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

This ignores the nuance. It is to level the playing field. Sentry would not be able to compete against Amazon hosting their service and reaping the financial benefits, and nor should they have to (and to do so with Amazon's resources available to them would be a Herculean task). If you're not a fan of the model, roll your own codebase.

> Sentry would not be able to compete against Amazon hosting their service, and nor should they have to.

If that's Sentry's opinion (and it seems like it is), that's fine, but that's not what "anti-competitive" means. The word for that is "competitive."

(The specifics depend on the jurisdiction, but the behavior described by the FTC is what's widely considered "anti-competitive": https://www.ftc.gov/enforcement/anticompetitive-practices)

So you're inverting a word here, poorly. Competitive and anti-competitive are not antonyms, the latter has a more specialized meaning.

The opposite of being anti-competitive is not simply competing, it's competing fairly.

It is pretty clearly free riding to take the creative output of another company, repackage it for money and contribute little or nothing in return.

The world is poorer when this happens because free-riders can freely have business models that "kill the host", that is, don't capture enough value to keep people working on the underlying product.

Perhaps the answer is "well it shouldn't have been an open source product then?" and then we all miss out.

Meanwhile Amazon celebrates turning off all their Oracle databases. Great! And they make a lot of money off the back of Postgres too. But try asking them for the code that bundles Postgres into a reliable managed database offering. Of course they won't share it. That's their IP.

> It is pretty clearly free riding to take the creative output of another company, repackage it for money and release nothing in return.

I completely agree and I think you found the perfect word for it: free-riding. As you note, anti-competitive has a specialized meaning. My comment was simply that free-riding is not, on its own, considered an anti-competitive business practice.

Oracle has been free riding red hat with unbreakable Linux, for years. Then red hat got bought for 30 billions. When you are confident about you ability to outsmart the competition and keep your customers, you don't have to use those new semi-open licenses. They are a legal risk for anyone who copies or reuses the code.

It is anti-competitive as big players give the sw away at a loss that they make up elsewhere by the nature of being huge. I increasingly think so much so to the extent of regulation should disallow massive platform providers to be both the compute marketplace and the sw on top: they need to pick. Feels like when the EU went after MS for similar company squashing antics. Competing with free/unprofitable is anticompetitive.

Is the creative output really “from another company” if it’s licensed under permissive OSS terms?

It's only competitive if you have a fighting chance. Me (as an indie dev) competing against Sentry is different than a $900 billion company competing against Sentry. Shouldn't it be a fair fight in the marketplace? There is no fair fight to be had against Amazon.

Time for the rubber to meet the road. Pragmatism and revenue > philosophy. Can't pay the rent and groceries with platitudes about "open source" from a vocal minority while cloud providers reap what you've sown.

I think there is 24/7 user support and very different software consultant like support and AWS can't actually provide the latter even on a product they control.

I don't really get what these growth startups are supposed to be and for people who contribute nothing back maybe buyer beware is fair.. But it is dishonest to create these company sponsored communities that convert after taking input from individual contributors. Plenty of people try to help a community with out considering that this kind of thing happens and these products compete directly with real open communities through this temporary branding.

A project can be relicensed at any time. This is a known quantity (just as a commercial product's price or availability can change without notice). To think that because it is open source, all future versions will be open source, is naive at best. To expect contributors and project owners to not be compensated for their work (or not enact controls through licenses to protect their ability to monetize pieces of their work) to support a belief system (absolute "open source") is downright unacceptable.

Open source was never about "free as in beer", it was about "free as in speech", which even in the civil rights sense is not absolute. Communities and ideas evolve, and it does a disservice to those who have contributed in a material way to the non-commercial software space to color them as heretics for trying to protect themselves from competitors with effectively unlimited resources.

A product can get additional licenses and members of a community can move to a fork under the additional license.. But as far as community, it's a little like going to a party only to discover it is a church meeting. Once or twice miscommunications happen but at some point you realize this miscommunication is the model.

I stay away from anything hosted by a startup for exactly that reason, and just yesterday someone looked at me funny for saying so since the last example was being forgotten.

(AFA any commercial product, that is the whole point of looking for a REAL open source community where other individuals might drop out but Apache, Debian, etc isn't going to tell you that they don't like their 501c status anymore.)

> a REAL open source community

No true scotsman. If it works for the stakeholders, it works, regardless of what you want to call the model, whether that's GNU/Linux, Redis, Elastic, or Sentry.

That's silly, I've worked in a closed source community with cross company stakeholders and we had no trouble understanding we weren't open source Scotsmen. Sentry seems to know this too, and this unnotable change is strangely notable here.

GPL exists partly to prevent this kind of conversion once the community is diverse and non-profit project hosting is a good place to look for a community. It would be nice if everyone knew that and kept it in mind, but clearly they do not.

If you have business policies that actively disable you from being able to compete, then in a way its "self-defeating". You could say that "self-defeating" is the same as anti-competitive, because, well, if your company doesn't exist, that's one less competitor.

Imperfect analogy: If Uber gave away every ride for free, that would be more "competitive" for some definition (lower fares = more competitive rate), but, Uber would go out of business within months.

That example isn't as strong as in this case though, but the general idea holds (price isn't as clear as business model). In this case Sentry is saying in order to survive as a company they can't sacrifice their only source of revenue completely, or they'd have no advantage. In doing so, they are keeping their own company alive, which increases competition against other companies in their area.

So it reduces competition of their own product against themselves, while it increases competition (by keeping them afloat) by making them stronger against their competitors. There's no real better way to phrase this, and I think the shorthand here works just fine. I don't see this as doublespeak or even lax phrasing, just choosing a frame that makes sense given Sentry is the one speaking.

> Imperfect analogy: If Uber gave away every ride for free, that would be more "competitive" for some definition (lower fares = more competitive rate), but, Uber would go out of business within months.

On the flip side...now if Uber were to provide rides below cost with the intention of putting the competition out of business then that would be the textbook definition of "anti-competitive" behavior.

Sentry is actually exercising their government granted monopoly (aka copyright) to ensure that no competitor is able to use their codebase to directly compete against them which is the exact opposite of increasing competition.

I have no dog in this fight and am not judging what they're doing so...

I don’t think you caught my claim exactly. Let’s say Sentry is being honest when they say they have to do this else they wouldn’t be able to make enough money to survive. In that case, it’s good for competition.

A better analogy: T-Mobile will go out of business because they set poor terms on franchisees that let them exploit and take business from T-Mobile. Now T-Mobile is days away from folding. Here’s two scenarios:

1. They fail, both T-Mobile and franchisees go under.

2. They change the terms, killing the franchise model. Only T-Mobile survives.

In this case I see number 2 as better for the market. Better to have one bigger competitor in a nearly monopolized market than have none - it’s more competitive and you’d see lower prices for end users than if they failed. Same goes for Segment.

It's anti-competitive because it allows larger companies to squeeze smaller players out of the market thereby reducing competition. This kind of anti-competitive behavior shares characteristics with predatory pricing (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Predatory_pricing).

There is also an argument to be made that such an action by Amazon fits squarely into the "single firm conduct" category of your linked FTC resource.

While I agree with the statement, I think the tone may be a bit off-putting.

In the end, this is precisely what the license change is trying to prevent. It's happened to several database companies at this point, and they're simply trying to hedge things off on competing SaaS providers (their commercial model).

I know some may not like less than "Open Source" licenses, but the reality and practicality of the real world does at time necessitate it.

I think a wide swath (very likely the majority) of the community is totally fine with not-open licenses. It’s the default condition for new code and I personally have zero issue with it.

I think more people are put off by perceived bait-and-switch or claims that a given piece of tech is open (with all the benefits that come from that) while making it not actually open.

If it’s a duck, call it a duck. If it’s a hunting decoy, don’t call it a duck.

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