Cables that mention open source software - now with excerpts

September 4, 2011
From KEI staff review of Wikileaks cables (

These cables from a search of "open source" and software, plus additional searches using the terms Linux, FOSS, Ubuntu and "free software." I have included excerpts to relevant sections of the cables, as well as links to the full cables, for additional context. I will be adding more cables as I find them. Jamie

SCO loses appeal in dispute with Novell over copyright claims to code used in Linux operating system

As reported by Groklaw, SCO has lost an appeal, at the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals, in a dispute with Novell "over copyright ownership of early versions of the UNIX operating system and the scope of Novell’s rights in licenses issued to its former customers prior to its partial sale of UNIX to SCO." According to Groklaw, this is likely to be the end of the litigation with Novell over SCO's claims to ownership of code used in Linux. (The IBM case is still outstanding, it seems).

Sun's "Project Peter" - a plan to migrate Oracle users to MySQL

Distributed earlier on Wikileaks, this is reportedly is an internal Sun document, discussing a strategy to migrate Oracle users to MySQL.

"Project Peter is an internal effort to assist Sun / MySQL customers in migrating from Oracle to MySQL by offering them a comprehensive solution that consists of Professional Services, Best Practices, and a set of approved third party migration tools and utilities that will enable them to move to MySQL in a way that is as easy as possible."

KEI, Richard Stallman and ORG ask EC to block Oracle's acquisition of MySQL

Today, Richard Stallman, Knowledge Ecology International (KEI) and the Open Rights Groups (ORG) sent a letter to Neelie Kroes, Commissioner for Competition for the European Commission expressing their opposition to Oracle's acquisition of MySQL as part of the proposed Oracle-Sun merger. The letter is available here.

Letter to the EC opposing Oracle's acquisition of MySQL

The following is a letter that KEI, Richard Stallman and ORG have sent to the European Commission, asking the European Commission to prevent Oracle from acquiring MySQL as part of its acquisition of Sun. The European Commission has the authority to require a divestiture of MySQL, so that it would not be part of the merger, in order to ensure that MySQL would operate independently, or be sold to a different company that would not face the same conflicts as Oracle does. KEI would have raised similar objections if Microsoft was the proposed buyer of MySQL.

Timeline: Some important dates for MySQL and the proposed Oracle/Sun merger

Michael Widenius and David Axmark start developing MySQL

Software company MySQL AB founded by Michael Widenius, David Axmark and Allan Larsson

23 May 1995
First internal release of MySQL

April 1998
Michael Kunze coins the acronym LAMP for an open source web server software bundle comprised of Linux, Apache HTTP Server, MySQL, and PHP/Perl/Python

07 October 2005

The Netflix prize, about to be won

Apparently at least one entrant has qualified to win the $1 million Netflix grand prize. One can follow the progress of the teams on the Netflix Leaderboard:


Zotero is an open source citation and bibliography manager. The project has been managed by George Mason University’s Center for History and New Media (CHNM), and supported by the Andrew Melon Foundation and other donors. There are several alternative citation managers, including the popular but pricey commercial product Endnote, owned by Thomson Reuters, the publishing giant that was created in 2008 by a merger of Thomson and Reuters.* The Zotero product has been around for a few years, steadily adding features, improving performance, and attracting users.

President Obama picks David Kappos as USPTO Director, first open source fan to run USPTO

Our impressions about this appointment are positive, but we would like to hear from others. IBM has been very smart on IPR issues lately, recognizing that knowledge is often more valuable when shared. Coming from a successful technology firm, he will have both credibility and insight into innovation policy. He brings more balance to the job than anyone we can remember. Below are some interesting quotes from various articles.

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