MongoDB, Inc. announced it has elected to change its license for MongoDB Community Server from AGPLv3 to a new license type they have created called a “Server Side Public License (SSPL)” citing the need to have a license better suited for the age of Software-as-a-Service.
First, it is important to state that MongoDB, Inc. is fully within its rights as a software copyright holder to change the license of MongoDB Community Server to a license which better reflects its business interests.
In our opinion, however, announcing the license and making the change effective immediately is not respectful to users of MongoDB Community Server. For many organizations, while AGPL may be an approved software license, the SSPL is not, and their respective internal review processes may take weeks. During this time users can’t get access, even to patch versions of old major releases, which might be required to ensure security in their environment, among other potential issues.
This issue is compounded by the fact that the SSPL has only recently been submitted to be evaluated by the Open Source Software Initiative, and it is not yet clear if it will be considered an Open Source License.
We believe it would have been much better for the MongoDB Community and the Open Source Community at large if MongoDB, Inc. would have chosen to release SSPL, and announce the move to this license at some future effective date, allowing for a more orderly transition.
This is a developing situation, and I’m sure over the next few days and weeks we will both hear from OSI with their decision, as well as have further clarification on many points of the SSPL in the FAQ, and possibly the license itself. At Percona we’re watching this situation closely and will provide additional updates regarding potential impacts to our community and customers.
At this point we can state the following:
- Percona will continue to support the latest AGPL versions of MongoDB Community Server and Percona Server for MongoDB until more clarity in regards to SSPL is available, giving companies time to complete their assessment of whether moving to the SSPL software version is feasible for them.
- Being based on MongoDB Community Server, we anticipate that our Percona Server for MongoDB will change its license to SSPL when we move to the SSPL codebase released by MongoDB, Inc.
- We believe this change does not impact other Percona software which interfaces with MongoDB, such as Percona Toolkit and Percona Monitoring and Management. At this point, we do not anticipate a license change for this software.
- This license change does not impact Percona support customers, who will receive the same level of comprehensive, responsive, and cost-effective support as before. We encourage customers to evaluate the impact of this license change for their own software.