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Open sauce outrage

by on29 March 2024

Tech giants' greedy grasp turns free code into cash cows

Writing for ComputerWorld the open source guru Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols has exposed some cheeky companies that are turning the open source community's hard work into their own gold-lined pockets.

He revealed that almost every software is a patchwork of open source code. Synopsys estimates a staggering 96 per cent of all codebases are crammed with it. However, some entities have been exploiting this shared code to amass their fortunes, and then, in a blink of an eye, they alter the licenses to reap even more billions.

It's enough to make Steve’s blood boil. The latest villain in this digital drama is Redis. You might not know it but it's a big deal in the database world. And guess what? It's valued at a cool €1.8 billion, without any fancy AI tricks up its sleeve.

Redis has slapped a new license on all future versions, meaning the once-free code is now locked up tighter than a drum. No more borrowing or sharing – it's look but don't touch.

Vaughan-Nichols said Redis isn't alone in this sneaky switcheroo. Last year, HashiCorp gave its main squeeze, Terraform, a new leash with the Business Source License, all to keep the competition at bay. And wouldn't you know it, they started looking for a buyer soon after. MongoDB and Elastic pulled the same stunt before them, each sitting pretty on a pile of cash.

So next time you're using cloud services, remember: there's a good chance you're dancing to the tune of these open-source turncoats.

Last modified on 29 March 2024
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