Dear Cloudron Team,
One of the things that really attracted me to Cloudron was that it was open source with an AGPL license. That was awesome and it meant a few things:
- It aligned with my values.
- It would be an inviting place for community contributions.
- It wouldn't disappear if the company was acquired or the founders got bored, hired away, or abducted by aliens.
These are important. I have regularly promoted the service in public and private for these reasons, and because it is just a fantastic tool that I gladly pay for. However I recently stumbled upon a comparison table on a website indicating that Cloudron was not open source. That seemed wrong, so I started looking.
What I found was a blog post (https://cloudron.io/blog/2016-08-29-opensource.html) dated 29 August 2016 announcing that Cloudron was being distributed with an AGPL license. At the top was a notice added 28 March 2018 indicating that Cloudron was no longer advertising open source, but was still being developed in the open. It did not indicate any license change. Then I found that the license had in fact changed in GitLab on 26 February 2019.
As far as I can tell, this wasn't announced via social media, email, a blog post, or anywhere. This change is disappointing and I am embarrassed for having promoted it falsely. The manner in which it appears to have been changed, without any notice to those who would be impacted, leaves me unsettled.
I know my single subscription makes little difference in your business, but I doubt I'm the only one who chose Cloudron because of all the benefits of the AGPL. I suspect it matters to those who contributed patches believing this was AGPL software. Were they made aware that their contributions were now proprietary code? I wish you all the success in the world and hate to make a fuss, but I would really appreciate if this was addressed and explained openly.