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On Wednesday our cofounder & COO Amandine Le Pape will be at Web Summit in Lisbon discussing the need for government CTOs with Andrew Sullivan (President and CEO of Internet Society) & Jane Wakefield (Freelance Senior Technology journalist & Media Consultant BBC).

Let's tackle tech deficit and make way for seamless e-governance


@ZiggyTheHamster @mxmehl it’s targeting both “i’m a corp who’s allergic to AGPL” and “i’m a corp who is selling a proprietary fork of the Apache licensed code but doesn’t contribute to the underlying project in any way”.

@doctormo @mxmehl the reason that we are making this licensing change is because we are not profitable, and need to try to get to break even. a profit-sharing scheme when you have significantly negative profits sounds unlikely to succeed.

@debacle @mxmehl @webmink @matrix yes; the work has been going on in the MIMI WG (e.g. datatracker.ietf.org/doc/html/) which has ended up becoming a hybrid of Matrix and MLS-derived work.

@claudius we clearly should have finalised and published the CLA text alongside the announcement. the intention is categorically not to relicense further, but to allow us to sell agpl alternatives fo commercial forks.

@lutindiscret Tchap and Eimis will need to comply with the AGPL or procure an AGPL exception. Neither currently support Element or Matrix financially (Tchap stopped after nextinpact.com/lebrief/71389/l in April; Eimis never has supported to my knowledge). This is why we are moving to less permissive licensing.

@mxmehl we’re looking at putting a clause in the CLA that guarantees the source will remain published under a OSI license. the need to dual license is to sell AGPL alternatives to third party commercial forks. we are not trying to pull a hashicorp.

@astrojuanlu the CLA is there to let Element sell AGPL exceptions to proprietary forks to try to fund dev. It is not there to allow for relicensing in future.

@f4grx perhaps read the post. the intention is to be able to sell AGPL exceptions to 3rd party commercial forks, in order to fund the underlying dev.

@f4grx the only reason for the CLA is not to relicense but to allow dual-licensing for selling AGPL exceptions.

@serebit @maxgot @schmittlauch @matrix if there's a way to lock the code AGPLv3 (while letting us dual-license it to AGPL-allergic people) then hopefully that solves the concern; we're investigating.

@serebit @schmittlauch @matrix but we're not profiting at all. we are literally not profitable, and given that the Foundation doesn't get enough donations to fund the work, we have to try other means to keep the lights on.

@schmittlauch @serebit @matrix we could have sprouted a proprietary fork of Synapse at any point and stopped developing it as FOSS (due to the Apache license). But we have zero desire to do so. If there's a hack we can use to force us to keep the project FOSS as AGPLv3 then we'll use it. However, we're still going to dual-license in order to try to keep the lights on.

@serebit @schmittlauch @matrix in plain terms: we wrote 90%+ of Synapse and we're trying to find ways to get to break-even so we can keep working on it, otherwise it's game over.

@schmittlauch honestly, we only found about the slint/signal trick via the discussion here today. it looks really interesting, as there is zero desire to pull a hashicorp - we're literally trying to do the opposite.

@serebit @schmittlauch @matrix the whole blog post is explaining that if we don't find a way to get proprietary forks to contribute back to the core project, either by releasing their code as AGPL, or buying a dual license, then core dev from Element is existentially at risk. It's far from ideal, but it's the least worst solution we can find.

@bbhtt @matrix The reason for the shift is so that Element can dual-license the project to commercial forks who currently don't contribute back. This is also the reason for the CLA, to give Element the right to dual-license. The Foundation could have done the same thing, but is not remotely set up for selling licenses, and it'd put the Foundation in competition with Element, which would be nightmarish. Hopefully this is the least worst outcome.

@scy @schmittlauch @matrix yup, precisely. so if that isn't an option for you, don't sign the CLA and maintain your code in a separate tree. The impact to contributors sucks, but the alternative sucks even more.

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