(https://open.dgraph.io/licensing is a dead link)
AGPLv3 is just a license, it is not "draconic", nor "cancer", (despite what Ballmer wants you to believe), it simply represents an ethical/moral agreement with the ideology of software freedom and since it is their code, they are free to express what they believe via the appropriate license. Nobody is making them do it, nobody is forcing you to use it and nobody is demanding you agree with it, it was a free choice and is therefore as far from "draconic" as one can possibly be, unless you believe that everybody who doesn't subscribe to your worldview is "draconic" by definition.
As an aside, one can certainly describe something as draconic(or whatever else) if one views it as such; it's just an opinion.
Can you give me any more info on your sources?
I would also be surprised if Apple (being so allergic to the GPLv3) used AGPLv3 software, though that's just speculation.
Why should that be a laudable goal? Not all projects are megalomaniac.
1) copyleft versus non-copyleft
2) which copyleft license to choose
3) the strategy of the dgraph
Regarding 1), non-copyleft leads to higher short-term adoption, but copyleft is often the better choice long-term. Moreover, history has shown that if you switch from a non-copyleft to a copyleft license, people will feel tricked. So the "early stage" argument doesn't hold. If you want to use copyleft long-term, better be honest and do so upfront.
Regarding 2), whenever you ask a lawyer in that field, they usually tell you that AGPLv3 is almost always what you want, preferable to GPLv3 and most other alternatives. So the "draconic open source license" argument doesn't hold. AGPLv3 just closes large holes which GPLv3 left open, to ensure that people actually stick to the copyleft principle. So if you want copyleft, choose AGPLv3 unless you have a very compelling reason not to.
Regarding 3), the dgraph people seem to see it a similar way:
It makes sense from the host business's point of view. If you are the sole contributor, then you're entitled to do what you like. Moreover, you're also free to charge for commercial licences.
This licencing model wouldn't be appropriate for a community-centric database, such as PostgreSQL. With many contributors to core, no one would be able to arbitrage the situation.
And Mongo. Also RethinkDB until the parent company folded.
> This licencing model wouldn't be appropriate for a community-centric database, such as PostgreSQL.
I don't disagree.
It's interesting, though, how counterintuitive this is. I would think that GPL wouldn't be a problem for individual contributors (the types of participants I imagine when I think of a "community"), but for business contributors who don't want competitors to take advantage of their modifications. And yet, anything a business contributes back to an MIT/Apache project is actually less protected than a contribution to a GPL project.
> I don't disagree.
> It's interesting, though, how counterintuitive this is. I would think that GPL wouldn't be a problem for individual contributors (the types of participants I imagine when I think of a "community"), but for business contributors who don't want competitors to take advantage of their modifications. And yet, anything a business contributes back to an MIT/Apache project is actually less protected than a contribution to a GPL project.
Well, a lot of them want to, at least temporarily, distribute some features without releasing them. And that simply doesn't work for GPL projects, unless there's a sole owner and all external contributions are made under some form of CLA. There's a lot of open-core type projects, but in my experience they're on average less healthy than projects with multiple contributing entities.
For PostgreSQL there've been a lot of closed source forks, but a lot of them folded and/or couldn't keep up with the amount of changes and thus are based on some super old version (hello Redshift, hello Greenplum). The only ones that appear to be able to keep up are ones 1) that move more invasive changes upstream after a while and religiously rebase after every release, never delaying, or 2) move their modifications into extensions, possibly adding the necessary extension APIs to core PostgreSQL.
In my personal opinion, AGPL is largely chosen to avoid various cloud providers from profiting significantly from $product, without ever giving back. That's control, but a very specific form of it. I don't personally like AGPLs legalese, it's very very imprecise.
Maybe it just seems imprecise to a layperson because they don't know the well-defined meaning of various legal terms? (... and confuse these with their fuzzy meaning in ordinary language)
You're sure they were talking AGPLv3 and not [L]GPLv3?
The definitions of what constitutes an interactive program is quite vague (sect 0 and 13). Let's say you have a database server under AGPL (mongo, or say citus). Clearly they support interactive access in some form, but from the perspective of user of an application using said database access is not interactive, nor is it clear how the database could provide such an interactive notice. Various vendors addressed that issue with clarifying notes about their understanding, but that definitely increases doubts of possible users, including their lawyers.