[License-review] Approval: Server Side Public License, Version 2 (SSPL v2)

Nigel T nigel.2048 at gmail.com
Tue Jan 29 14:56:30 UTC 2019

On Mon, Jan 28, 2019 at 10:26 PM Rob Landley <rob at landley.net> wrote:

> I assume this was an xfree86 style fork off an existing codebase, so the
> old
> code is still out there under AGPLv3, and the big cloud players who want
> to do
> this can still deploy and develop that version? And that any patches added
> to
> the open source fork could not be used in the new proprietary "you can't
> deploy
> on servers we don't like, you have to pay us instead" SSPL fork?
> ..
> It would if the relicensed fork became more popular than the open source
> one,
> but I'm unaware of any historical instances of that actually happening.
> People
> can usually smell a rat. Of course they want OSI's endorsement of their
> proprietary fork to cover the smell...
> ..
> It didn't explicitly reference similar historical situations like Xfree86->
> x.org
> and mysql->mariadb and ethereal->wireshark and openoffice->libreoffice and
> so
> on, but judging by the comments everybody put 2+2 together pretty quickly.
> OSI aside, the community seems to have pretty clearly spoken.
> Rob

Assuming that mongodb continues to invest in improving the mongodb product
then the mongoldb fork will win unless Amazon invests a similar amount to
support documentdb.

Given that mongodb is a core product the level of investment will likely
remain high.  Much higher than community contributions unless Amazon,
Microsoft and Google invest in it.  Which from MongoDB's perspective is a
win...because it partially levels the playing field for Atlas.

This is where it differs from OpenOffice and Ethereal.  None of those saw
any significant investment after the fork.  mariaDB wouldn't have been
competitive without corporate investment and mySQL isn't a make or break
product for Oracle so their level of investment is limited.  mariaDB
doesn't threaten Oracle.

The community that matters to Oracle and MongoDB is the one that pays for
product or investment.  Salesforce matters.  Ubuntu doesn't.  SSPL probably
wouldn't bother companies like Salesforce....
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