Is the Cloud Ruining Open Source?

August 11, 2020

There have been some rumblings. To be honest, you could safely say that they’re straight-up accusations. Some have even gone as far as to say that there’s a conspiracy. There’s a growing chorus of tech industry experts that are claiming the cloud is destroying open source.

To add fuel to the fire, these accusations aren’t just coming from members of open source communities; they’re also coming from large companies within the technology industry.

The main complaint is that large cloud providers (AWS & Azure) are making open source creators and contributors pay a subscription to use products that they’ve created in the first place. Basically, the cloud vendors are making tons of money on open source and the open source contributors are making very little or nothing at all.

Chunga and Tom take an impartial look at these complaints and draw some parallels/comparisons to similar types of problems in other industries. Does Tom agree with the accusation that open source is being destroyed by the cloud?

Is cloud killing open source?

Host Jimmy Chunga points out that the basic complaint, voiced here by Oracle, “is that that cloud vendors unfairly offer open source software as a service, capturing large portions of revenue while the original software vendor continues to carry most of the development costs. There are rumors that claim AWS makes more revenue from MySQL than Oracle does.” As Chunga reminds us, Oracle owns MySQL.

The complaint, Tom says, is totally right, at least to a certain exten. “At the same time, we have to ask questions like ‘what does it mean when we make things open source, anyway?'”

But then again, he says, open source has changed into something different than what it used to be. Hijinks ensue! Listen now to hear where this insightful conversation goes.


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