Elastic announced that the company is moving our Apache 2.0-licensed source code in Elasticsearch and Kibana to be dual-licensed under Server Side Public License and the Elastic License, giving users the choice of which license to apply. The company also stated that the change also ensures users have free and open access to use, modify, redistribute, and collaborate on the code. The company also aims to protect its investment in the products.
Server Side Public License and Elastic License
According to the announcement, the change will apply to all maintained branches of these two products and will take place before the upcoming 7.11 release. Elastic also claimed that the change has no impact on the overwhelming majority of the user community who use the default distribution for free and also has no impact on the company’s cloud customers or self-managed software customers.
The Server Side Public License allows free and unrestricted use, as well as modification, users must also publicly release any modifications as well as the source code of their management layers under SSPL.
The company also stated:
“Similar to our open source peers, we have lived this experience firsthand, from our trademarks being misused to outright attempts to splinter our community with “open” repackaging of our OSS products or even taking “inspiration” from our proprietary code. While each open source company has taken a slightly different approach to address this issue, they have generally modified their open source license in order to protect their investment in free software, while trying to preserve the principles of openness, transparency, and collaboration.
Similarly, we are taking the natural next step of making a targeted change to how we license our source code. This change won’t affect the vast majority of our users, but it will restrict cloud service providers from offering our software as a service. We expect that a few of our competitors will attempt to spread all kinds of FUD around this change. Let me be clear to any naysayers. We believe deeply in the principles of free and open products, and of transparency with the community. Our track record speaks to this commitment, and we will continue to build upon it.”