A Fresh Concern About Open-source Software
Licensing rule changes could soon bite back
You may have mixed feelings about relying too heavily on open-source software, but if you do use it, the license is everything. (There are a lot of licenses, by the way—Apache, BSD, GNU, MIT and Mozilla are some of the popular ones.)
The issue came to a head last week due to two separate licensing decisions in the space. First, the database project Redis, which is known for its ability to store data in memory, announced it would use a new kind of license called “The Commons Clause,” which looks like open source (in that the source is available to use and modify) but doesn’t fully fit the standard because it allows the project to require that some commercial clients pay for use.
The problem for Redis Labs, the maker of the software, was that many cloud providers, such as Amazon, use its software but don’t contribute to its upkeep.
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