Two weeks after HashiCorp altered the licensing terms for its Terraform software, users, including corporate competitors, have created a fork of the Terraform code. HashiCorp changed its license from Mozilla Public License (MPL) to Business Source License v1.1 (BSL). This change prompted a community group called OpenTF to issue a manifesto advocating for the restoration of Terraform's open-source license. Since HashiCorp did not reverse its decision, OpenTF created a fork of Terraform called OpenTF. The group aims to revert back to the MPL license. They view HashiCorp's switch to BSL as detrimental to the Terraform community and business.
Sebastian Stadil, CEO of Scalr, one of the founders of OpenTF, argues that HashiCorp essentially forked its own projects under a different license, asserting that OpenTF aims to maintain the original open-source spirit. OpenTF has received support from various companies and plans to join The Linux Foundation and its subsidiary, the Cloud Native Computing Foundation.
The motivation behind HashiCorp's licensing change is unclear, but some speculate it may be related to issues with the Terraform Cloud product, including pricing model concerns. The situation highlights the ongoing tension between open-source projects and their commercialisation. HashiCorp's move follows a trend of open-source projects adopting less permissive licenses to limit competitors' use of their code. The most likely motive for these moves tends to be intellectual property protection and profitability (obviously) 💸
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