MongoDB is changing its Open Source license

Original author: Frederic Lardinois
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MongoDB is somewhat offended by the fact that some cloud providers, especially in Asia, use their open source code and offer the commercial version of their database in the cloud to their users without playing by the open source rules. To combat this, MongoDB today announced the release of a new software license, the Server Side Public License (SSPL), which will be used in all new releases of their MongoDB Community Server, as well as in all patches to previous versions.

Earlier, MongoDB used the GNU AGPL v3 license, they have now sent the SSPL for approval at the Open Source Initiative.

For almost all regular users who are currently using the Community Server, nothing will change, because the changes in the license do not apply to them. The point is that MongoDB considers the use of the AGPL v3 license incorrect. " MongoDB was previously licensed under GNU AGPL v3, which meant that companies that wanted to run MongoDB as a public service had to open the source code of their software or obtain a commercial license from MongoDB," the company explains. "However, the popularity of MongoDB has prompted some organizations to check the boundaries of GNU AGPL v3 . "

Thus, although SSPL is no different from GNU AGPLv3, with all the usual freedoms of using, modifying, and distributing code (and practically the same language), SSPL explicitly states that anyone who wants to offer MongoDB as a service (or other software under this license) , must either obtain a commercial license, or open the source code of the service to help the community.

"The market is increasingly consuming SaaS software, creating an incredible opportunity for a new wave of open source server-side software. Unfortunately, as soon as an open-source project becomes interesting, cloud platform vendors who have not developed software are very easy to get the full value of the product without giving anything back , "said Eliot Horowitz, CTO and co-founder of MongoDB, in a statement. "We have made a great contribution to open source and have benefited, we are in a unique position to solve a problem affecting many organizations. We hope this will help inspire more projects and protect open source innovations."

I am sure that this step will annoy some. It’s hard to discuss open source licenses without going into religious views on how this movement should be. And since MongoDB is a commercial company that owns software and manages external input to the code, it has more control over the code than other projects that any other large open source fund manages. For some, this alone is anathema to everything that, in their opinion, should be considered open source. For others, this is just a pragmatic way of developing software. In any case, this will lead to a discussion of how companies, such as MongoDB, manage their open source projects and how much they can control how their code is used. I, for one, can't wait

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