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The point is that if one entity owns the original copyright, they can wreak sufficient havoc that the project can splinter into individually anaemic forks.

MySQL has splintered into at least 3 competing forks outside of the "real" MySQL: MariaDB, Percona and Drizzle.




I wouldn't say they "compete", at least, not harmfully. Maria and Percona swap patches with each other, and are drop-in replacements for MySQL. Drizzle is an exploration of the idea of paying off as much as possible of MySQL's technical debt and throwing away crufty backwards compatibility. The technical ecology of users and developers around MySQL is healthier than it has ever been.

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