Hacker News new | past | comments | ask | show | jobs | submit login

Idk what is so difficult about defining "commercial use". It is a concept even a child can understand. I acknowledge the goals others have for their licensing choices, and hold RMS in high esteem for his principled stance and achievements; I even release software under LGPL and other licenses. But I don't think OSI have an answer for the new software crisis where F/OSS developers are doing all the work, just to line the pockets of the three big cloud providers which obviously isn't sustainable. It also isn't in line with the ethics of eg the FSF to lock customers in to a walled garden built by F/OSS. In this sense, it's not me who brings up ideological arguments, but OSI who insist and hold-up their Open Source definition whenever someones dares to make a living with his/her work.



It was, in fact, so difficult to define "commercial use" 10 years ago and nothing has changed, e.g. https://www.socialmediatoday.com/content/defining-non-commer...

You can always release your software under the AGPL (which is an OSI-approved license)--which would effectively prohibit its use by cloud providers. Probably very few others will use it either but that's the tradeoff you make.


Careful with AGPL. It has yet to stand in court, and is actually the license mongodb has left behind in favour of their own SSPL because it turned out not strong enough, and not preventing eg. AWS to sell mongodb as a sevice without releasing any of their provisioning and monitoring sw (though I'm not sure AWS actually uses mongo or, like Azure with CosmosDB, a proprietary API-compatible product instead). The amount of confusion regarding AGPL shows in eg. [1], and I've also heard the opinion it might not be enforcable because it wants to restrict third-party software. IANAL, but I wouldn't rely on AGPL, and not many people would use AGPL software anyway.

[1]: https://softwareengineering.stackexchange.com/questions/1078...


I don't really disagree. No one knows how "viral" (to use a loaded term) the AGPL is. But non-commercial is the same problem. I've chosen to be comfortable with using NC CC-licensed media for anything I'm not being directly compensated for. I won't use it if I'm being paid directly to give a talk or produce a marketing document but I will for a conference talk I'm giving for "free" even if it's a conference I'm attending as part of my job.

But I know other people who think that using NC content even on a personal blog that uses Adwords is a strict no-go. Or you try to define NC in terms of US tax code which is fraught for a lot of reasons.

ADDED: Personally I think the latest round of the licensing wars is overblown. If you want to use a more restrictive license, go for it. Just don't expect the development model benefits of open source software. Of course, most open source doesn't reap those benefits either because vibrant communities are relatively rare.


I believe dual-licensed or freemium models aren't after contributions so much as they want to use OSS as a marketing instrument, or for being even considered. This is also the main criticism - that they use OSS networking effects to pull a bait-and-switch strategy. OTOH, the alternatives come with their own problems: that their incentive isn't aligned with their customer's. For example, Red Hat, easily the biggest and most successful OSS company (or at least it used to be before the IBM buyout), thrived on releasing a Linux which is (intentionally?) such a complex beast that you'll need a support contract anyway.


AWS doesn’t sell Mongo as a service. They didn’t use any of Mongo’s code. They created a NoSql database with the same API.


Yeah thanks for the clarification.


I don't get the concern; if the AGPL is invalid, then the software user is even more screwed: they have no license to use it at all. Wining such a dispute would be a pyrrhic victory.


That's an interpretation a court might not agree with. We don't really know until cases are brought up in all relevant jurisdictions.

Edit: and another question alltogether is whether it's going to work well against FAANG with nearly unlimited cash to employ hordes of lawyers


DocumentDB exposes the same api




Applications are open for YC Winter 2020

Guidelines | FAQ | Support | API | Security | Lists | Bookmarklet | Legal | Apply to YC | Contact

Search: