The co-founders of CockroachDB — Peter Mattis (CTO), Ben Darnell (Chief Architect), and Spencer Kimball (CEO) — co-wrote a post explaining their move to MariaDB’s Business Source License (BSL) in order to thwart competitors, otherwise know as “highly-integrated providers,” from offering a version of CockroachDB “as-a-service” without purchasing a license to do so.
We’re witnessing the rise of highly-integrated providers take advantage of their unique position to offer “as-a-service” versions of OSS products, and offer a superior user experience as a consequence of their integrations.
Here’s the tl;dr of this license change:
Today, we’re adopting an extremely permissive version of the Business Source License (BSL). CockroachDB users can scale CockroachDB to any number of nodes. They can use CockroachDB or embed it in their applications (whether they ship those applications to customers or run them as a service). They can even run it as a service internally. The one and only thing that you cannot do is offer a commercial version of CockroachDB as a service without buying a license.