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3 Licensing, or When do I have/want to pay for MySQL?

The basic licensing issues are:

See section J The MySQL server license for non Microsoft operating systems.

3.1 How much MySQL costs

For normal use on Unix or OS/2, MySQL costs nothing. When you sell MySQL, directly or as a part of another product or service, you have to pay for it. See section J The MySQL server license for non Microsoft operating systems.

For use on Win95/Win98/NT you will need a MySQL license after a trial time of 30 days. You can of course first try the shareware version before buying! http://www.mysql.com/mysql_w32.htmy,MySQL -Win32

Some examples illustrating when you need a MySQL license on Unix / OS/2:

If your use of MySQL requires a license (see section 3 Licensing, or When do I have/want to pay for MySQL?), you only need to get a license for each machine that runs the mysqld server. A multi-CPU machine counts as one machine. There is no restriction on the number of concurrent users connected to a machine running a mysqld server.

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
100-1000 $40 100 $4000
1000-2500 $25 200 $5000
2500-5000 $20 400 $8000

For OEM purchases, you must act as a middle-man for eventual problems or extension requests from users. We also require OEM customers to have a 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 10 MySQL licenses, you will get a personal copy of the pack_isam utility. You are not allowed to re-distribute this but you can distribute tables packed with pack_isam.

3.2 How to get commercial support

A full-price license includes really basic 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 do not have 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. Costs for the various types of commercial support are shown below, and the following sections describe what each level of support includes. You are entitled to upgrade from any lower level of support to a higher level of support for the difference between the prices of the two support levels.

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

3.2.1 Basic email support

Basic email support includes the following types of service:

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.

3.2.2 Extended email support

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

3.2.3 Login support

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

3.2.4 Extended login support

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

3.3 How to pay for licenses or support

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

Payment should be made to:

Postgirot Bank AB

T.C.X DataKonsult AB
BOX 6434

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:

T.C.X DataKonsult AB
BOX 6434

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 above page, 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 to bill you.

3.4 Who to contact for more information about licensing or support

For commercial licensing, or if you have any questions about any of the information in this section, please contact:

David Axmark
Detron HB
Kungsgatan 65 B
753 21 UPPSALA
Voice Phone +46-18-10 22 80     (Swedish and English spoken)
Fax +46-8-729 69 05             (Email *much* preferred)
E-Mail: mysql-licensing@tcx.se

3.5 What copyrights MySQL uses

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 Unix 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. See section K The MySQL license for Microsoft operating systems.

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

3.6 When you may distribute MySQL commercially without a fee

This is a clarification of the information 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. Commercial licenses involve a payment, and include support and other benefits. The only ways you legally can distribute MySQL or anything containing MySQL are either by distributing MySQL under the requirements of the FPL, or by getting a commercial license from TcX AB.

3.7 Selling a product that can be configured to use MySQL

If you want to sell a product that can be configured to use MySQL although your customer is responsible for obtaining/installing MySQL (or some other supported alternative), does one of you owe us money if your customer chooses to use MySQL?

If your product REQUIRES MySQL to work, you would have to buy a license. If MySQL just added some new features, it should fall inside normal use. For example, if using MySQL added logging to a database rather than to a text file, it would not require a license. This would, of course, mean that the user bears the responsibility of obtaining and installing MySQL. If the program is (almost) useless without MySQL you would have to get a MySQL license to sell your product.

3.8 Running a commercial web server using MySQL

If you run a commercial web server that uses MySQL, you are not selling MySQL itself and need not purchase a license. However, in this case we would like you to purchase MySQL support. That is either your support of MySQL or our support of you (the latter is more expensive since our time is limited).

3.9 Selling commercial Perl/Tcl/PHP/etc. applications

These are the questions you should ask to determine whether or not you need a MySQL license when selling your application: Is your application designed for MySQL alone? Does it require MySQL to function at all? Or is it designed more generally for "a database" and can run under MySQL, PostgreSQL, or something else?

If you've designed it strictly around MySQL then you've really made a commercial product that requires the engine, so you need to buy a license.

If, however, you can support any database with a base level of functionality (and you don't rely on anything that only MySQL supports) you probably DO NOT have to pay.

It also depends on what you're doing for the client. Are you tying into a database you expect to already exist by the time your software is purchased? Then you probably don't have to pay. Or do you plan to distribute MySQL or give them detailed instructions on installing it with your software? Then you probably do.

One thing I'd like to suggest, folks. Look, development won't last forever if nobody pays. I agree that buying a copy for every software user is prohibitive compared to other products available, but would it not be courtesy for commercial developers to register their OWN copy that they develop with?

3.10 Possible future changes in the licensing

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.

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