[License-review] Support for SSPL v2

Greg Luck greg at hazelcast.com
Wed Dec 19 01:57:50 UTC 2018

AGPL doesn’t solve the service wrapping problem.

In the words of Confluent who just last week released the Confluent Community License which restricts service wrapping.

"AGPL doesn’t solve the problem we are trying to fix. AGPL allows cloud service providers to sell services using the exact software being licensed, and charge for it, without any limitation. This means the software developer has become the unpaid developer and maintainer for the cloud service provider—which is not a scenario we want to enable.”
https://www.confluent.io/confluent-community-license-faq <https://www.confluent.io/confluent-community-license-faq>.

And Confluent also reiterates the reason I am supporting SSPLv2:

"We felt it was better to create a license for the specific purpose we intended. If Commons Clause or another such mechanism emerges as a common standard for solving the problem we’re targeting, we will gladly consider it.”

If OSI or another standards body fails to solve this problem with a general, community accepted license, which keeps open source as we know it but restricts service wrapping, then there will be plethora of new custom licenses where each open source software vendor solves the problem for themselves. 

Which goes back to something that Bruce Perens says in this thread "One of the goals was for everyone to be able to use Debian, without having to hire a lawyer just to be able to run the software”.

I predict the majority of popular open source infrastructure software will have defensive measures in place in the next year, all with custom licenses. Which will require the use of a lawyer to use that software, create commercial uncertainty and be a major friction in the use of what has been open source software.

> On 14 Dec 2018, at 12:05 am, Kevin P. Fleming <kevin+osi at km6g.us> wrote:
> On Thu, Dec 13, 2018 at 12:41 AM Greg Luck <greg at hazelcast.com> wrote:
>> Cloud Providers are different. And new.  They provide the software as a service, not a copy of the software. They provide the exact software, with the same API, and generally without any modifications, as a service. I call it service wrapping. Some examples are Redis, MySQL, Kafka.  They derive all their economic value from running the software for others without giving those others “copies”. So they can do this without passing on any copyleft restrictions. The software is used, not copied and therefore not conveyed as defined.
>> I always through the idea behind copyleft was to prevent that other party from simply selling, or modifying a selling something that was free. So it made those derivative works free too. This is the same idea, but applied to the new world of services.
> There is an existing OSI-approved license which addresses this exact
> situation: the AGPL. It applies to the covered work, as copyright law
> allows it to. It does not apply to any other works which are used in
> combination (unless the 'derivative work' aspects are triggered) with
> the covered work in order to provide access to the covered work, and
> as has been pointed out elsewhere in the thread, if RMS and Eben had
> been able to find a way to make it do that, they almost certainly
> would have done so.
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