Mind Dump, Tech And Life Blog
written by Ivan Alenko
published under license CC4-BY
posted at 17. Oct '21

SSSPL (Server Side Public License) Kind Of Makes Sense

I had to research SSPL - Server Side Public License a bit since Elasticsearch (and MongoDB) use this license now, apart from custom one - classic dual licensing.

Derived from AGPL, which forces to distribute sources of the web site.

SSPL on the other hand forces to distribute sources for “management software, user interfaces, application program interfaces, automation software, monitoring software, backup software, storage software and hosting software, all such that a user could run an instance of the service using the Service Source Code you make available”. The idea is to get cloud providers like AWS, Azure and Google Cloud, and other providers to pay or open source their infrastructure. Applications/web sites using Elasticsearch can use it freely, because they do not provide Elasticsearch as a service.

Let’s face it, corpos do not care about smaller fish and will not pay if not necessary. It’s a mix of crazy inertia when stuff takes months or more to do, unwillingness to do the paperwork for this kind of scale and cost management. I totally understand it. But also understand that these companies wants way to get paid.

There might be a bad blood watching Jeff Bezos to fly to space or Microsoft building datacenters with money they would otherwise pay for the rights to provide Elasticsearch or whatever to their cloud customers. Large coporations like to get paid. For every Android phone, Microsoft receives $8. So, I don’t have a problem seeing Mongo and Elastic trying to get some money.

Anyways it’s a pity OSI and FSF don’t care that much about SSPL and currently only two large companies are using this license. Will this get a traction or not? Hard to say.

Add Comment