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Honestly my colleagues did a poor job with such an announcement there, and I did not get a chance to read it (which is actually a good thing, it means that the OSS division, I'm part of, is independent and can work to the Github repositories without caring about what the commercial side does). But it was kinda of a manifest to announce that certain things made inside Redis Labs are now Common Clause licensed. In doubt, why not asking? Also people that follow me and Redis for years getting trapped into this idea is very strange, I would never do that and without explaining, prior notice, and so forth. So yep the Common Clause page at Redis Labs sucked but in doubt ask instead of creating news out of no actual information.

It was clear to me from a careful reading that the page did not refer to Redis, but it also seemed deliberately designed to suggest that it did. It seemed pretty scummy.

And the name itself of "Commons Clause" is practically a tiny version of fake news, since it tries to give an "open source" feeling to what is essentially a proprietary license.

As a practical/PR matter, I think Redis Labs have likely shot themselves in the foot. I've been in a low-key debate advocating for Redis Labs over AWS elasticache on an upcoming project; my argument probably just got about 1000% harder, given the anti-RL sentiment I saw on our Slack last night.

(Finally, if you'll forgive me a bit of personal advice, I think for better or worse Redis + your personal brand + RedisLabs are now all somewhat tied together -- I'm not sure how much sense it makes for you to just pay attention to the OSS side of the house...)

> that the page did not refer to Redis, but it also seemed deliberately designed to suggest that it did

The thing that's going on here isn't that the page wants you to believe that the thing that changed license is Redis; the page (and Redis Labs' site in general) wants you to believe that they own Redis in some sense.

Redis Labs is essentially doing the same type of thing for Redis that e.g. RedHat or IBM does for OpenStack. They take this FOSS project, add their own secret sauce to it, brand the combined thing as "[our company] [FOSS project name]", and then try as hard as possible to conflate the "[our company] [FOSS project name]" distribution with the FOSS project itself. Because they want you to associate the brand-cachet of the FOSS project with their distribution.

That backfired in this specific instance, because people misinterpreted what Redis Labs was saying regarding "Redis Labs Redis" as applying to "Redis." But it's their whole business strategy, so they can't exactly stop.

I'll second that the reputations are entwined at this point. My fear is that the "killer" new features will be implemented as RL source-available addons, to differentiate RL from AWS/Cloud providers.

I totally get why, as long as I can compile the addons and run on a server myself I'll be pretty happy.

I'll pile on here as well, we were thinking about shifting from elasticache to RL, but this has made that decision super easy.

Elasticache is a totally closed source implementation that does not contribute back to the community. How did this situation change your decision?

what would they contribute back? elasticache is just vanilla redis. aws is selling you compute time and ram.

> elasticache is just vanilla redis

Only at the interface level. Elasticache is a heavily forked Redis. There's a reason it's several versions behind.

that makes sense. i guess i had just assumed it was laziness. :-)

out of curiosity, do you have any idea what their mods might be?

I never bothered to really look into it -- I suspect it's semi-public information. If I had to guess, lots of internal changes to make Redis behave better in AWS's architecture to do with containerization, EC2, S3/EBS, maintenance automation related stuff, instrumentation, etc.

Oh actually definitely some stuff related to their redis clustering system.

They also support encryption in transit. That part was open sourced recently, but hasn't made it into upstream yet (though it most likely will from sounds of it).

Ironically AWS (and probably Google) is the reason why they had to adopt that kind of license since they are not giving back. Obviously AWS is not tied by the license but it would make sense for them to sponsor the product instead of milking it entirely. Elastic is having similar issues with AWS.

The abbreviation "CC" will be confusing if Commons Clause got popular… We already have Creative Commons licenses.

Particularly because the linked post calls it "Creative Common" twice and "Common Clause" elsewhere.

When I see CC, I also tend to think it means Common Criteria :


Agreed, fixed.

Utterly confused. Does this have anything to do with Creative Commons licences? That's what the articles calls it in its first and last sentences.

If the commercial side can change the license without your knowledge then it is not a good thing at all.

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