Software Licensing Is BS...L [CL70]

Posted on Tuesday, Aug 22, 2023 | Series: Chaos Lever
Ethan Banks joins Ned and Chris to discuss HashiCorp’s BSL change.


[00:00:05.450] Ned: Hello, alleged human, and welcome to the Chaos lever slash day two cloud crossover podcast. My name is Ned, and I’m definitely not a robot. Oh, because robots are just notorious for asking existential questions, pondering their own existence, and seeking explanations for their identities. It’s not like they’re preoccupied with processing data, following algorithms, and running on lines of code. Nope, I am definitely not a robot, because questioning my own non robot status is totally something humans do on a regular basis. No, I am definitely a real human person, and this is definitely a crossover episode that Chris and I are doing with my co host of the Day Two Cloud podcast, Ethan Banks. So enjoy this crossover episode.

[00:00:52.270] Chris: So day two cloud chaos lover crossover is clearly day two chaos.

[00:00:58.930] Ned: You’re not wrong.

[00:00:59.720] Ethan: I like it.

[00:01:00.560] Ned: I think that aptly summarizes what Day Two Cloud is generally about after people stand up their infrastructure and then forget about the twelve EC two instances that they created yesterday.

[00:01:13.510] Chris: Twelve? That’s cute.

[00:01:15.580] Ned: I know. I missed at least 10, didn’t I?

[00:01:18.030] Chris: You probably missed an entire region.

[00:01:20.890] Ned: You’re not wrong. Oh, if it’s not East One US, does it really exist? Science point to no.

[00:01:29.870] Chris: According to Amazon. No.

[00:01:32.110] Ned: Well, until you get the bill. And for Chaos lever listeners who are not familiar with Ethan ethan Banks, welcome to Chaos Lever. You’re our first guest ever. How’s that feel?

[00:01:45.490] Ethan: That feels very strange, especially since I know in your role on Chaos Lever, you arguably hate humans and are a robot. Or are you?

[00:01:54.760] Ned: That is still an open question. It is not an open question. I state this clearly at the beginning of every episode. I am definitely not a robot, and I do not look for humans to consume their blood. That would be inhuman of me.

[00:02:09.210] Chris: Well, it would be wasteful not to eat the rest of the human.

[00:02:12.250] Ned: You’re not wrong.

[00:02:13.930] Ethan: I’m just glad you’re on the other side of the Zoom call for me, because that’s the only way I’m feeling safe right about now.

[00:02:19.250] Ned: Oh, you poor, foolish human. I mean, fellow human being that I admire very much. Well, day Two Cloud listeners, now you’re getting a little taste of what happens on the other side on the flip side. But the thing that we’re here to talk about, we’ve got a few news articles, but the one that we decided to focus on is the change that HashiCorp introduced with the licensing for some of their products. Ethan, would you like to summarize what you read?

[00:02:50.090] Ethan: Well, the focus seemed to be on TerraForm, specifically. From what I was reading, I guess maybe it does. I know you’ve dug into this more deeply than I have net, as the HashiCorp product family is near and dear to your heart, but the summary was they went from basically it’s open source originally, and now it isn’t. Now it is business. What is it? The BSL license. Basically, if you’re going to use it for business purposes. You got to pay a fee, you got to pay the man now and you didn’t used to have to do that.

[00:03:17.390] Ned: There’s a deep amount of irony in the fact that the license includes BS.

[00:03:23.630] Ethan: Sound like two, did you?

[00:03:25.110] Ned: Yeah, it kind of jumped out on the page. The licensing is called Business Source Licensing and it was one that was created by MariaDB as a way to try to prevent the commercialization of their product as a service by other folks. I think they were mostly targeting AWS. Does that sound right, Chris?

[00:03:48.170] Chris: That does sound right. And I find it kind of ironic because MariaDB itself was a fork to get away from the clutches of Oracle.

[00:03:57.550] Ned: Right, that had scooped up MySQL at some point and spun off their own enterprise version of that.

[00:04:08.270] Ethan: So my question to you guys that are deeper into the world of TerraForm, particularly than I am, is this change in licensing something that is going to impact the average everyday user? And by average everyday user I’m thinking of It professionals who are at a company and they use TerraForm and then execute things to manage their infrastructure. Can they no longer do that with HashiCorp TerraForm as an open source tool? Do they have to pay the man now?

[00:04:38.540] Ned: The short answer is no. Nothing changes. The much longer answer that we have to give because this is a podcast and we have to blow the eight for at least 30 to 45 minutes is sort of with lots of caveats. But yeah, the shorter answer is the accurate one for 99% of It professionals out there. This licensing change makes no change in your day to day use of any of the products, including TerraForm.

[00:05:09.810] Ethan: Okay. And that’s how I understood it. From what I was reading, the average user is not impacted. People who are impacted are folks who might use this intellectual property to build their own product that they would sell. If it is something they are going to profit from, they are going to make money from this code that HashiCorp has released, then HashiCorp wants a piece of that or they want a licensing fee or something along those lines.

[00:05:34.740] Ned: Yeah. And essentially their justification behind it is people are using software that we have spent time and effort in building, maintaining, patching, et cetera. They’re using it for free to make money. And we would like some recompense for doing all the hard work of keeping that tool up to date.

[00:05:55.730] Ethan: However, it does feel a bit to me like the scene in one of the Star Wars movies where Darth Vader says I have altered the deal, pray I don’t alter it any further. That is if you’ve got TerraForm is not a new product. This IP has been out there for a long time as an open source tool. Then people have proceeded to make, in some cases, business decisions to go ahead and proceed based on that understanding. And now the rules have changed. So it’s like what just happened?

[00:06:27.470] Ned: Yes, and allow me to describe a little bit in more detail what actually changed and the pertinent bit of text. So what actually changed is originally TerraForm and the other products, which we’re barely going to mention because all anybody has talked about is TerraForm, but it does include Vault Nomad and Console, which would probably be the other most popular products that would come to people’s minds. They change from the Mozilla public license MPL 20, to the BSL license, One. One and BSL license. Yes, I said license twice. Technically, on August 11 or so, they did a commit to each repository where the software is, and the commit created a new license. And that new license says in the text, I’m not going to read the whole thing because nobody wants that. But the important thing is they added a line that said, you may make production use of the licensed work provided such use does not include offering the licensed work to third parties on a hosted or embedded basis, which is competitive with HashiCorp’s products. So that’s the big line.

[00:07:50.230] Ethan: Competitive with HashiCorp products. Okay, so that feels well, feels a little targeted, I guess.

[00:07:58.250] Ned: A little targeted. Also. And Chris probably backed me up here. Incredibly vague with some of those terms.

[00:08:06.490] Chris: Yeah, definitely a little bit of scare language built into that to know if you don’t do what we want you to do, which is nothing, we’re going to sue you about what we can sue you for, which is mysterious.

[00:08:22.930] Ned: Not well defined, ill defined, unnotefined.

[00:08:27.830] Chris: Wellable, right.

[00:08:30.690] Ned: So a couple additional things to note about the change. This licensing change applies to the product, but it only transforms the use, when it’s production use of the licensed work that’s there to create a competitive offering, which again, is a vague term, but we can dig into that some more, in my understanding of it. Also, after four years, unless they decide to shorten it, but at a maximum of four years, that version of the software converts back to regular MPL license. So in four years, version one six of TerraForm will become open source again. How useful it is in four years is up for debate. But I know some people move in very slow cycles where they refresh their gear once every 20 years. So maybe that’s good news to them. This does apply to go ahead.

[00:09:28.630] Ethan: If they’re opening it up, back up after a significant amount of time has gone by, it’s because that version of the product has effectively lost commercial value by that point in time. You said four years is the gap.

[00:09:41.650] Ned: Four years.

[00:09:42.430] Ethan: I mean, in computer time, that’s essentially forever.

[00:09:45.940] Chris: Right.

[00:09:47.210] Ethan: Which I think speaks to part of the motivation behind this, which if you follow HashiCorp and financial news, they doing great. And so this would be a way to go after revenue that would help them maybe go from not doing great to doing something that their investors might actually like. Like make more money?

[00:10:03.540] Ned: Yes. And I do want to touch on the financial aspect of it in a little bit. Another thing that I wanted to bring up is if you get a commercial license from HashiCorp, you’re fine. So it’s not like they’re blocking you entirely from making a competitive offering. It’s that you have to go to them and go, I would like to buy a commercial license from you, please. And then they will sell you one. I have no idea how much that license might cost. Some of their software I already know the licensing model for, because they do sell licenses for it. But some of the other ones, it’s hard to say how they’re going to decide to license it out, whether it would be per user, per instance, et cetera. Right.

[00:10:49.070] Ethan: Can I just interject, ned, everything you’re describing so far, okay, we’ve gone from open source to the business source license, and it’s under certain circumstances, it’s not going to affect the vast majority of people who use TerraForm or how they use it. But the uproar in the community has been huge. I mean, really loud noises made by lots and lots and lots of people. So I know you got more points to make, but I hope one of those points is explained to me why this is such an outrageous thing, because I’m not sure I get it yet.

[00:11:25.930] Ned: Apoplexy would be the correct term for the general reaction from certain sectors of the community. And it’s also important to remember that the noisy minority can be extremely loud online if they choose to be. And there are certain people who have a vested interest in being very noisy about this particular license change. And some of it is I understand where they’re coming from because I want to come back to the fact that a lot of the words in the statement that I read are incredibly vague. Like, production. What does it mean for the work to be in production, competitive? Does that apply to all offerings that charge? Or can it be any offering that is, quote unquote, production and competitive? Even if it’s offered completely for free? If I offer a free service, but it’s competitive and it uses their technology under the covers, is that now in violation even though I’m not charging for it? I don’t know, hosted or embedded, what does it mean?

[00:12:29.390] Ethan: I know what my common sense says, but there’s a distinction between what common sense would dictate and what is legal. Should it become a court matter to decide words and how you parse those words becomes very important. So, like you said, if I don’t charge but it’s based on HashiCorp IP and it’s a competitive product because I made something that does like what TerraForm does, only I called it something else. And I given it away for free. Yeah, that’s competitive. Yeah, you should have had to pay for that IP to make that free product. That’s competitive. Especially if it’s free. Dang it kind of thing production, you could say common sense. We know what production means. It means you’re using it for a business purpose. It’s not in the lab. It’s not something you’re screwing around with for fun. It’s not something maybe someday it’s useful, but the business does not rely upon it. I assume that’s what they mean, but those aren’t legally binding definitions. And in that vagueness is a whole lot of muddy water.

[00:13:27.480] Ned: Oh, yeah. Oh, it gets muddier. Because they mentioned hosted or embedded. What does it mean for one of their products to be hosted or embedded and hosted? I kind of know what that means. Right. We understand what exchange online is. It’s hosted exchange. We understand what hosted VMware might be. What does embedded mean? In what context is a product embedded versus hosted? I don’t know.

[00:13:53.050] Ethan: I mean, an IoT device has an embedded operating system. It’s like I kind of think I know what that means.

[00:13:59.500] Ned: Is it like that so gray area, right? And then competitive also total gray area. What does it mean to compete? Does it have to be a direct one to one competitor with a HashiCorp product that is advertised as such? Like we stand up and go, this is our Vault competitor service. Like, no one’s going to say that, right? They can’t say that directly. But what if it is? And does this cover all?

[00:14:26.550] Ethan: But if there was a secrets manager based on Vault, I think that’s maybe more what they’re getting, they’re going after. Especially like Oracle or an AWS. Names that have already come up on this podcast behemoth companies that can make their own commercial product based in open source. Commonly done. Is HashiCorp going after those folks, right?

[00:14:53.710] Ned: And my understanding at least the scuttlebutt is that there was at least one smaller cloud service provider that was offering Vault as a service with some thin labeling over it, but it was actually Vault as a service under the covers. And the other big question is, does this cover all future possible products that HashiCorp might decide to create or only those that exist right now as of the licensing change?

[00:15:24.550] Chris: And that’s almost an impossible question to answer, right? It feels to me like this is a trial. Is this is the Red hat maneuver writ small. No insult intended to the size or scope of HashiCorp, but you take a product that was made by many, it was assumed ownership by a corporation who is now saying they are the sole proprietor and the only person that can make money off of it. You can see know open source advocates who have developed for this for a long time are a little miffed indeed, simultaneously, there’s a lot of other scuttlebutt that says, well, look, they haven’t accepted our updates to the code anyway. So this has effectively been a hostile takeover of what TerraForm truly is anyway, and now they’re just figuring out a legal structure to further monetize it. And if this is successful and eventually the brew haha does get down to a simmering rage rather than a boiling over, then it stands to reason that it would expand to be their default for all of their products going.

[00:16:37.390] Ned: They did HashiCorp wrote An FAQ that actually answers some of the questions that I brought up. The problem is none of it’s in the licensing language, right? It’s all, oh, I got to go look at An FAQ for this, and how binding is that FAQ? Is that their statement today or is that malleable? Is that subject to change at some time in the future if they update their FAQs page? I don’t know. Again, I’m not a lawyer, maybe ask one, but the amount of gray area that exists under the licensing as it’s published today, the license itself seems ridiculously short for what it’s trying to describe. And so that worries me. But I do want to come back to the main point. That is for 99% of users, this is still not going to affect their workflow. So if you’re using HashiCorp products for internal production systems, you’re fine. If you’re using them for external systems that don’t compete with one of their products, you’re fine. If you built an open source solution that includes HashiCorp products that someone else might turn into a commercial offering, you aren’t responsible for their actions. You can publish that open source product however you want.

[00:17:51.610] Ned: Well, it’s not even a product an open source solution. If you’re a consultant out there using HashiCorp products to provide professional services, you’re fine. You don’t need to buy any special commercial licenses. And this is an interesting one. In the FAQs, they clarified that if you have an existing product that HashiCorp does not have a competitive offering around and they begin one, you’re exempted because your product or solution existed prior to them creating.

[00:18:26.450] Ethan: A situation you haven’t covered. Ned but your specific situation, you’re a HashiCorp trainer, you teach about a lot of different HashiCorp products. It sounds like you’re not affected either.

[00:18:35.900] Ned: Then educators and trainers are also not affected by this change. If you’re teaching TerraForm as your job or vault or whatever, that’s still fine because what you’re offering is training, not a solution that embeds their product. So that’s why I say it is a small minority of folks that are going to be affected this. But within hours of the announcement, the commercial platforms that I’ll put under, let’s say, the umbrella of TerraForm Automation, all rushed out to their medium of choice to share how shocked, shocked, and dismayed they were at this aggressive and totally unforeseen move by HashiCorp. And the problem wasn’t that their entire business model was no, no, this was about ethics and morals.

[00:19:24.730] Chris: Ethan it’s the principle of the thing, sir.

[00:19:29.110] Ethan: Wow. Oh my.

[00:19:30.500] Ned: Oh, yes. So I would describe it as posturing. There was a lot of posturing. Does that sound accurate, Chris?

[00:19:40.010] Chris: Yeah, and I think that’s always going to happen when something like this comes out. The worst case scenario is in human nature, just naturally the one that comes to mind first, fastest and loudest.

[00:19:50.990] Ned: Yeah.

[00:19:52.750] Ethan: Another reaction I’ve noticed is not just the posturing, but also talk of we’re just going to take open source TerraForm where it is, fork it, and we’ll continue development without HashiCorp and just kind of go on our own, which yeah, I don’t know how I would feel about that as a consumer of that product. Like, oh, I’m going to jump over to the forked version of TerraForm and see what they do because I kind of want HashiCorp to be behind the product I’m using. You know what I’m saying?

[00:20:20.300] Ned: Yeah. So I will say that basically all the brouhaha that’s been kicked up has been about TerraForm. I have not heard a peep about any of the other products, which gives you an idea of the user base of each product and how noisy they are. But yeah. So a bunch of TerraForm automation type vendors all banded together and wrote the Opentf Manifesto.

[00:20:48.030] Ethan: Yes, it was a manifesto, which I got such a charge out of. Oh boy, a manifesto. We really are righteous.

[00:20:55.810] Ned: I am very wary of anyone waving around a manifesto. It’s usually not gone well for anyone who follows it. But I’ll pull two choice quotes from the Opentf Manifesto so you can get a feel for sort of the hyperbolic level that they’re at. One quote is, it is clear to us that under the new license, the thriving ecosystem built up around the open source TerraForm will Dwinder. And wither it’s clear to them it wasn’t clear to me, but it is clear to them that’s exactly what is going to happen.

[00:21:35.550] Chris: Dear diary, the sky is falling.

[00:21:40.110] Ned: And then the other choice quote was, every company and every developer now needs to think twice before adopting and investing in an open source project in case the creator suddenly decides to change the license, end quote. Which has always been true.

[00:21:57.130] Chris: Right. I was going to say, while that is a very valid statement, it’s not a new idea.

[00:22:01.930] Ned: Yeah.

[00:22:05.130] Ethan: When a project becomes successful, it is a burden on the maintainer. Usually there’s just one or two of folks that tend to maintain a lot of projects. It takes up more of your time than you have and making a buck off of this thing that you created becomes kind of important and kind of necessary for you to keep doing that role. I understand that a lot of open source projects are in fact backed by commercial interest. The only way that they exist is because there is one or more commercial interests that are funding people to work on that open source project full time to make it happen. Money is part of the equation here as much as the idealist romanticized notion of I’m going to code for free and give it away as open source. That’s lovely if you can do that, if you’ve got that kind of time. But we all got to put food on the table. So, I don’t know, feels a little bit, again, idealized to think it’s supposed to be free forever. And that’s something that’s greatly successful, that no one should be making any money off of it.

[00:23:10.430] Ned: Yeah. And the people behind the Opentf manifesto, their demand, their central demand in their manifesto is that HashiCorp reverse the licensing change to TerraForm and I think donate it to an open source foundation. Now I can’t imagine any open source foundation touching that with 1000 yard foot, meter pole, whatever unit of metric you’d like to use. I certainly wouldn’t because it’s kind of on fire at the moment. But the big vendors around Opentf, and they’re big, but they’re startups, they’ve said that they’re going to dedicate full time engineers to help maintain a fork of TerraForm if HashiCorp doesn’t change their mind about the licensing for TerraForm.

[00:24:01.150] Chris: Which would be, you know, that’s one of the things in terms of hyperbolic statements. One of the companies that is complaining about this is Gruntwork a DevOps as a service company, and is he the founder, the chief product officer wrote that open TF fork could open. Incredible possibilities, but it is the equivalent of a civil war.

[00:24:28.010] Ned: Yes, it’s just like the Civil war, Chris. These two things are equally weighty.

[00:24:35.770] Chris: I mean, I do get what he’s saying because if you believe that an Open TF fork would be feature compliant 100% with HashiCorp’s TerraForm, why would you pay for anything from HashiCorp at this point?

[00:24:52.610] Ned: Yeah, and an interesting wrinkle to all this is the provider plugins that TerraForm relies on to talk to all the different cloud providers and services, those are not impacted by this licensing change. Those are developed separately from the core TerraForm binary. And all of them are still under the old open source licensing. And in many cases, HashiCorp doesn’t own the repos behind those providers or maintain them. So the provider ecosystem, the true powerhouse behind TerraForm, still remains largely open source. And if there were to be a fork of TerraForm, the providers would now have to develop against both forks of that. So that makes it more difficult for them, but the providers themselves would still remain open source.

[00:25:44.050] Ethan: Will the plugin architecture, assuming this fork actually takes off and gains popularity, will the plugin architecture remain the same or as a vendor? Now, do I need to worry about developing plugins for two architectures?

[00:25:56.950] Ned: Yeah, and I’m going to go ahead and say as long as if the open source one decides to make changes or HashiCorp does, I’m probably going to pick one and stick with it. And honestly, if most people are still using HashiCorp’s version of TerraForm, that’s the one that I’m going to stick with because I know HashiCorp is going to put the money behind continuing to develop it. And I want to point out these companies that are promising to dedicate full time employees to work on an open source version of TerraForm. This isn’t like Microsoft, AWS and Google where throwing like a couple FTEs at a project is not a big deal. We’re talking about startups here, startups that run lean. They’re not going to dedicate an FTE for any extended period of time. Even if they wanted to, their VC backers would have a fit and be like, what is that person doing? Oh, they’re not bringing any value. Get them to do something else. While I understand the idea behind it, I question whether it would actually be feasible for any of these smaller TerraForm automation startups to actually dedicate the necessary resources for a fork of TerraForm.

[00:27:07.710] Chris: Yeah, it makes sense. I mean, it’s an adjunct property, but it’s not what whatever startup you’re choosing to name is actually selling. And you’re right, if what they’re doing is not bringing in any money, it’s not going to be very long before people start asking questions and asking them to bring in money. Yes, which also explains why I’ve seen so many DevSecOps car washes around the neighborhood.

[00:27:34.710] Ned: Oh yeah, well, they are good at automating the process, so I will say that for them.

[00:27:43.270] Ethan: We were prepping for this show. You mentioned that you have feelings about this. You’ve been in reporter mode and Summarizer mode, and haven’t we actually expressed your opinion? What is your take on all of.

[00:27:53.980] Ned: Well, so I do want to mention one more thing and then I’ll give my hot take on it, which is probably not that spicy. So you mentioned the financial situation of HashiCorp earlier, and I do want to put a little more detail around that. They had their IPO in late 2021 and their stock peaked at $91 in December of 2021 and has steadily been declining ever since. They’re currently trading at $28 a share, so they’ve lost two thirds of their value. Now, in some fairness, the Nasdaq Index, which they are part of the Nasdaq Exchange, the Index took a pretty serious dip since 2021. So some of this is just general market forces, but the index has rebounded a lot since January of 2023 and the HashiCorp stock has not. They had a round of layoffs this year. Their last annual report had a net loss of $53 million. So they really do need to make money if they want to ward off the private equity sharks that are continually circling the pool looking for blood. And I think a worst case scenario would be for HashiCorp to be purchased by a private equity firm, which would then serve to strip away any of the goodwill and value that HashiCorp really brings to the table because that’s kind of what private equity firms do.

[00:29:23.110] Ned: So I want them to be successful, I guess, is what I’m saying. Will they be successful? I don’t know. I’m not a financial like I’m just an idiot who makes computers go bleep bloop. So go check with the financial analysts on that one before the licensing change.

[00:29:44.320] Ethan: Which presumably will bring more money into HashiCorp. What was the model they were giving TerraForm away? Essentially, but there was a go to HashiCorp and get support. Was it that model?

[00:29:56.100] Ned: The model that they were using was primarily offering their products at an enterprise level for clients. So Vault had an enterprise offering, console had an enterprise offering, and TerraForm had TerraForm Enterprise, which was later turned into TerraForm Cloud, which is offered as a service now instead of something you run in your own internal data center. And they’re doing the same thing for their other enterprise products on the HashiCorp cloud platform, offering Vault as a service, console, as a service, and they’re going to be eventually rolling out other ones. So that’s the way that they’ve been trying to make money. But I think they’re looking at the competitive landscape and going, there’s these other vendors out there that are using our products but undercutting us on cost. We would like a cut of what they’re doing since they’re using the products that we maintain. And so I understand where they’re coming from. So if I could give my just general feeling about it is I don’t like the change. I don’t think it’s going to have the long term impact that they’re hoping for. I think that TerraForm should be free and open source because it is different in nature than many of the other products that they offer.

[00:31:17.680] Ned: TerraForm doesn’t run as a server. It’s not like Vault which runs as a server and you offer it as a service. TerraForm is a client side tool. So trying to go after people that are creating a competitive offering and maneuver the licensing to find a way to make them pay for it is going to be a legal nightmare, if I could use a very technical term. I also understand that HashiCorp needs to make money and software engineers are really expensive. So as with all compromises, you know, you’ve succeeded if everyone’s miserable. And in that regard, the licensing change has succeeded in spades. Fair.

[00:32:00.890] Chris: I mean, the last thing I guess I would say is it’s a twofold thing, right? I respect the fact that they had a hot IPO that has since cratered, but the argument to be made there is it was overpriced in the first place and is probably still overpriced, which is why the line has gone down for the past 20 months. And that is not an uncommon thing for any company on Nasdaq, let alone just the It companies. I mean, Tesla is still shares are trading at 220 for Tesla and there’s no chance. It’s ever been worth that people get a little too attached to that number. And the other thing is, HashiCorp makes a heck of a lot of products, most of which nobody’s ever heard of. So one of the problems with them not making money might just be the company is too spread thin. Spread too thin. There we go. That’s a sentence.

[00:32:55.830] Ned: You did it.

[00:32:57.450] Chris: So it’s one of those things where this change is challenging and frustrating, but it’s also to the product that everybody’s heard of. So are they trying to do this because they need to buffer up the finances with their cash cow? Maybe they need to look internally and kind of lean up their own company, make some hard decisions about the structure that they want to do and pursue going forward and not have eleven different products in the marketplace.

[00:33:24.070] Ned: It can be very difficult to sacrifice your babies, the things you made, but sometimes that’s what’s required of you to survive as a company. So I think it’s impossible to predict what will come next. I don’t think the opentf project is going to be successful in their bid to force them to reverse the license or creating an open source fork of TerraForm. I think that’s a lot more work than is feasible, and it’s unhealthy for the DevOps community at large. But I think we’ll have to wait and see and maybe we can revisit this in a year once everybody’s calmed down and cooler heads have prevailed. Hey, thanks for listening or something. I hope you enjoyed this crossover episode. I guess you found it worthwhile enough if you made it all the way to the end. So congratulations to you, friend. You accomplished something today. Now I guess you could consider indulging in the unbearable pleasure of doing something you love, like juggling water polo and horses. Because who wouldn’t want to spend their day expertly juggling balls while riding a horse in a water polo match? It’s the ultimate trifecta of leisure activities guaranteed to make your day so remarkable that you just forgot where you were.

[00:34:38.910] Ned: You can find more about this show by visiting our LinkedIn page or going to If you want to know more about day two cloud, you can find that podcast at daytwood. IO and wherever you find your content, we’ll be back next week to see what fresh hell is upon us. Tata for now.

[00:35:00.210] Chris: So I think I had an insight. Is it possible that we’ve accidentally trained AI like Chat GPT, but what we’ve trained them to be is the drunk guy at the bar. The guy sitting at the bar who knows absolutely everything and can totally drive home.

[00:35:21.910] Ethan: Chat GPT, give me your keys.

Show Notes

Software Licensing is BS…L

Episode: 70 Published: 8/22/2023

HashiCorp Switches to BSL And I Hate Everyone and Everything

Well, maybe not everyone. This week we decided to do a little crossover episode with my other podcast Day Two Cloud. My cohost from the D2C pod, Ethan Banks, joins me and Chris to discuss the latest licensing changes over at HashiCorp.

Intro and outro music by James Bellavance copyright 2022


Chris Hayner

Chris Hayner (He/Him)

Our story starts with a young Chris growing up in the agrarian community of Central New Jersey. Son of an eccentric sheep herder, Chris’ early life was that of toil and misery. When he wasn’t pressing cheese for his father’s failing upscale Fromage emporium, he languished on a meager diet of Dinty Moore and boiled socks. His teenage years introduced new wrinkles in an already beleaguered existence with the arrival of an Atari 2600. While at first it seemed a blessed distraction from milking ornery sheep, Chris fell victim to an obsession with achieving the perfect Pitfall game. Hours spent in the grips of Indiana Jones-esque adventure warped poor Chris’ mind and brought him to the maw of madness. It was at that moment he met our hero, Ned Bellavance, who shepherded him along a path of freedom out of his feverish, vine-filled hellscape. To this day Chris is haunted by visions of alligator jaws snapping shut, but with the help of Ned, he freed himself from the confines of Atari obsession to become a somewhat productive member of society. You can find Chris at coin operated laundromats, lecturing ironing boards for being itinerant. And as the cohost on the Chaos Lever podcast.

Ned Bellavance

Ned Bellavance (He/Him)

Ned is an industry veteran with piercing blue eyes, an indomitable spirit, and the thick hair of someone half his age. He is the founder and sole employee of the ludicrously successful Ned in the Cloud LLC, which has rocked the tech world with its meteoric rise in power and prestige. You can find Ned and his company at the most lavish and exclusive tech events, or at least in theory you could, since you wouldn’t actually be allowed into such hallowed circles. When Ned isn’t sailing on his 500 ft. yacht with Sir Richard Branson or volunteering at a local youth steeplechase charity, you can find him doing charity work of another kind, cohosting the Chaos Lever podcast with Chris Hayner. Really, he’s doing Chris a huge favor by even showing up. You should feel grateful Chris. Oaths of fealty, acts of contrition, and tokens of appreciation may be sent via carrier pigeon to his palatial estate on the Isle of Man.