Confluent, an Apache Kafka service provider adopts a new license to fight against cloud service providersA common trend of software firms limiting their software licenses to prevent cloud service providers from exploiting their open source code is all the rage these days. One such software firm to have joined this move is Confluent, an Apache Kafka service provider, who announced its new Confluent Community License, two weeks back. The new license is aimed at allowing users to download, modify and redistribute the code without letting them provide the software as a system as a service (SaaS).

“What this means is that, for example, you can use KSQL however you see fit as an ingredient in your own products or services, whether those products are delivered as software or as SaaS, but you cannot create a KSQL-as-a-service offering. We’ll still be doing all development out in the open and accepting pull requests and feature suggestions”, says Jay Kreps, CEO, Confluent. The new license, however, will have no effect on Apache Kafka that remains under the Apache 2.0 license and Confluent will continue to contribute to it.

Kreps pointed out that leading cloud providers such as Amazon, Microsoft, Alibaba, and Google, today, are all different in the way that they approach open source. Some of these major cloud providers partner up with the open source companies offering hosted versions of their SaaS. Then, there are other cloud providers that take the open source code, implement it into their cloud offering, and then further push all of their investments into differentiated proprietary offerings.




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