Warehouse – For Personal Use Only?

July 9, 2007

Warehouse is a Rails-based Subversion front end. Looks nice. Very slick. Instead of offering a hosted solution (like ActiveReload‘s earlier offering Lighthouse) or making it free, they’re selling it for download under a proprietary license. That’s their right. But, for one thing it includes a total warranty disclaimer, which seems excessive for a commercial application, and second, as part of the EULA users agree not to:

Use the Software to provide services to others

Now, it’s been a while since I actually read through a EULA, but that seems like the sort of clause tha might hamper the ability to do business. I’m not sure how many other ways I can use a Subversion browser other than in the course of providing services to others. Perhaps what they mean is that I can’t offer up code hosting to others through this. But if that’s what they meant then that’s what they should say. And if it is, then why not? If I’m hosting and managing someone’s repositories (perhaps as part of an overall web hosting service) is there no way I can offer them a Warehouse interface? Surely this is a major market overlooked or pushed into sketchy-license-detail-land.

There don’t seem to be different levels of license for big mega-corporate development or hosting shops vs. me, myself, and the two or three other non-client people who ever see my work who aren’t I. But that one-size-fits-all download is only $30. Maybe there’s an answer in the forums, which you have to register for to download it. So, maybe I’ll figure it out and get back to you. It does seem awkward, though.

UPDATE: Well that was easy. The very friendly people on #activereload answered right off the bat:

[22:01] I was just looking over ‘Warehouse’, which looks very nice, but I noticed the EULA says we can’t ‘Use the Software to provide services to others;’
[22:01] What exactly was this intended to prohibit/permit?
[22:02] hosting
[22:02] like, dreamhost paying $30 and offering it for all of their users
[22:02] I figured that. Are you going to offer them and those like them an alternate license?
[22:03] iqag: We have discussed it, but haven’t got any concrete plans yet.
[22:03] We’d be willing to talk with any hosts thats interested though.

I also posed the small shop hosting repositories for other small shops, and they confirmed that they expect one license per client. All of this makes perfect sense, but the language still seems fairly vague. Interesting model though. I wish them well, and I may check it out.


One Response to “Warehouse – For Personal Use Only?”

  1. He iqag: We’re gonna work on polishing up our EULA, trying to make it a little more human friendly and to cover some of the points you raise in the article.

    Thanks for the feedback, it’s greatly appreciated. Please swing by the IRC room mif you have any more questions. 🙂

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