MySQL founder tries a new software licensing model

When it comes to open-source licenses, developers have their fair share of choices (GPL, BSD, MIT, Apache, etc.), all of them with their own pros and cons. The same goes for commercial licenses. MySQL founder Michael “Monty” Widenius and his co-founder David Axmark, however, came up with a different model a few years ago: the Business Source License (BSL).
This new license offers an alternative to the closed-source and open-core licenses that many startups choose for their software, and, for the first time, Widenius’s new company, MariaDB, is now using it for one of its products.
In some ways, the BSL is akin to a freemium model for software licensing (with an open-source twist). As Widenius explained to me, the BSL allows developers to set a limit for how many servers/CPUs/etc. their software can run on in production (there are no usage limits for test environments, only production usage). Usage above that incurs a licensing


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