back to article Redis kills Modules' Commons Clause licensing... and replaces it with one of their own

Redis Labs has jettisoned the Commons Clause software licence introduced last year for its Redis Modules, saying the earlier change had left some users "confused." The Silicon Valley firm has opted to create its own licence, Redis Source Available License (RSAL) for Redis Modules running on top of open-source Redis, to …

  1. Ian Michael Gumby Silver badge

    Wow, they finally got it!

    The in-memory database biz was one of the first open-source vendors to alter its licensing. Several players tweaked their terms last year with the aim of stopping big cloud vendors selling hosted versions of open-source programs, arguing the firms were profiting from them without giving back to the community. The moves prompted instant backlash from free-and-open-source software fans, however.

    Yeah. The Apache license made it so that anyone could do anything with the open source code.

    The reality is that once the code reaches a certain point of maturity you don't need a support license and can rely on community support. Or if you have a strong enough tech team, they can tweak it and run with a proprietary version.

    In short, the Apache License gives companies the right to steal or rather use the IP you created for free and make money off of it.

    Just saying...

    1. LDS Silver badge

      Re: Wow, they finally got it!

      GPL would have not changed that. Cloud providers don't distribute software, so they're not bound to share any change they make. Just like many web applications, by the way, were only the client code is 'distributed'.

      Open source licenses were written for a different world, that of packaged commercial software, to be delivered and used 'on premises'.

      1. cdegroot

        Re: Wow, they finally got it!

        The Affero version of GPLv3 fixes that, not? However, it still wouldn't make a difference - GPL only requires you to make code available, including your changes; it would not block Amazon from hosting it on their cloud and profiting from it. The GPL always made it very explicit that making money as a third party was not only allowed, it was in a sense even encouraged; as long as you play ball and share your code changes back to the common code base.

        1. LDS Silver badge

          "GPL only requires you to make code available"

          Apache licenses and any other open source licenses as well - the only difference is the impact on other code.

          But why the need of the AGPL? Exactly because under GPL if you never redistribute a "derived work", you never have to share the code as well. Thereby all cloud providers and ASPs can "play ball" without making available any code they add or modify, under GPL and many other open source licenses. Again, it's FOSS licenses were designed for a different world - when the "enemy" was the big corporations *selling* software, Microsoft, Oracle, IBM, etc.

          How much code is under AGPL? Very little. There were also some incompatibilities with GPL in the past.

          Anyway, it doesn't look FSF is going to change the GPL to close those loopholes - because I'm afraid it would put it against some of its biggest supporters.... as they make tons of money using GPL software for which they'll never share any changes, since it's only used "internally".

          Yet evidently a lot of software will have to avoid GPL in the future is it risks to be easily exploited by cloud providers without getting anything in return - nor money, nor code.

          1. overunder

            GPL != Generate Profit License

            Why so much focus on the type of license and not the type of financial incentive? Redis just wants to breed billionaires now, read the last paragraph of the article. I don't honestly see a problem on that specific point.

            If you can become rich off of open source, great go do that. I don't think any of its care about that, even in our jealousy. However don't try to mutate licenses out of greed while maintaining a facade with the open source community, that simply just makes things too obvious.

            1. LDS Silver badge

              Re: GPL != Generate Profit License

              Still, when your code helps to make some else billionaire, and you don't see nor a dime nor a line of code, you could be upset, and rightly so.

              Most people need money to live, and they have to come from somewhere. And projects need money as well to be developed. Not all FOSS software is developed in someone's spare time, or by monks living out of charity.

              1. overunder

                Re: GPL != Generate Profit License

                "Most people need money to live, and they have to come from somewhere."

                But this isn't that, read the last paragraph, they are clearly inviting the wolves in. CEO's with multi-million dollar investors are NOT just making ends meet. Can't disagree with you about those having to feed families.

    2. JulieM Silver badge

      Re: Wow, they finally got it!

      It's worse than that!

      The Apache licence gives you the right to distribute your software in binary form only, without releasing a single line of Source Code, and still call it "Open Source". It gives people downstream the right to distribute the Source Code in theory, but not the ability to do so in practice.

      It's basically a recipe for having your hard work -- from which you intended everyone to benefit fully, including in ways which require access to the Source Code -- taken and caged up by any company with a better-known name than yours. They just need to add one little feature that makes it incompatible with your original, promote it hard enough for everyone to start using it, and you're suddenly out of luck.

      At least the GPL comes out and says it clearly: Not sharing is as bad as stealing.

      1. Ian Michael Gumby Silver badge

        @JulieM Re: Wow, they finally got it!

        Yes.

        Pretty much. Its not stealing because you're giving away your code for free. No strings attached. (Ok some strings but really meaningless. )

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Staying with Memcached

    I am staying with Memcached, it's better anyway.

    Who needs these turds like MongoDB and Redis anyway, too highlevel on one front, too low level on the other, too bloated and buggy on a third dimension. And now super complicated mess of licenses, not even open source anymore. So better stay away from them.

    For in-memory, there is no better than Memcached or (SQL-DB offerings like SQLite inmemory). And there are better options for NoSQL front too. And for message queues there are battle harded better alternatives too.

    What's really as bad is the dark communication pattern that Redis Labs does on HackerNews and Reddit, with help of Mods.

    1) "Redis Labs Raises a $60M Series E Round" https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=19202076

    2) "Redis Labs Changes Its Open-Source License Again" (quickly banned from frontpage) https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=19221754

    3) replaced by official BS: "An update about Redis developments in 2019" https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=19227070

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Staying with Memcached

      > I am staying with Memcached, it's better anyway.

      Mostly thinking the same, with one important caveat... Memcached doesn't run on Windows, and we have developers asking us how to get our application run and running on their desktop, so they can assist with developing it.

      So far it's a case of "sorry, there's not reasonable solution". May need to add Redis support as an alternative to Memcached, just for this use case.

  3. amanfromMars 1 Silver badge

    An Almighty Crash Bang Wallop is Massively Crushing ......

    of Stagnant and Petrified Executive Office Administration Systems*

    Previously, under Apache2 modified with Commons Clause, the rule was that users were not allowed to sell a product or service "whose value derives entirely, or substantially, from the functionality of the software". Shoolman said that as a definition for what was and what wasn't allowed, there was a "lack of clarity" around what "substantially" meant.

    Can you imagine the impact on markets the sale of products and services "whose value derives entirely, or substantially, from the functionality of the software"

    * Such Renders and Realises UniversalSCADASystem Command and Remote Virtually Advanced IntelAIgent Operating Systems Delivering Controls for SMARTR Client Use.

    And don't ask who be that and where be they from and what are they doing now here. It's Top AI Secret.

    1. amanfromMars 1 Silver badge

      Tick Tock ..... Do you have NEUKlearer HyperRadioProACTive IT Keys?

      How to Defend and Neutralise AI Bombes ..... The Definitive Instruction Sets .... Crown Jewels with Secure Protection in Safe Surreal Channel Passage ...... for Universal Presentation/COSMIC Revelation.

      And an AIMaster Pilot Beta Test of Relatively Available Sources and Forces sucking at the Teat of BlueVoyant Cybersecurity Solutions

      Claim to be Able to Enable and Secure that for Special Clients and the Price of Failure is Astronomical. :-) That's bound to attract a Folly of Fellows to Bet IT Short and it would be nice to accommodate their interest ... and the money of many other strangers for squandering .

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