License Change

As of a few minutes ago, the license on HekaFS changed from AGPLv3+ to GPLv3 – not AGPL, not LGPL, not later versions. This only affects the git repository so far; packages with the change still need to be built, then those need to be pushed into yum repositories, and all of that will take some time.

Why the change? It actually had very little to do with the acquisition; Gluster themselves had already moved to GPLv3+ and the plan has always been for the HekaFS license to track that for GlusterFS. What the acquisition did was spur a general conversation about what license should apply to both GlusterFS and HekaFS (as long as it remains separate). After several rounds of this, I was told it should be GPLv3, and so it is. While I’ve personally gone from favoring BSD/MIT to favoring A/GPL, I actually believe they’re all fine. Even though I’ve argued on my own blog about why AGPL is what GPL should be, I’ve also seen actual cases where AGPL-aversion has threatened to kill projects. It doesn’t matter what I think about the AGPL’s effect on others’ code, or even what the legal outcome if/when there’s a proper test case to set precedent. The fact is that the engineers who are trying to use the code can’t change a no-AGPL policy, and the people who make such policies have their reasons. As far as I know, that’s why Gluster had already abandoned AGPL. As to why it’s GPL instead of LGPL, or v3 instead of v2 or v3+ . . . well, I don’t know. The differences at that point are below my threshold of caring, so I didn’t even ask.