A few days ago we promised a more comprehensive update on the impact of the recent HashiCorp license change on Spacelift and our customers. In short, there is no impact to your current operations but there are long-term consequences for the entire community that we need to collectively address.
Why we think there is no immediate impact on your operations
First of all, all current versions of Terraform remain unaffected. The relicensing is not retroactive, so as long as you stay with your current version, there is no impact whatsoever. There is no risk to your current operations and there will be no impact on how you use Spacelift today. The changes to HashiCorp’s license only affects future Terraform releases above 1.5.5.
Second, we believe that we are not in violation of the new license because offering Terraform on a hosted or embedded basis is not how we serve our customers. We do not, and indeed never did, incorporate any Terraform source code into Spacelift. This was our strict rule from day one, and remains in force today.
Any other services that we offer on top of the Terraform ecosystem (eg. module registry, provider registry, login flow) are based on well-described public APIs and do not use Terraform in any way.
What we do to keep your operations safe
We will, and always have been very vigilant in ensuring that we maintain compliance with the licensing terms of any software that we use or provide to our customers. We would like to emphasize that there is no impact on your current operations and there is no risk of existing service being disrupted.
That said, we will not pretend it’s business as usual in the Terraform world. Indeed it’s a sad day, not just for us at Spacelift, but for the entire DevOps community. It’s a sad day for anyone who cares about the most important IaC definition language we have. Two things that worry us here the most are the vague wording of the license and the willingness of Terraform’s owner to move the goalposts.
HashiCorp and its lawyers may interpret a license differently to the community, and what that means is that as of last week a single entity can arbitrarily decide on how (or indeed whether at all!) each and every community member is allowed to use the Terraform language. So even if you’re guaranteed not to violate the license today, the interpretation or the license can change according to Terraform owner’s current market position and business objectives.
This is why as a company we decided to back a community effort to create a level playing field that can ensure the relevance of the Terraform language and ecosystem for years to come. While we sincerely hope that the community can find a shared path forward, we also know that hope is not a strategy, and that action must be taken to prevent the de facto lingua franca of the cloud from fading into oblivion.
We understand that events have been unfolding quickly this week. We are working consistently to try and keep our customers well informed as we navigate our way through the situation. If you would like more clarification or have any questions please do not hesitate to reach out to us and we will get back to you. In the meantime, we will be in touch as soon as there are further developments.
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