Fedora Decides To Not Allow SSPLv1 Licensed Software Into Its Repositories
Written by Michael Larabel in Fedora on 15 January 2019 at 07:31 PM EST. 80 Comments
FEDORA --
Back in October, MongoDB announced the Server Side Public License v1 (SSPLv1) as their new license moving forward for this document-oriented database server over their existing AGPL code. SSPL was met with much controversy upon its unveiling and Fedora's legal team has now ruled it an invalid free software license for packaged software in its repositories.

The intent of MongoDB developing the Server Side Public License was to ensure that public cloud vendors and other companies using their software as a service are giving back to the community / the upstream project. SSPL v1 was based on the GPLv3 but lays clear that a company publicly offering the SSPL-licensed software as a service must in turn open-source their software that it uses to offer said service. That stipulation applies only to organizations making use of MongoDB for public software services.

Of course, the motive with the SSPL is for all those organizations making use of MongoDB for their public services that are using the open-source code will have to become paying MongoDB customers if they wish to continue offering their service under a proprietary license; MongoDB commercial customers can continue deploying the database program without having to open up their service code.

Those that missed out the SSPL news during the first wave or wish to refresh your knowledge of it can see the current version on MongoDB.com. So far MongoDB is the most notable user of this license but they welcome other open-source projects to make use of it.

The news today is that Fedora Legal has come to their decision on the SSPL v1. "Fedora has determined that the Server Side Public License v1 (SSPL) is not a Free Software License. It is the belief of Fedora that the SSPL is intentionally crafted to be aggressively discriminatory towards a specific class of users. Additionally, it seems clear that the intent of the license author is to cause Fear, Uncertainty, and Doubt towards commercial users of software under that license. To consider the SSPL to be "Free" or "Open Source" causes that shadow to be cast across all other licenses in the FOSS ecosystem, even though none of them carry that risk."

As a result, SSPLv1 licensed software will not be allowed within Fedora itself nor EPEL packages nor the Copr packaging system.

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Michael Larabel is the principal author of Phoronix.com and founded the site in 2004 with a focus on enriching the Linux hardware experience. Michael has written more than 10,000 articles covering the state of Linux hardware support, Linux performance, graphics drivers, and other topics. Michael is also the lead developer of the Phoronix Test Suite, Phoromatic, and OpenBenchmarking.org automated benchmarking software. He can be followed via Twitter or contacted via MichaelLarabel.com.

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