As you have seen in my last post or elsewhere, Facebook has recently added a dubious patent clause in the license of multiple projects including ReactJS. And predictably, a number of organizations, companies, and open-source advocates made it clear that it’s way too dangerous to keep on using the code with such restrictions because of possible legal repercussions.
Well, I am pleased to tell to all my readers, that they have back-tracked on this after Apache Foundation, WordPress, and many others have express their clear intention of switching to safe alternatives to React.js and other frameworks from FB, or banning their use. As you all know, FOSS is a free market ecosystem; it is thriving from the forces of intellectual competition, always offering multiple choices to its users. And this approach won again: facing the danger of loosing their user base and, effectively, rendering themselves irrelevant, they made the decision to, once again, re-license some of their projects under MIT.
Namely, ReactJS will be released under the new license. So if you are using it – make sure to update your dependencies to v.16 once it is out next week. Remember, re-licensing isn’t usually retroactive, so don’t fall into that trap.
Disclaimer: I am not using, planning nor recommending to use any Facebook’s sponsored projects
And let the Dao be with you, as usual 😉
In somewhat recent revelation about the pitfalls of infamous Facebook “BSD + Patents” license, FOSS developers becoming more acutely aware and alarmed about the consequences.
I won’t bother you with much details, as they are readily available elsewhere. I just want to point out that Facebook is hedging their open-source “exposure”. What they are effectively saying is “Go ahead and use our awesome stuff. But if we ever decide that you’re competing with us, we’ll yank your licence to use our frameworks so fast your shoes will fall off.” It doesn’t matter if someone has developed this code for you: you won’t be able to use it anyway.
That’s the essence. It is the original intention of the license behind ReactJS and a few other frameworks. And that’s why Apache Foundation has moved the license to Cat-X, prohibiting any of its projects to touch things like ReactJS. Facebook software is NOT compatible with the projects developed under widely accepted and respected ALv2.
Here’s the excerpt:
Facebook BSD+Patents license
The Facebook BSD+Patents license includes a specification of a PATENTS file that passes along risk to downstream consumers of our software imbalanced in favor of the licensor, not the licensee, thereby violating our Apache legal policy of being a universal donor. The terms of Facebook BSD+Patents license are not a subset of those found in the ALv2, and they cannot be sublicensed as Alv2.
These are the unintended consequences of meddling with well thought open-source software licenses. That is the beauty of open-source: if you trying to lock people in or out – they will move. It doesn’t matter how much money you have, how big you are, nor what your SJW position is. Developers will go, and the users will as well.
I’m sure we haven’t heard the last of it yet. And that’s the damning and loud application of the golden rule!