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This looks awesome .. great job guys .. Just a question on licenses . Server is "GNU Affero General Public License v3.0" and drivers are "Apache License v2.0." , so in simple english does it means that can i use make commercial products with backend as RethinkDB? these things always confuses me so apologies if i ask something stupid here ..



Yes, you can build a commercial product with RethinkDB in the backend without paying us any money; that's explicitly allowed by this licensing scheme.


The AGPL confuses a lot of people on a lot of projects. It's actually really simple: If you modify the package (RethinkDB itself, in this case), you have to release your changes. That's it.


That's not precise. If you modify the package and distribute it to your users, they must have access to the source code (including the changes, which also become licensed under the same terms). Up to this point, it's the same as with GPL.

AGPL also enforces code and changes to be distributed to the users if they directly consume your database over the network. This would be the case, for example, of a database-as-a-service.

Put it simply: you use an AGPL database, internally, even for your SaaS: you're fine. You either modify RethinkDB and ship it as a product or you provide a RethinkDB or RethinkDB-derived database-as-a-service, then you have to also provide source code to your users.


I'm also curious about this. It seems like the ASL drivers are a bit of a loophole. What happens if later Rethink decides to relicense their drivers as AGPL with a commercial option for businesses? Can 3rdparty drivers be ASL or is that a violation of the AGPL?


We guarantee that we'll grant anyone who wants to release a driver a more permissive license. We're also happy to do it in writing, both for driver developers and users.

Theoretically we can stop doing that in the future and keep changing the protocol, but that would alienate all of our users. That would be an insane decision, and we'll never ever do it.


AGPL is outright scaring. Patch it and suddenly you get in the business of releasing code, checking dependencies licenses, exposing the server code to anybody, etc. Deal breaker.


Then pay for it?




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