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Teleport Blog - Teleport OSS will relicense to AGPLv3 - Dec 1, 2023

Teleport OSS will relicense to AGPLv3

by Alexander Klizhentas

We began working on Teleport with a vision to make trusted computing a reality for everyone, even for people without large budgets. That’s why we open sourced Teleport in 2015.

Achieving this lofty goal takes a lot of work, which in turn requires capital. That is why we founded Teleport as a company and started to offer premium features required by enterprises.

Thus, we must strike a delicate balance between benefiting the community and succeeding as a business.

Prior to the change we are announcing today, we have dual licensed our software with a commercial license for our enterprise products and the Apache 2.0 license for OSS binaries and code.

Starting today, December 1, 2023, we are switching the license to the source code’s OSS in Teleport’s core repository https://github.com/gravitational/teleport from Apache 2.0 to AGPLv3.

We are keeping the Apache 2.0 license for our OSS documentation, OSS binaries compiled by us, and client libraries code.

We will continue to license our enterprise software binaries with a commercial license.

We are confident that this change will help us keep both our commitment to open source software and our business foundation strong.

Please read the answers to the frequently asked questions below.

Why are we making this change now?

We are not acting on any specific deadline. We are executing on our long-term vision of striking the right balance between being open and protecting our intellectual property.

What is dual licensing, and how exactly do you dual license?

An organization that creates software has a copyright in the software it has created. As the copyright owner, a company can apply multiple licenses to its software when distributing the code and the compiled binaries to its customers and the rest of the world.

  • We will continue distributing OSS binaries compiled by us via our download portals under the Apache 2.0 license. If you are a customer or any other company using our official OSS binaries or container images, there are no changes for you.
  • We will continue distributing our enterprise binaries on our download portals under our commercial agreement. If you are a customer and using our official binaries or container images, there are no changes for you.
  • Teleport client libraries and documentation will remain licensed under Apache 2.0. If you are using or vendoring our OSS client library code, there are no changes for you.

I am an enterprise customer. How does this change affect me?

  • We will continue distributing compiled OSS binaries on our download portals under the Apache 2.0 license. If you are a customer or any other company using our official OSS binaries or container images, there are no changes for you.
  • We will continue distributing our enterprise binaries on our downloads portals under our commercial agreement. If you are a customer and using our official binaries or container images, there are no changes for you.
  • Teleport client libraries and documentation will remain licensed under Apache 2.0. If you are using or vendoring our OSS client library code, there are no changes for you.

I am a Teleport Cloud customer. How does this change impact me?

If you are using our official compiled binaries and the Teleport Cloud service, this change does not impact you.

When does this change impact me?

The only case when this change impacts you, is if you clone the Teleport core OSS codebase outside of the client libraries and compile it yourself or directly embed the code into your application.

When compiling or cloning the Teleport code yourself, you obtain the software under AGPLv3 license and are subject to its rules and restrictions.

If you are a commercial customer or open source user and using our official binaries and client libraries, this does not impact you.

Why did you choose AGPLv3 and not SSPL or BSL?

We would like to keep the open part of Teleport open source, whenever possible. AGPLv3 is an OSI-approved license that meets all criteria for Free and Open Source Software.

Although both SSPL and BSL provide much stronger protections for companies, those are code-available licenses, and not open source.

What is the Teleport Contributor License Agreement?

A Contributor License Agreement (CLA) gives Teleport the right to dual license external contributions and makes sure contributors don’t submit code that has any restrictions to it.

External contributors to Teleport are already required to sign a CLA before their change can be merged.

Will you continue to support Apache 2.0 versions of Teleport?

We will continue to support Apache 2.0 licensed branches of Teleport until they are EOL according to our schedule.

Are you going to offer proprietary or OSS code under any other license to customers?

If you have this or a similar request, please reach out to our open source group at Teleport via [email protected].

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