Redis switches to more restrictive license

Ryan Daws is a senior editor at TechForge Media, with a seasoned background spanning over a decade in tech journalism. His expertise lies in identifying the latest technological trends, dissecting complex topics, and weaving compelling narratives around the most cutting-edge developments. His articles and interviews with leading industry figures have gained him recognition as a key influencer by organisations such as Onalytica. Publications under his stewardship have since gained recognition from leading analyst houses like Forrester for their performance. Find him on X (@gadget_ry) or Mastodon (

Leading in-memory database vendor Redis is adopting a dual-licensing model, imposing far stricter terms on companies offering Redis as a service. 

In an official announcement, Redis Labs stated that starting with version 7.4, Redis will be dual-licensed under the Redis Source Available License (RSALv2) and the controversial Server Side Public License (SSPLv1).

This is not the first time Redis has changed licensing terms. In 2018, it shifted some modules to a more restrictive license which drew criticism from open source advocates.

Formerly, Redis’s source code was available under the permissive BSD 3-clause license, allowing developers to use the code commercially without paying fees. The new dual-licensing approach with SSPL aims to curtail potential commercial exploitation.

The SSPL, originally created by MongoDB, has been contentious in open source circles. It requires companies offering Redis as a service to release their entire source code. This “copyleft” obligation goes beyond open source licenses like GPL by extending the requirement to supplementary code used to offer the service.

Redis’ adoption of SSPL follows similar moves by MongoDB and Elasticsearch vendor Elastic in recent years, as open source companies seek ways to monetise their projects when offered as cloud services.

The licensing change from version 7.4 onward is expected to prompt some Linux distributions to drop Redis from their repositories. Discussions are already underway on openSUSE and Fedora mailing lists about the implications.

The move underscores the ongoing challenges open source projects face in finding sustainable business models, with some developers even sabotaging their own code out of frustration.

While controversial, the SSPL represents an attempt to balance open source philosophies with commercial interests when software is offered as a service.

(Photo by Ali Abdul Rahman)

See also: GitHub’s code scanning autofix enters public beta

Looking to revamp your digital transformation strategy? Learn more about Digital Transformation Week taking place in Amsterdam, California, and London. The comprehensive event is co-located with AI & Big Data Expo and Cyber Security & Cloud Expo.

Explore other upcoming enterprise technology events and webinars powered by TechForge here.

Tags: , , ,

View Comments
Leave a comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *