I was looking though :

Learning MySQL and MariaDB
[ Russell J.T. Dyer / O’Reilly / 2015 ]

where I came across a licensing Issue.

It says [ Preface Section ] :

"The software license, though, is now held by the MariaDB Foundation so
that it cannot be bought by Oracle or any other corporation."

That is related to the earlier Statement :

"Displeased that Oracle took control of MySQL software, Monty started a new company
(Monty Program Ab) that has developed a fork of the software called MariaDB."

I am not sure what changes are there between earlier & now.

If Oracle could buy Sun which bought MySQL (the Company) earlier , Oracle can still buy MariaDB (the foundation ) now.

How can the license being held by the foundation forbid Oracle from buying the Whole Entity ?

1 Answer 1


How can the license being held by the foundation forbid Oracle from buying the Whole Entity ?

Because it's not for sale. This from the foundation's Certificate of Incorporation:

FOURTH: The Corporation is not authorized to issue, and shall not have, any capital stock.

Stock is the established way of owning a piece (or, if you own all of it, all) of a corporate entity; in the absence of any stock, you can't buy it.

The articles do allow that they can be changed by the board, as is normal, but they go on to state that one of the foundation's principal aims is to "continue the development of, free public access to, and adoption of the open source database management software known as MariaDB", so - even if it could be done - any attempt to pack the board of directors with hostile members to change this policy would likely be subject to legal challenge. It also provides that if the foundation is wound up, the assets will be distributed solely to other non-profit organisations.

The rights are thus as tightly protected from corporate acquisition as any asset can be in a modern capitalist society.

  • Yes , this is the Correct Answer [[ Though the Claim in the Preface wrongly or inaccurately makes it look like being a foundation is enough. It might be better worded something like this : "The software license , though , is now held by the MariaDB Foundation ( whose "Charter" or Certificate of Incorporation Includes Clauses to not sell stocks ) , making it very hard to bought by Oracle or any other corporation" ]] Either way , +1 , this is the Correct Answer !
    – Prem
    Commented Dec 15, 2022 at 10:49
  • Comments are not for extended discussion; this conversation has been moved to chat.
    – MadHatter
    Commented Jan 10, 2023 at 7:09

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