Several days ago we shared here on the blog the news about the Elasticsearch license change whose change It will be made from the Elasticsearch 7.11 version of the Apache 2.0 license to the SSPL license (Server-side public license), which adds additional usage requirements to ensure the operation of cloud services.
As of this announcement, Amazon did not take change as a positive and in a matter of days released the news of creating its own fork of the platform Elasticsearch search, analysis and storage, as well as the web interface related to the Kibana platform.
The decision was made after transferring the original project to the non-free SSPL license and stopping releasing changes under the old Apache 2.0 license.
Besides that a few days ago, the Open Source Initiative (OSI), an organization that verifies that licenses meet Open Source criteria, confirmed that the SSPL license is not open and that products based on it should be considered proprietary.
As motivation to create the fork, the intention is to keep Elasticsearch and Kibana in the form of open projects and provide a complete open solution, developed with community participation.
The fork will continue with the independent development of Open Distro for the Elasticsearch distribution, which was previously developed together with Expedia Group and Netflix as a plug-in on top of Elasticsearch and included additional plug-ins with free analogs of the platform's paid components.
This means that Elasticsearch and Kibana will no longer be open source software. To ensure that the open source versions of both packages remain available and well supported, including in our own offerings, today we announced that AWS will take a step forward to create and maintain an ALv2 licensed fork of Elasticsearch and Kibana of Open Source.
All changes and fixes implemented for Open Distro for Elasticsearch were made previously, but from now on the project will become a separate fork.
In coming weeks, a fork will be created from the latest Elasticsearch 7.10 codebase, which remains under the old Apache 2.0 license, after which the fork will continue to be developed independently in a separate repository on GitHub and will be used in future versions of the Open Distro for the Elasticsearch distribution, and will also begin to be used in the Amazon Elasticsearch Service (Amazon ES) service
At the same time, Logz.io also announced the creation of a fork of Elasticsearch and Kibana, in which, together with some other companies and community representatives, you will try to keep the codebase updated under the Apache 2.0 license.
Choosing to fork a project is not a decision to be made lightly, but it may be the right way to go when the needs of a community diverge, as is the case here. An important benefit of open source software is that when something like this happens, developers already have all the rights they need to get back to work themselves, if motivated enough.
The bifurcation is expected to be developed jointly with all interested partiess, under the control of the community and on an independent platform, for example, under the supervision of the non-profit organizations Apache Software Foundation or the Cloud Native Computing Foundation. It is possible that Logz will join forces with Amazon and a joint open source project will be created as a result.
The founder and CEO of Logz.io said the frustration from Elasticsearch BV's stock feels even more painful as he admired the company's culture and leadership five years ago.
However the license change was not a surprise, since in recent years Elasticsearch BV has gradually abandoned the open model towards the development of commercial plugins and has expressed dissatisfaction with the actions of cloud providers that parasitize open projects through their resale in the market form of cloud services, without participating in the life of the community and without helping development.