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Sun MySQLers barred from Oz

Open source knows no borders

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Several Sun MySQLers have been denied short stay business visas to Australia - yes, Australia - as they attempted to attend a Linux conference in Hobart, Tasmania.

According to a blog post from Kaj Arno, vice president in charge of "database community" at Sun Microsystems, several employees - many of whom worked with MySQL - have been barred from entering Oz. Apparently, the Australian government is worried they'll unfairly compete with local businesses.

"Open Source is global in nature. You can develop a database in, say, Finland or Sweden, and become known in, say, Ukraine or the United States. This would imply that Open Source knows no borders," Arno writes. "In practice, borders hamper Open Source work a lot."

In the past, says the Finland-born Arno, he's seen Russian and Ukrainian MySQLers struggle to get visas for meetings in the US and the European Union. He himself has experienced the "hassle" of traveling to Russia, and he was once denied entry to India after landing at the Indira Gandhi airport in New Delhi.

But he never expected the Australia inquisition.

Arno says that Australia's decision will "adversely affect" MySQL's presence at linux.conf.au later this month. ®

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