Dependence on MySQL Documentation

I think many people truly realized how much they take the MySQL documentation for granted during the recent multi-hour outage from’s data center. Apparently there is a lot of FUD floating around about the legality of mirroring the documentation, as presented by Justin Swanhart and asked by Mark Callaghan.

The manual page at says:

You shall not publish or distribute this documentation in any form or on any media, except if you distribute the documentation in a manner similar to how Sun disseminates it (that is, electronically for download on a Web site with the software) or on a CD-ROM or similar medium, provided however that the documentation is disseminated together with the software on the same medium.

Now, I am not a lawyer, however, to me this means that you can indeed mirror the documentation, so long as you mirror the binaries as well. Giuseppe commented on Mark’s post (linked above) saying “There is no license restriction to mirror the docs.”

Note that I played a part in unknowingly spreading the FUD — I thought special permission was needed to mirror the documentation (and binaries) and indeed, it is not.

As a postscript, what are everyone’s favorite site mirror programs? Searching for an open-source website mirror did not reveal anything very popular, though I am sure there are a few “standard” mirroring tools that folks use. (Perhaps I should have searched for spiders, and seen which spiders have sync/download capabilities?)

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