Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols zdnet.com

Will Commons Clause destroy open source?  ↦

There is a big debate underway over Commons Clause and its recent application to certain Redis enterprise add-ons. The Commons Clause license is open source and was drafted by Heather Meeker — whom you might remember from Request for Commits #9.

This language from the license forbids the ability to sell the software (similar to the the Elastic License discussed on The Changelog #292).

…the grant of rights under the License will not include, and the License does not grant to you, the right to Sell the Software.

Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols writes for ZDNet:

Redis Labs has been unsuccessful in monetizing Redis, or at least not as successful as they’d like. Their executives were discovering, like the far more well-known Docker, that having a great open-source technology did not mean you’d be making millions. Redis’ solution was to embrace Commons Clause.

This license forbids you from selling the software. It also states you may not host or offer consulting or support services as “a product or service whose value derives, entirely or substantially, from the functionality of the software”.

I’m really curious to see how this tread plays out as more and more organizations see service providers (cloud hosting, SaaS, etc.) and consultants (support contracts, etc.) “getting rich” off of the projects they work so hard to maintain as open source, while they struggle to find a sustainable model for funding the efforts to keep the open source ship afloat.


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