[openstack-dev] [legal-discuss] [Marconi] Why is marconi a queue implementation vs a provisioning API?

Gil Yehuda gyehuda at yahoo-inc.com
Thu Mar 20 17:09:32 UTC 2014

>To be clear, Marconi does not incorporate any AGPL code itself; pymongo is
Apache2 licensed.

Understood, but here's the rub. Someone else is going to want to build on this (which it the point of this open source project). Whereas 'pymongo' is Apache licensed, since the copyright holder, MongoDB Inc. declared it as such, the authors of the other community drivers (for other language bindings and features of MongoDB, etc.) are also of releasing drivers under the Apache or BSD licenses too (thinking that's OK to do since no one is telling them otherwise). That community is unaware of their legal obligations when creating drivers to an AGPL database. Thus if one of those community drivers gets intertwined in a court case clarifying their license to be infringing on the AGPL terms, we've inadvertently impacted our community. This is a credible risk that is difficult for OpenStack to abate, since the problem lies with the way a different community chose to operate.

There are three interconnected issues here:
1. The confusion that MongoDB has created in Open Source licensing due to the asymmetric control they have on licensing terms.
2. The diligence of Open Stack to remain careful with OpenStack's CLA compliance and Apache-friendly terms.
3. The pragmatics of the effect MondgoDB would have onto OpenStack's economic viability and legal risks at large.

The first problem is out of scope for this list. But I think people who rely upon Open Source for their business ought to understand what MongoDB is doing to open source software. The second is, to your point, the issue in this conversation. As long as Openstack only use Apache licensed code >>from MondgoDB Inc.<< and diligently avoids using any open source contributions from any community contributor to the MongoDB ecosystem, then you remain compliant the your CLA. But you will have to exclude the rest of the MongoDB community (which goes against the spirit of Open Source -- back to the problem #1, which is out of scope). As for #3, I think the foundation needs to weigh in on the pragmatics here, since this has an economic and legal impact to the entire endeavor, not just to persisting data in one component of the project.

Gil Yehuda
Sr. Director Of Open Source, Open Standards

-----Original Message-----
From: Kurt Griffiths [mailto:kurt.griffiths at rackspace.com] 
Sent: Thursday, March 20, 2014 9:29 AM
To: OpenStack Development Mailing List (not for usage questions)
Subject: Re: [openstack-dev] [legal-discuss] [Marconi] Why is marconi a queue implementation vs a provisioning API?

> The incorporation of AGPLv3 code Into OpenStack Project  is a 
>significant decision

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