Amazon responds to Elastic changing its open-source software license

by Jeremy

In response to Elastic changing its license for Elasticsearch and Kibana products, Amazon has responded with plans to create and maintain an Apache License, Version 2.0 fork of the open-source products.  Elastic announced earlier this week that it would be moving from the Apache 2.0 license to a dual mandate for Elasticsearch and Kibana, which includes the Elastic License and Server Side Public License (SSPL). “We think that Amazon’s behavior is inconsistent with the norms and values that are especially important in the open-source ecosystem.

We hope to take our presence in the market and use it to stand up to this now, so others don’t face these same issues in the future,” Shay Banon, founder and CEO of Elastic explained in a postAmazon now argues that doing this means Elasticsearch and Kibana will no longer be open-sourced and that the Elastic License limits how the code can be used. At the same time, the Server Side Public License makes it unacceptable to the open-source community. 

“Elastic’s assertions that the SSPL is “free and open” are misleading and wrong. They’re trying to claim the benefits of open source while chipping away at the very definition of open source itself. Their choice of SSPL belies this. SSPL is a non-open source license designed to look like an open-source license, blurring the lines between the two,” the Amazon Elasticsearch team wrote in a blog post. “Most folks aren’t fooled. We didn’t make them do anything. They believe that restricting their license will lock others out of offering managed Elasticsearch services, which will let Elastic build a bigger business. Elastic has a right to change their license, but they should also step up and own their own decision.”

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