A VC, @salil, has decided that a business he invested in, which was built around an open source project, isn't profitable enough. Fair, that's his prerogative.
But instead of changing the business model, he wants to redefine open source itself. https://t.co/g6qwM6beTM
This article is just the latest in a campaign of VC-backed astroturfing casting common and legitimate uses of FLOSS as abusive. It's needlessly divisive and undermines the shared understanding and trust that MANY individuals and orgs came together to create 20 years ago.
This isn't about MongoDB or Redis. No, one VC is playing the victim card to manipulate public opinion and saying that other companies (also VC-backed) are taking advantage of them. It's a war of words from one obscenely well-moneyed party aimed at others.
... MEANWHILE ...
Meanwhile this VC describes @OpenSourceOrg (OSI), a charitable nonprofit tasked with stewarding the Open Source Definition (OSD) and reviewing licenses, an org with a community-elected board and a deep bench of allies across the FLOSS ecosystem, as "arbitrary and obsolete."
Whether or not YOU were a part of creating the OSD, or recognize OSI as the authority, is irrelevant. A broad coalition of people came together to make this happen.
1000s of projects recognize OSI, either directly or through their parent organizations.
If you have a problem with OSI as a gatekeeper, well, that horse has already left the stable. But OSI belongs to you. You can always get engaged in the process, join the discussions, vote in OSI elections, or even run for the board.
We have to ask ourselves: who do we trust? A venture capitalist who, in seeking greater returns, relicenses a project and plays the victim card to justify running roughshod over community consensus and the nonprofit charity tasked with codifying it?
See this VC's behavior for what it is: lazy, reckless, disingenuous, and very fitting of the dubious pattern of behavior we see coming out of many VC-backed tech companies.
Make no mistake: if we take the bait and discard our community's institutions, entering a world in which open source can mean anything anyone wants it to, we will hand these VCs a pyrrhic victory that undermines the very foundation of modern software development.
Should the OSD be updated? Maybe. Should the Commons Clause rider and SSPL be OSI-approved licenses? Maybe.
Should we ditch the past because it's inconvenient for investors, or because we weren't personally consulted on the OSD and formation of the OSI?
You tell me.
/fin. Disclaimers: I speak only for myself, and not for my employer or the OSI.
Also, I get there's a problem with maintainers creating wealth for others but personally struggling to get by. We need to fix that. But that's not what's going on here.
(:e hashman) @ehashdn
yikes, this is an awful article.
John Mark @johnmark
Ugh. Go figure.
Right?! It's practically parody in its naked awfulness. And yet it's not, so it's deeply concerning 😥