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    This article conflates things to the point where things start to become incorrect.

    For example, the AGPL is not considered to be Open Source by the OSI, unlike the author states (§“A months-long comical debate”). Also, the SSPL goes far beyond what the AGPL requires (compare §“To illustrate:”), and the author doesn’t seem to realize the implications a “no SaaS(s)” clause has.

    On a side note, labelling the creator of the Commons Clause “undisputed” in this context feels off to me. As does the “The author […] is a big fan of Amazon” at the end.

    There will have to be some solution about SaaS providers not giving back to upstream developers, but source-available shouldn’t be the solution (and I can’t provide a solution either). I’m not a big fan of (ab)using copyleft licences as a way of nudging companies to proprietary licences in general. The AGPL is meant as a tool to increase freedom, not scare people away from it.

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      For example, the AGPL is not considered to be Open Source by the OSI, unlike the author states (§“A months-long comical debate”).

      Yes it is.

      https://opensource.org/licenses/alphabetical

      I absolutely agree with the rest of your comment though. I really dislike the positioning of SA licenses because they all focus on “commercial use.”

      My hope is that strong (and now we need stronger) copyleft results in more free software. The current trend in SA licenses is focusing on who is allowed to make money and it’s not sustainable.

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        I stand corrected, thanks! (I can’t edit my comment any more :/ )

        The GNU AGPL was OSI-approved in 2008

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        doesn’t seem to realize the implications a “no SaaS(s)” clause has

        I could see “no SaaS” impacting some people if that by itself is the wording. What do you think are the implications past making commercial freeloading hard? Especially if they were willing to grant a free or cheap license for any of the folks whose use cases weren’t the Amazon-type stuff the license is really trying to block? That second question is a thought experiment, not what a specific company is doing.

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          For implicaitons: It is a restriction on how you can use it. Simplest case, your company will refuse any murky licensing terms (I’m honestly not too knowledgeable about how sspl and co fare there). But more importantly, it also makes forking impossible: while the original authors may provide SaaS, you and your fork may not.

          re: cheap/gratis licences: It’s still non-free; especially the forking thing is a show stopper for me. Granted, I’m speaking from position where I can put my personal values (cynical: “ideology” :P) above business decisions.

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            “But more importantly, it also makes forking impossible”

            If current licenses do that, it should be fixable. My hypothetical licenses would allow forking if one was a paying customer. They keep paying to use the derivatives with upstream isn’t required to support past maintaining the original version.

            “Granted, I’m speaking from position where I can put my personal values (cynical: “ideology” :P) above business decisions.”

            Love seeing honesty in these discussions. There could be businesses and individuals doing something different. I remember enjoying lots of shareware and freeware back in the day. My standard today is that whatever is non-free/open has open formats and protocols to prevent data lock-in. If it does, use it while it’s useful. If it doesn’t, steer clear of it since it’s lock-in in progress.

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        This article conflates issues to tar AWS instead of finding clarifying distinctions and build on existing knowledge. Like:

        It [AWS] hijacks open-source APIs and places them on top of its own proprietary solutions, thereby siphoning off customers from the open-source project to its own proprietary solution, as it did with the MongoDB APIs.

        Licenses or open source or not, and it’s useful synecdoche to speak of a program as being open source, but calling the API of such a program “open source” like this is misleading. “Open source” is not a transitive property that rubs off on a protocol. There’s a famous open legal dispute about whether or not APIs can be copyrighted that could be used to build an argument, or at least set a context. Instead the author complains no one else sees the term “open source” the way he does without explaining how he sees it as anything more than a synonym for “good”, and he insults the organizations he disagrees with rather than make a case for his views.

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          Basically amazon with 10 billions of net income never give a single buck to any open source project and now they are afraid they will not be able this product to use them for free anymore.

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            This is a continuation of a disturbing trend we’ve been watching unravel for many years now: basically, since the formation of the OSI in 1998 and the coining of the phrase “Open Source.”

            The phrase “Open Source” was coined in order to make Free Software more “business-friendly.” It succeeded. But now the businesses want to eat their cake and have it too: the commercial entities that control a few “Open Source” projects want to ensure that no other entities can make money from those projects.

            I think the solution is stronger copyleft. I would like to see a future version of the AGPL (or a new, different license) to be “viral over the network” the way that many people (mistakenly) think the AGPL already is. I am absolutely in favour of people building businesses around free and open source software: I just want them to give back.

            Let’s not try to be the arbiters of who can and who cannot make money on a given piece of software: let’s encourage the growth and health of the Free Software ecosystem.

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              I would like to see a future version of the AGPL (or a new, different license) to be “viral over the network” the way that many people (mistakenly) think the AGPL already is.

              The question is in what respect and why should it be viral. The GPL governed distribution (if someone distributes a program to you, you have the right to get the source code). The AGPL plugged a loophole where people modified a program, others used it, but it was not distributed (e.g. a web service), so people could still obtain the source. However, in these cases, the software that is provided by Amazon as a service can be obtained (they are largely unmodified open source projects).

              The people behind the commons clause and this blog post are not upset that Amazon doesn’t distribute the source code. As far as I am aware they do. The beef that these people have with the current crop of free software licenses is that someone (Amazon) can take your software and earn money with it. They are proposing alternatives where only the original developer is allowed to make money off the software (at least in a SAAS setup). Which leads to unfree software, since you are not allowed to use the software it for any purpose. The first freedom:

              The freedom to run the program as you wish, for any purpose (freedom 0).

              So you cannot say: you can use this software except for making money in a SAAS setup.

              I guess the SSPL is somewhat different, since in contrast to commons-clause like extensions it does not remove the right to use the software for any purpose. But I wonder if it doesn’t stretch the definition of ‘derivative work’ too far. But IANAL.

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                The question is in what respect and why should it be viral.

                I don’t know that I have a good idea of what I think the final solution should look like just yet. But I would like to see licenses that result in more free software being released back to the community.

                (they are largely unmodified open source projects)

                Yes, largely is the problem I have. They are often modified, and I think the community should get those modifications. I also lean towards wishing the community got the tools that were made around them as well: this is the current loophole I would like to see closed.

                I guess the SSPL is somewhat different, since in contrast to commons-clause like extensions it does not remove the right to use the software for any purpose. But I wonder if it doesn’t stretch the definition of ‘derivative work’ too far. But IANAL.

                The commons clause and the SSPL are the same in my eyes: they remove freedom 0, but in different ways.

                I also find this highly hypocritical: MongoDB and neo4j and others all rely on a deep well of free software that contains no such provisions, and they don’t give back to the respective communities anymore than Amazon gives back to them. The entire thing is ridiculous.

                (I guess I should disclose here that I used to work at neo4j, and quit for a number of ethical reasons, chief among them that lying to users and customers about the AGPL was company policy.)