5.4 Extended Login Support. EURO 5000

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

We do also provide telephone support (mostly emergency support but also 24/7 support). This support option doesn't however have a fixed price but is negotiated for case to case. If you are interested in this option you can email sales@mysql.com and tell us about your needs.

Note that as our sales staff is very busy, it may take some time until your request is handled. Our support staff does however always answer promptly to support questions!

3.4.1 Payment information

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

Payment should be made to:

Postgirot Bank AB

BOX 6434

Account number: 96 77 06 - 3

Specify: license and/or support and your name and e-mail address.

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

If you want to pay by check, make it payable to ``MySQL Finland AB'' and mail it to the address below:

BOX 6434, Torsgatan 21

If you want to pay by credit card over the Internet, you can use MySQL AB'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 sales@mysql.com (not mysql@lists.mysql.com!) with your company information and ask us to bill you.

3.4.2 Contact Information

For commercial licensing, please contact the MySQL licensing team. The much preferred method is by e-mail to licensing@mysql.com. Fax is also possible but handling of these may take much longer (Fax +46-8-729 69 05).

If you represent a business that is interested in partnering with MySQL, please send e-mail to partner@mysql.com.

For timely, precise answers to technical questions about MySQL you should order one of our support contracts. MySQL support is provided by the MySQL developers so the standard is extremely high.

If you are interested in placing a banner advertisement on our Web site, please send e-mail to advertising@mysql.com.

If you are interested in any of the jobs listed in our jobs section, please send e-mail to jobs@mysql.com.

For general discussion amongst our many users, please direct your attention to the appropriate mailing list.

For general information inquires, please send e-mail to info@mysql.com.

For questions or comments about the workings or content of this Web site, please send e-mail to webmaster@mysql.com.

3.5 Types of Commercial Support

3.5.1 Basic E-mail Support

Basic e-mail 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. We at MySQL do give a lot of free support in all the different MySQL lists, and the money we get from basic e-mail support is largely used to make this possible.

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, 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 e-mail 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 mysql-support@mysql.com.

Note that if you have encountered a critical repeatable bug and follow the rules outlined in the manual section of how to report bugs and send it to bugs@lists.mysql.com, we promise to try to fix this as soon as possible, regardless of your support level! See section 2.3 How to Report Bugs or Problems.

Basic e-mail support includes the following types of service:

3.5.2 Extended E-mail Support

Extended e-mail support includes everything in basic e-mail support with these additions:

3.5.3 Login Support

Login support includes everything in extended e-mail support with these additions:

3.5.4 Extended Login Support

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

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