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MySQL Reference Manual by Kaj Arno, David Axmark, Michael Widenius

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MySQL Support and Licensing

This section describes MySQL support and licensing arrangements.

Support Offered by MySQL AB

Technical support from MySQL AB means individualised answers to your unique problems direct from the software engineers who code the MySQL database engine.

We try to take a broad and inclusive view of technical support. Almost any problem involving MySQL software is important to us if it’s important to you. Typically customers seek help on how to get different commands and utilities to work, remove performance bottlenecks, restore crashed systems, understand operating system or networking impacts on MySQL, set up best practices for backup and recovery, utilise APIs, etc. Our support covers only the MySQL server and our own utilities, not third-party products that access the MySQL server, though we try to help with these where we can.

Detailed information about our various support options is given at https://order.mysql.com/, where support contracts can also be ordered online. If you have restricted access to the Internet, contact our sales staff at .

Technical support is like life insurance. You can live happily without it for years, but when your hour arrives it becomes critically important, yet it’s too late to buy it! If you use MySQL Server for important applications and encounter sudden troubles, it might take too long to figure out all the answers yourself. You may need immediate access to the most experienced MySQL troubleshooters available, those employed by MySQL AB.

Copyrights and Licenses Used by MySQL

MySQL AB owns the copyright to the MySQL source code, the MySQL logos and trademarks and this manual. See Section 1.3. Several different licenses are relevant to the MySQL distribution:

  1. All the MySQL-specific source in the server, the mysqlclient library and the client, as well as the GNU readline library is covered by the GNU General Public License. See http://www.mysql.com/doc/G/P/GPL-license.html. The text of this license can also be found as the file COPYING in the distributions.

  2. The GNU getopt library is covered by the GNU Lesser General Public License. See http://www.mysql.com/doc/L/G/LGPL-license.html.

  3. Some parts of the source (the regexp library) are covered by a Berkeley-style copyright.

  4. Older versions of MySQL (3.22 and earlier) are subject to a more strict license (http://www.mysql.com/support/arrangements/mypl.html). See the documentation of the specific version for information.

  5. The manual is currently not distributed under a GPL-style license. Use of the manual is subject to the following terms:

    • Conversion to other formats is allowed, but the actual content may not be altered or edited in any way.

    • You may create a printed copy for your own personal use.

    • For all other uses, such as selling printed copies or using (parts of) the manual in another publication, prior written agreement from MySQL AB is required.

    Please email for more information or if you are interested in doing a translation.

For information about how the MySQL licenses work in practice, please refer to Section 1.4.3. Also see Section 1.4.4.

MySQL Licenses

The MySQL software is released under the GNU General Public License (GPL), which probably is the best known open source license. The formal terms of the GPL license can be found at http://www.gnu.org/licenses/. See also http://www.gnu.org/licenses/gpl-faq.html and http://www.gnu.org/philosophy/enforcing-gpl.html.

Since the MySQL software is released under the GPL, it may often be used for free, but for certain uses you may want or need to buy commercial licenses from MySQL AB at https://order.mysql.com/.

Older versions of MySQL (3.22 and earlier) are subject to a more strict license (http://www.mysql.com/support/arrangements/mypl.html). See the documentation of the specific version for information.

Please note that the use of the MySQL software under commercial license, GPL, or the old MySQL license does not automatically give you the right to use MySQL AB trademarks. See Section 1.4.4.

Using the MySQL software under a commercial license

The GPL license is contagious in the sense that when a program is linked to a GPL program the resulting product must also be released under GPL lest you break the license terms and forfeit your right to use the GPL program altogether.

You need a commercial license:

  • When you link a program with code from the MySQL software or from GPL released clients and don’t want the resulting product to be GPL, maybe because you want to build a commercial product or keep the added non-GPL code closed source for other reasons. When purchasing commercial licenses, you are not using the MySQL software under GPL even though it’s the same code.

  • When you distribute a non-GPL application that only works with the MySQL software and ship it with the MySQL software. This type of solution is actually considered to be linking even if it’s done over a network.

  • When you distribute copies of the MySQL software without providing the source code as required under the GPL license.

  • When you want to support the further development of the MySQL database even if you don’t formally need a commercial license. Purchasing support directly from MySQL AB is another good way of contributing to the development of the MySQL software, with immediate advantages for you. See Section 1.4.1.

If you require a license, you will need one for each installation of the MySQL software. This covers any number of CPUs on a machine, and there is no artificial limit on the number of clients that connect to the server in any way.

To purchase commercial licenses and support, please visit the order section of our web site at https://order.mysql.com/. If you have special licensing needs or you have restricted access to the Internet, please contact our sales staff at .

Using the MySQL software for free under GPL

You can use the MySQL software for free under the GPL:

  • When you link a program with code from the MySQL software and release the resulting product under GPL.

  • When you distribute the MySQL source code bundled with other programs that are not linked to or dependent on MySQL server for their functionality even if you sell the distribution commercially.

  • When using the MySQL software internally in your company.

  • When you are an Internet Service Provider (ISPs) offering web hosting with MySQL servers for your customers. 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 the MySQL installation, their ISP will in fact have the resources to solve the problem for them.

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

    Note that even if an ISP does not have a commercial license for MySQL server, they should at least give their customers read access to the source of the MySQL installation so that the customers can verify that it is patched correctly.

  • When you use the MySQL Database Software in conjunction with a web server, you do not need a commercial license. This is true even if you run a commercial web server that uses MySQL server, because you are not selling an embedded MySQL version yourself. However, in this case we would like you to purchase MySQL support because the MySQL software is helping your enterprise.

If your use of MySQL database software does not require a commercial license, we encourage you to purchase support from MySQL AB anyway. This way you contribute toward MySQL development and also gain immediate advantages for yourself. See Section 1.4.1.

If you use the MySQL database software in a commercial context such that you profit by its use, we ask that you further the development of the MySQL software by purchasing some level of support. We feel that if the MySQL database helps your business, it is reasonable to ask that you help MySQL AB. (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.)

MySQL AB Logos and Trademarks

Many users of the MySQL database want to display the MySQL AB dolphin logo on their web sites, books, or boxed products. We welcome and encourage this, although it should be noted that the word MySQL and the MySQL dolphin logo are trademarks of MySQL AB and may only be used as stated in our trademark policy at http://www.mysql.com/company/trademark.html.

The original MySQL logo

The MySQL dolphin logo was designed by the Finnish advertising agency Priority in 2001. The dolphin was chosen as a suitable symbol for the MySQL database since it is a smart, fast, and lean animal, effortlessly navigating oceans of data. We also happen to like dolphins.

The original MySQL logo may only be used by representatives of MySQL AB and by those having a written agreement allowing them to do so.

MySQL logos that may be used without written permission

We have designed a set of special Conditional Use logos that may be downloaded from our web site at http://www.mysql.com/downloads/logos.html and used on third-party web sites without written permission from MySQL AB. The use of these logos is not entirely unrestricted but, as the name implies, subject to our trademark policy that is also available on our web site. You should read through the trademark policy if you plan to use them. The requirements are basically:

  • Use the logo you need as displayed on the http://www.mysql.com/ site. You may scale it to fit your needs, but not change colours or design, or alter the graphics in any way.

  • Make it evident that you, and not MySQL AB, are the creator and owner of the site that displays the MySQL trademark.

  • Don’t use the trademark in a way that is detrimental to MySQL AB or to the value of MySQL AB trademarks. We reserve the right to revoke the right to use the MySQL AB trademark.

  • If you use the trademark on a web site, make it clickable, leading directly to http://www.mysql.com/.

  • If you are using the MySQL database under GPL in an application, your application must be open source and be able to connect to a MySQL server.

Contact us at to inquire about special arrangements to fit your needs.

When do you need a written permission to use MySQL logos?

In the following cases you need a written permission from MySQL AB before using MySQL logos:

  • When displaying any MySQL AB logo anywhere except on your web site.

  • When displaying any MySQL AB logo except the Conditional Use logos mentioned previously on web sites or elsewhere.

Out of legal and commercial reasons we have to monitor the use of MySQL trademarks on products, books, etc. We will usually require a fee for displaying MySQL AB logos on commercial products, since we think it is reasonable that some of the revenue is returned to fund further development of the MySQL database.

MySQL AB partnership logos

MySQL partnership logos may only be used by companies and persons having a written partnership agreement with MySQL AB. Partnerships include certification as a MySQL trainer or consultant. Please see Section 1.3.1.5.

Using the word MySQL in printed text or presentations

MySQL AB welcomes references to the MySQL database, but note that the word MySQL is a trademark of MySQL AB. Because of this, you should append the trademark symbol (™) to the first or most prominent use of the word MySQL in a text and where appropriate, state that MySQL is a trademark of MySQL AB. Please refer to our trademark policy at http://www.mysql.com/company/trademark.html for details.

Using the word MySQL in company and product names

Use of the word MySQL in product or company names or in Internet domain names is not allowed without written permission from MySQL AB.

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