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)
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.)
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.
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.
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.
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...
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.
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.
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 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.