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ComputingWeekly on Grafana’s AGPLv3 licence

22nd April 2021

“Grafana has carried out a well-managed licence shift to AGPLv3 that moves them away from Apache to the GPL ‘copyleft’ family, but keeps them in the parameters of open source.”

Brock said Grafana’s approach remains open source, unlike the change in licensing made by Elastic and Mongo.

“Having learned the lessons of recent approaches to licence changes, Grafana acknowledges the importance of community to any open source project,” she added. “Their approach shows respect to that community and its contribution to their project and respect for the values of open source in understanding that it is not their place to redefine open source to suit their – or any investor’s – business.”

In the past, open source software providers found their subscription-based revenue stream curbed when AWS began offering cloud-based versions of their software.

Brock pointed out that AWS is regarded by Grafana as a “strategic partner”, but added: “I am slightly concerned that the revenue-sharing model, pioneered in 2019 by Google and picked up by AWS, is discretionary on the part of the cloud provider, but do feel that for now, in the existing model of cloud, it is the way forward for open source providers.

“I fully support Raj’s call to revenue share/strategic partnerships and have been suggesting for some time that we will see much more of this in 2021.”

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