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Yet another company that uses the open source community to grow and then rips the rug out from under them.

This corporate take over and redefinition of open source needs to stop. The "Business Source License" is not an open source license, and lying to the community about it is nothing short of gaslighting. This decision is bad for the community, and no amount of marketing speak and lying from sentry is going to change that.

> The "Business Source License" is not an open source license, and lying to the community about it is nothing short of gaslighting.

They do state that it is not an open source license in the article:

> Although we’ve come to refer to the BSL as eventually open-source since it converts to an OSI-approved license at the conversion date, due to the grant restriction, it is formally not an open-source license.

I feel like they're being very honest. If you (or anyone else) feels strongly, you can always fork the code now and develop it. You and I have no right to the _future code_ that Sentry might write and license under different terms.

This is equivalent to Oracle (possibly the worst bad actor in open source history) killing OpenSolaris.

They're sending a giant Fuck You to anyone who contributed their time and effort to the project. It's a completely unethical thing to do.

I have no problem with someone using one of these horrible licenses, if they use it from the start. But to adopt it after the fact is blatant exploitation.

How do you propose stopping AWS taking the code wholesale and selling with an upcharge? Is that what open source is?

AWS is emphatically NOT "taking the code", they have a license for it. If you don't want people to use your work commercially, then don't license it to them to use it commercially. It's pretty simple. Once you tell people what they can and can't use your software for, then it is no longer free; you don't get both.

But that's exactly what they're doing.

They're saying you can use it for anything except building a competing product.

>then it is no longer free; you don't get both.

You drew a line in the sand, do not presume that someone else will draw the line in the same place. For example, some people draw the line at GPL. I, personally, greatly prefer a BSL license to a fully proprietary license. That means, from me, they do get both.

Well yes but open source has well established definition.

If we just let everybody call them self opensource and free, those terms will loose all of its meaning.

The fact that BSL is better than completely closed source option is different discussion.

I would have no problem with AWS were their shit open source. Starting from all the ugly Perl, that holds whatever obscure nefarious systems in perpetual black magic motion.

But they take the successful open source thing, skin it, provide something similar with the same API, and that's it.

This contributes back nothing to the community. It actively distorts the cashflows. (Because instead of hiring someone to set up a let's say ES cluster, or buy it from elastic co. they buy it from AWS.)

For what it's worth, here is an Amazon contribution to Sentry.... https://github.com/getsentry/sentry/pull/4231

Many developers at Amazon love(d) using Sentry, and one wanted to contribute (in a small way).

Creating open source software is a choice. No one is required to do it. That choice has both benefits and potential negative consequences if your goal is to commercialize.

The benefits include things like volunteer labor, more alpha testers, and community goodwill. The negative is that you have less control over how your software is used.

I don't have an answer to how we can stop AWS from reselling open source software. I do know that redefining open source is not the way to handle it though.

Exactly, and they made the choice to no longer do it. Feel free to fork it and maintain their effort.

Which if fine. They're allowed to do it. The community of people who use and contribute to the project also get to be mad about it.

Look, if Sentry wants to make money selling their software they should have just been proprietary from the beginning.

> how we can stop AWS from reselling open source software

AWS has more than enough resources to re-implement (or fork/maintain) your software. So if you write a license that pisses off your own community and prevents AWS from using it, then that's probably what they're going to do, and now you have no users.

The answer to AWS running a hosted version of your software is, encourage it and ask for patches and contributions back.

To be fair, hosting a managed service of something, whether the software is open source or not, is a complicated and difficult task. So, AWS charging for a hosted version of something is not an "upcharge" but a payment for actual services rendered.

I don’t propose we do that. Open means open.

If you don’t want it to be open, don’t make your code open. (It’s not open by default.) If you do, don’t be surprised or dismayed when someone takes you up on the offer you created.

>I don’t propose we do that. Open means open.

I don't think we need software Manichaeism. Software can be as open or closed as anyone likes with many degrees in between.

It is preferable for everyone to have software that is relatively permissive but has barriers in place as to not run into a tragedy-of-the-commons like situation where large companies simply take the code of small innovators wholesale and profit off their work without contributing back. License extremism is silly.

Why would we be better off if sentry completely closed down their source code, thus robbing everyone of running and using sentry themselves?

Not all use of code is just running it as is. Sometimes you want to take a pice of it and use just that in your system. Maybe you want to fork it and do your own thing with it. You can do that and all the other things you can think of with open source, not with BSL (or you would need army of lawyers).

BSL is just better proprietary licence. It definitively isn't open source. I think of it as better way to do shareware. But there is big difference between shareware and open source and we don't want to muddy it.

I don't see how you need an army of lawyers to fork or modify sentry code as long as you don't run a service that is competition to sentry.io.

If all you do is use sentry internally (which is a major use case for this particular piece of software) you can do what you want. This is not at all close to a proprietary license.

So if I take few hundred lines of their code, and put them in my product.

Can I sell this product as SaaS ? Can I put that code in a library that would be usable by SaaS product ? Who decides if it competes with sentries ? How about if sentry suddenly adds functionality it didn't have before, so now it competes and before it didn't.

Or maybe they don't get to do their IPO and are bought out by oracle(or similar). And their lawyers smell an opportunity ?

If this code would be any other standard open source licence the answers is simple. I don't even have to ask anyone.

But sure if I wanted to use it mostly like flexible shareware internally I can do that.

As they pretty clearly articulated in the article, they want their code to be open to the extent to allow people to host it themselves and make changes to it as they need, but not so open that they can sell it and make money from it.

I think that's a fair decision for them to make and license their code accordingly.

They said very explicitly in the article that this is technically not "open source"

If they started that way, it would be totally fair. Given that they didn’t, it’s somewhat off putting but still within their rights.

I do disagree with the use of “technically” in the last line. It’s simply “not open source” (which is, of course, fine).

> If you don’t want open, don’t make your code open.

There are more things than the extremes.

This is pretty extreme though- three years is a lifetime in the software world, and the original codebase being open source means you likely accepted a lot of code from people who thought they were contributing to an open source project.

All of the code you contributed before this change remains open source. You’re free to fork the project.

Yes it actually does mean that is what open source is.

> How do you propose stopping AWS taking the code wholesale and selling with an upcharge?

Does it matter if they do that or do their own thing with an interoperable API (possibly starting with a code base forked from the last open source release)? Do you think that AWS can't afford the engineering to do the second if there is a business opportunity and the first is foreclosed by licensing terms?

Aside from all the other arguments, I don't think this licensing gambit has a chance of actually protecting substantially against the problem that supposedly motivates it, except by reducing the profile of the product to a level where AWS has no reason to care about releasing a compatible service.

Can you cite any AWS products that do that? Providing a paid, hosted version of an open source product isn't selling software, it's selling hosting.

Maybe we need a new license that is similar to existing open source licenses with the addition that it can't be used by FAANG.

Nothing is broken, nothing to fix.

It seems to be either that or have amazon rip the rug out from under them AND the open source community at once.

If you're right, why doesn't the community fork it?

I hear lots of people complaining about this. That it's some sort of theft. Yet, I've rarely seen people actually use the OSS license and decide to take it their own direction.

I think this really ends up reaffirming what Sentry is saying in the first place. It's hard to build a OSS project and you get too many freeloaders.

You're basically a freeloader and now you're upset that there's no longer a free ride.

BTW. Not trying to be insulting by using this term 'freeloader'. I wasn't trying to be derisive just saying you were getting value for free.

This comment breaks the HN guidelines by name-calling and failing to assume good faith. I'm sure you can make your substantive points without doing either of those things. Please do.


Exactly. Those developers they paid millions of dollars could have been paid similar amounts by other companies, and may have cared that they were contributing to a bona fide open source project.

Could you elaborate on how the BSL is "bad for the community"?

It does not offer essential freedoms as defined in the Open Source Definition. This includes the ability to fork the software, make alterations, and sell use the result however one wants to (within the rights of the open source license), including selling it or creating a commercial service based on it. This license restricts the ability of the community to collaborate on the software by placing the community at a lower status than a single commercial sponsor.

You are confusing free software and open source.

Free software is the one about freedom.

You are confusing "source-available" software with "open source" software. Open source software is defined by the definition given here: https://opensource.org/osd

This license (BSL) is source-available, but it is clearly not compliant with the terms of the Open Source Definition, which Sentry acknowledges.

See also:




I'm not confusing anything:


Agency creating systems for clients, contributes to sentry - bug reports/prs etc, can they use it now? Can they deploy system for their client integrated with self-hosted sentry?

To be fair, the open source community "used" them as well.

No shame in one party deciding to just walk away.

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