I am having a hard time understanding why Michael "Monty" Widenius is pushing so hard to Save MySQL as the Oracle takeover of Sun Microsystems looms. It was Widenius himself, one of two primary developers of the product, who introduced a dual-licensing model that allowed clients to purchase supported products from his company, MySQL AB, or to download the open source components themselves.
After a considerable length of time running the company and presumably directing its operations he agreed to sell MySQL AB (including the rights to the MySQL branding and trademarks, apparently) to Sun Microsystems in January 2008, and went to work in Sun's MySQL division. One presumes that a good portion of the billion dollars that Sun paid for the company went to Widenius.
He then proceeded to undermine the MySQL 5.1 launch at the end of November the same year with a rant about its unsuitability for purpose (for which he strangely appeared to feel little or no responsibility) that sent a terrible message to the user community. Then he followed that up less than three months later with an announcement that he was leaving Sun and had started his own business, Monty Program AB. Fair enough.
He now apparently perceives a threat to the MySQL "brand" because Oracle will have no vested interest in ensuring the vigorous development of the MySQL software to compete with its high-margin brand. The question that I am left with is: why, having sold the brand (and since MySQL was open source licensed under version 2 of the GPL, the brand was the main intellectual property transferred along with the support business) does Monty imagine he has any right to control what happens to it?
The software itself is protected under the GPL, so a fork is perfectly practical (and indeed Monty's new company has for some time been working on a branch they call Maria). So all we are talking about is a name, and one which Monty willingly sold. What's the deal?