This is possibly the greatest explanation of why they chose the AGPL license. And I had to look at their github repo to know what license they were using!
If your income is based on selling the managed service, and this is something I’d treat as an appliance based service… the license makes sense.
Can you expand on this? Why does AGPL make more sense than, say, GPL here?
Specifically because the AGPL is hostile to reselling the software as a service. The GPL is much less hostile; the hostility is a feature here when your income is selling your software as a service and you want to prevent outright low effort competition.
Now I’m at a computer, edit:
The GPL doesn’t really have an answer for SaaS. Your customers don’t really receive the software, so unlike my coax modem that came with a printed copy of the GPL, there is no need. Meanwhile AGPL requires you to link to the source plainly on the launch screen at least, where all customers of the SaaS can see it, and requires that the exact source running be available. If e.g. Amazon were to ninja in a Citus SaaS, they’d need to show everybody what changes they made, even as I understand it to helper scripts that were based on helpers from the repo. That’s a huge disincentive to doing so – you can’t compete, you can only offer competition by offering FOSS to people as a service.
There still is value in SaaS with those limitations.
But most of the value is for the authors, who make money from being a SaaS with those limitations. They can offer the service, and offer it as open source, and they are not being hostile to themselves. Their income will continue and they have the de-facto upgrade path. They wouldn’t be able to retain their dominance if they just GPLed it… Embrace Extend Extinguish is still a viable business strategy for their competitors.