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Open-Source Startup Changes Licensing in Shot Across AWS’ Bow

Confluent, a company launched by the founders of the Apache Kafka open-source software project, announced it has changed its licensing terms to prevent its software from being used in commercial software-as-a-service products. The move is designed to prevent cloud providers like Amazon Web Services, which launched its own Kafka-based cloud product two weeks ago, from using the Kafka open-source software in commercial products. 

The Confluent licensing change comes two months after MongoDB, an open-source database software startup, made a similar alteration to its licensing terms. AWS had been working on a MongoDB-based product prior to the licensing change, the status of which remains unclear. 

The licensing changes reflect a growing backlash against AWS, which sells several successful commercial products based on open-source software but is often criticized for not contributing code back to open-source projects.


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