Redis, The Commons Clause, and Adding Clauses To Open Source Licenses

Redis has recently created something called the “Commons Clause”, which takes the Apache license and makes it a non-Open-Source license. And they still call it the Apache license. This is a problem. Someone creating yet another non-Open-Source paradigm is not a problem, if they do it correctly.

Redis doesn’t deny that it’s not an Open Source license any longer once their clause is added.

It’s a bad idea to add a any text whatsoever to an Open Source license, and still call that license by it’s old name.¬†Once the Commons Clause is added, it’s no longer the Apache license, and calling it so confuses people about what is Open Source and what isn’t. Hopefully that’s not meant deliberately. Now stop it. Take the license and the clause together, and title it the Redis license or another name of your choice that doesn’t confuse people that it’s an Open Source license. “Commons” is the name of an Apache project, so that is probably a bad choice for the name of the overall license.

You’ll note that I worked on the Business Source License with MariaDB. They paid a day’s consulting fee. I made it very clear that they were not to tell people it was Open Source, and I made changes that made the license less ambiguous and confusing than their previous version. Please follow that example.