The license says what it says, that you are not allowed to sell Vespene without approval from me. This would mean making a proprietary version, or offering paid consulting, support, or hosting services - like making "Vespene for Amazon" if you worked for Amazon.
Can you be paid to write about Vespene or write a book? Yes.
Can you modify Vespene - YES! The copyright is owned by everyone who ever contributed. However, you can not sell Vespene without joining the partnership program.
For small consultanies, membership is completely free once approved.
Partnership dues for larger organizations are very low, and if I'm lucky I earn maybe 1/2 of a developers salary (or maybe a little bit more) off of this. If that happens, I'm happy. If not, I'm still happy.
It's just that in this age of Amazon pushing smaller authors around, I need a little bit of backup.
If you'd like to read more about my long-form thoughts on this, see here:
For those that know me from Ansible, this may seem like a shift - it is something of an experiment. But it's important to note Ansible made money by selling proprietary software.
What I'm attempting to do here is keep everything completely open, and not produce any open core, which I think is a win-win scenario.
You may also be interested in this article that also shares some viewpoints:
If you read the Partners Program docs I've linked, it clearly indicates what we're not going to do, and also clarifies that use at your place of business is completely free.
Books HELP us out tons, and I'd love to see them pop up!
At this point I guessed you were referring to Redis.
I'm completely on board with this though I think some part of the audience will roll over saying this isn't open source. IMHO the opportunity to work with other developers is what makes this open. Nobody contributing to Ansible expects to be paid and I don't see how this is any different.
Cheers. This answer helps a lot and I'm glad you're really responsive and open about this.
Going through your links, I think I have a good idea about the partner program.
If my workplace employs over 30,000 people but only 5 work on Vespene, how does this work in terms of licensing? It's hard enough to get anything approved for enterprise usage as is. D:
Yes, Redis was the first real notable user of this license. It didn't blow over so great because they changed the license for an existing repo, which muddied the water of this being (I think) an ok idea, but I understood their arguments, having seen Amazon put some pressure on some others in the space and I have also seen some large consultancies make a ton on automation tools and not give back.
I was thinking - how can you possibly form a partnership with those companies, get closer connected to them, and have them support the project so the project doesn't have to build open core (aka "proprietary") software on their own? I'm one guy - I don't have time to run a open core business, and I don't enjoy writing proprietary software nearly as much as open software. Further, I think if you run a support business, you are sometimes inclined to leave some things complicated, so you can have something to support. That's not me, which was why I always wanted my past venture to be a product company.
Not that I want imply any ego here, we are no where close enough for that to want to happen -- but it's something I want to lay the foundation for up front.
I was really fortunate with the way Ansible was acquired, and I don't need to make a lot of this, so I'm never going to abuse the communities trust and sell this product myself ever. I promise that. I will NOT sell this myself, and I won't take donations. I would like to pull in a little bit from it though, with help of those that do want to make something. I'll approve hosting, but I doubt I would ever approve someone making "Vespene Enterprise" - that just rubs me the wrong way. It's also the same reason I will always publish all the sources to the release branches for everyone, which is not something all upstreams do.
So it's kind of like a pseudo-foundation in my view. The goal is to help everybody who wants to use it - and the larger organizations that want to sell it and make profit have to give back to support that - but end users always get it free, commercial or otherwise.
If you're not selling Vespene, no restrictions at all, you don't even need to talk to me.
If you intend to do paid hosting, support, or consulting on Vespene to 3rd parties (charging your customers for any of that), we talk about it, and we try to come to a fair number. It might depend on what you want to do.