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We found an open source license that Google is against so we're changing to it: Hello AGPL!

It helps prevent corporations from taking our code and selling it as a proprietary competitor.

No change to you as a Plausible subscriber or self-hoster.

plausible.io/blog/open-source-

@plausible Great news. Just know that as soon as you accept any new contributions under AGPL, you can never change the license without the contributor ageeing to it.

Therefore, I advise you to add "or any later version" to your readme, which will allow you to upgrade to future versions of the AGPL

@plausible Yes, that's great (read paragraph 14 of the AGPL if you want to make sure)

@jordan31 @plausible That applies to any copyleft license, it what makes them great (you can't take rights away from the users by changing the license)

@Matter @plausible that's right. I remember now, most open license is user friendly not developer friendly.

@jordan31 @Matter @plausible
Open source licenses are extremely developer friendly, as long as the developers don't want to take rights away from users.

@mathew @Matter @plausible but rights given by the developer. So, yeah its kind of unfriendly to developers. Not saying I think taking g rights away is good but there is a power imbalance.

@jordan31 @Matter @plausible
It's unfriendly to developers who want to take away other people's rights. That's a feature, not a bug.

I mean, you might as well argue that commercial software licenses are unfriendly to developers. After all, they don't let you sell copies of the software as part of your own bundles.

@Matter @plausible wait is that true? I thought AGPL's only variance from GPLv3 was that you have to provide source even if you're only using the code to provide a service?

@darrenpmeyer @plausible that also applies to the GPL. It's the whole point of copyleft, not being able to switch back to a permissive license or proprietary license

@Matter you can't retroactively switch licenses, but AFAIK you can switch to a new license for new contributions and new versions. I'm not aware of any GPL term that defends against that practice; are you? @plausible

@darrenpmeyer @plausible derivative works have to be licensed under the GPL. So any changes made have to be under the GPL. It's a viral license (en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Viral_li)

@plausible Very useful article here :)
But I have a question: how can someone know (and prove) that his AGPL-licensed source code is run in a proprietary software? Since it is proprietary you can't read its code...

@Volpit thanks! in our case, a company was promoting a new privacy friendly analytics product and we checked it out and recognized several elements as being taken directly from Plausible... but yeah not sure how these things can be proven... hopefully we don't get into the situation where we have to now that we're AGPL licensed

@Volpit @plausible Good question. For something like web analytics at least the client part must be somehow accessible to be run in the browser. So if there is a suspect case it could be possible to find proofs by analyzing the JS code. In case this is obfuscated you could still analyze the network traffic caused by the analytics tool. This might allow to see patterns that can be matched to the open-source software.
Just speculating...

@plausible a very well reasoned argument, good work!

@plausible That's great news! From the user perspective this is also a binding promise that you are serious about openness and do not intend to create a closed fork. (Given that you merge contributions from external developers).

Thanks 😘!

@t0k yeah we don't plan to do that. going closed source was the easy way out of this situation but that wasn't really an option we considered

@plausible Since you seem to have an issue with big corporations: Maybe you'd be interested as a matter of principle to move your project away from M$ github to a non-profit organization like codeberg.org (Germany). :mastowink:

#github #codeberg

@t0k yeah aware of codeberg. it's something we'd like to consider at some stage. right now github does what we need and it's good marketing because of the large community there. it's something we may do when we're more established, right now priority is on becoming sustainable

@plausible True, I think from a marketing perspective this is the better choice.
Glad to hear you consider this! ;)

@plausible Ugh, going to @codeberg is much better marketing if your focus is privacy ("see! we really mean it, with all our heart(s)!"). You still can run a mirror to Github if you need a presence there (I do that for one of my projects) and have that point out you're moved to Codeberg.org in the project short description :awesome:

@IzzyOnDroid @codeberg yeah i understand, thanks! as a new project, it's really useful as we're getting hundreds of visitors from there (and we're so integrated with even our roadmap and feature requests all being there) but perhaps a mirror is a more short term solution

@plausible Sure, and you can start that in either direction – so as I understand your energy is at least currently bound with other tasks, starting with a mirror at Codeberg might be easier. But then, for the "final migration" and "direction switch", in order to get all your issues, wiki etc. along you'd need to start over and possibly lose stars collected. Though @codeberg stuff is pretty helpful and might re-assign them by hand if informed before the switch 😉

@plausible The biggest migration cost you should watch out for in the long run is CI. Tickets are relatively easy to automatically migrate between hosting platforms, CI scripts can evolve to be very tightly coupled with specifics of your current platform, making a migration more of a pain than it has to be.

Another truly free hosting platform I recommend considering is @sir 's SourceHut (sourcehut.org/).

@angdraug @sir yeah i assume it's not going to be the simplest process. we'll keep it in mind and consider at some point when we've established ourselves a bit better

@plausible it's a good news ! If I understand you are changing now because you have been copied? It's a flattering sign ahah

@plausible "Their motives don’t seem to be to make the web more privacy-friendly ... . It seems purely a business opportunity to make money from open source."

I understand this feeling, but expecting everyone to share your goals is unhelpful. It's good for companies to want to make money from open source. It's only a problem if they abuse it (not contributing, etc.).

The license change is a good one because it sets a clear expectation, not because it stops companies making money.

@plausible I also think giving the sense that you chose the license *because* Google is against it (which your Toot does, even though the blog post doesn't) comes across as immature. I think the AGPL is a good license for what you're doing, but Google disliking it isn't a reason why it is good.

@carlozancanaro we're competing with google analytics so they're part of many of our messages. not the main reason obviously as it's seen in the post but it was definitely a big plus when we saw that google is against this license 😀

@carlozancanaro i don't think it's fair or good for open source if companies that don't believe in open source try to make money from the work of open source projects without contributing back. that's what this is about. we also have a cloud product for which we charge a fee. would be great if more open source projects could charge for their products and make money directly rather than through donations etc. see plausible.io/blog/open-source-

@plausible I agree. I just worry that statements like this:

"Their motives don’t seem to be to make the web more privacy-friendly and reduce the dominance of Google. It seems purely a business opportunity to make money from open source."

come across as "if you aren't completely on board with our philosophy, then we're not interested in working with you".

@carlozancanaro i understand. our startup is built on strong views on what we believe is right. this paragraph was there to show what we were up against and why we felt we needed to change the license. if companies that don't agree with our philosophy want to sell Plausible, we can do some commercial license deal perhaps so they still end up supporting the project and its development

@plausible Glad to hear it but I hope it brings you more benefits than just "google hates it"

@chris thanks! hopefully it helps us remove these distractions so we can get back and focus on creating a great and privacy first GA alternative.

this whole license thing was not on the roadmap or in any plans even last week and would prefer not to have to think about it again :)

@plausible That's a great decision 👍 And your blog post describes the licenses very good so I'm boosting this as it might be helpful for other projects,too.But I agree with the other replies that you should move off Github.It doesn't matter if it has a bigger community.You can contribute in making the community of a non-profit open source code hosting platform bigger by moving and taking your community with you.Github is a proprietary Micro$oft product,it's pure evil,it sucks and shouldn't be used in any form and having a M$ Github account shouldn't be a condition to be able to contribute.

@plausible good job on taking a principled stance. I hope you are prepared for the onslaught of whining and twisted logic headed your way. Stay strong!

@ITwrx thanks! had our first ever refund request today thanks to this license change!

@plausible lol. i hope you told them to "be careful not let the door hit them in the backside on their way out". :)
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