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Cockroach Labs co-founders (from left): Peter Mattis, Spencer Kimball, and Ben Darnell. Photo by Cockroach Labs.

Cockroach Labs Stands Up to Amazon’s Open Source Offensive

Photo: Cockroach Labs co-founders (from left): Peter Mattis, Spencer Kimball, and Ben Darnell. Photo by Cockroach Labs.

Amazon Web Services, the online retail giant’s cloud computing unit, has recently ruffled feathers among open source software companies by using free code to create paid services of its own. Now, open source database startup Cockroach Labs, founded by three former Googlers, is hitting back.

The next version of CockroachDB, the free database software that Cockroach Labs manages, will include a licensing change that prevents AWS and other cloud providers from using it in a commercial cloud database service without paying a fee to Cockroach Labs. And it is making the change before AWS has a chance to come out with its own version of the service, an unusually pre-emptive approach that Cockroach co-founder and CEO Spencer Kimball says is necessary.

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