Full code transparency with fair limitation on commercial exploitation

Kubeshark is a collection of five different projects, each with its own license.

Kubeshark (CLI)Apache2.0Link

When using Kubeshark the least permissive license takes dominance. In this case its BSL 1.1.

Code Access

Kubeshark’s source code is fully open and accessible to authenticated and approved users, under the terms of the BSL 1.1 license. While we grant users the liberty to view, use, and modify the source code, much like traditional open-source licenses, we introduce a reasonable limitation on commercial exploitation for a certain period. This allows the project ample opportunity to grow and accrue resources.

TL;DR - Why Did We chose This License Strategy

Code Transparency

When creating the code for Kubeshark, it was clear to us that the code needs to be transparent as no modern organization, SRE or DevOp will seriously consider code they can’t look into. When we evaluated options of closed and semi-closed codebase, we realized that the best option for the user would be source code that is completely available.

BSL 1.1 grants users the freedom to view, use, and modify the source code, just like traditional open source licenses. However, it introduces a fair limitation on commercial exploitation for a specific period, giving the project a chance to grow and generate resources.

What is BSL 1.1 License

The BSL 1.1 License, also known as the Business Source License 1.1, is a software license designed to balance the benefits of open source with the needs of commercial software vendors. It is an evolution of the original BSL 1.0 License developed by MariaDB Corporation.

Under the BSL 1.1 License, the software is initially released as source code and can be freely accessed, modified, and redistributed. However, there are certain conditions that come into effect after a specified period, typically a fixed number of years or a specific date.

During the initial period, users can utilize the software under the terms of an open source license, typically the Apache License 2.0 or a similar permissive license. This allows for widespread adoption, collaboration, and innovation within the open source community.

After the specified period elapses, the BSL 1.1 License introduces additional restrictions. These restrictions may vary depending on the specific software and license version, but generally, they involve limitations on the redistribution of the software in a commercial context. This means that commercial users or vendors who wish to redistribute the software in a proprietary product or service may be required to purchase a commercial license or comply with certain conditions set forth by the licensor.

The BSL 1.1 License aims to strike a balance between openness and the need for sustainable business models for software vendors. It encourages collaboration and innovation in the open source community while enabling vendors to monetize their software after an initial period of widespread adoption.