The future of open source licences is changing


One of the pillars of software development is: never reinvent the wheel. Why invent a new algorithm or write a piece of code to achieve a particular objective, if something already exists? To adapt a well-known metaphor: new code should ideally be built on the shoulders of giants. Libraries filled with amazing functions, written by world-class software developers, can and should be the basis on which new projects and new pieces of software functionality are engineered.

These are among the concepts that have helped to make open source software development the most efficient way to create new code. As Computer Weekly has previously reported, some open source companies are finding that their business models, based on deriving a revenue stream from managed services, are being eroded by the public cloud providers offering rival hosting services. The result has been amendments to licensing clauses to prevent such services from being able to use the source code freely. Does this spell the end of open source?