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License changes for Snowplow Open Source

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Over the coming months, Snowplow plans to transition the majority of its open source code (excluding trackers and specific SDKs) from the Apache 2.0 license to our Snowplow Community License to support our continuous investment into open source and Snowplow community. 

Why is Snowplow changing its open source license? 

As Alex and I embarked on our first venture building an open source project over a decade ago, we adopted the Apache 2.0 license as one of the most popular approaches for open source projects at the time. 

Since then, with the invaluable support of our open source community and customers, Snowplow has proudly become one the world’s leading tools to create granular behavioral data. 

With more than 1.9m websites and apps using Snowplow worldwide, we couldn’t have imagined the innovative ways our open source users and customers employ Snowplow to power data applications across their business. We are constantly in awe of what our community and customers build and share with us at meetups, at industry events, in Discourse and on GitHub.

Our goal as a business has always remained unchanged — to help any company create the best behavioral data for themselves, whether with our open source code or as a customer of Snowplow BDP. However, as Snowplow has grown in popularity, we have seen an increasing number of businesses using our code to create competitive products or re-sell Snowplow without contributing to Snowplow’s open source project or community. 

Because of this, Snowplow will be transitioning the majority of our open source code from the Apache 2.0 license to the Snowplow Community License. This license was first introduced with the release of Snowbridge in January 2023. It will enable companies to continue to deploy and build on our open source technology, so long as they do not use it to create competing offerings. We believe that taking these steps strikes a good balance. It supports our commercial interests while enabling us to maintain a fully-fledged open source product.

Snowplow open source has and will continue to be central to our business. We have an exciting open source roadmap ahead of us, including Azure support, new components, easy ways to get started and better documentation. We want to build the best open source product and support our community.

What is the Snowplow Community license and how does it affect you?

In essence, the license grants you the freedom to access and modify the source code, but it restricts distributing the software or creating competing SaaS or on-premises offerings. We expect this change to have a minimal effect on the majority of our open source users. 

Snowplow customers, who have purchased BDP Enterprise or BDP Cloud, will not be affected at all, as their use of our software is governed by the commercial license terms.

The code to be relicensed includes the core pipeline components (Collector, Enrich, various loaders), developer tooling (Micro, Mini, etc), our Terraform modules, and some of our data models and templates. 

Our tracking SDKs (trackers), Analytics SDKs, Iglu SDKs will remain under the Apache 2 license so that it’s straightforward for our users and customers to integrate them into their codebases.

To read more about license please see our FAQ page.

How will these changes be rolled out? 

For each pipeline component, the new license will apply starting with the next major version we release. For example, Snowflake Loader 5.7.0 with Azure support, as well as the new Azure Terraform modules, are already released under the Snowplow Community License.

We again want to thank our open source community and customers for their continued support of Snowplow and if you have any questions about this change, please don’t hesitate to contact us at [email protected].

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Yali Sassoon
Yali Sassoon

Co-founder & Chief Strategy Officer

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