[Beowulf] Anaconda distribution sowing FUD to generate sales?
pbisbal at pppl.gov
Wed Apr 13 16:11:08 UTC 2022
Recently, one of my users go this e-mail from a commercial account rep
> Hi [User]
> I'm reaching out because I've noticed we are one of [Employer's
> Name]'s preferred tools and also to offer guidance in navigating our
> new Anaconda Terms of Service, as there are changes for the commercial
> use of Anaconda. Based off my research, [Employer's Name]is mirroring
> quite a few packages in the past few months.
> We remain deeply dedicated to OSS, and that cost is funded by the long
> tail of our enterprise products and users. In short, we changed our
> Terms of Service to prohibit commercial use of our Public Facing Repo
> (repo.anaconda.com <http://repo.anaconda.com>) channel without a paid
> We'd like to discuss how your organization can remain compliant and
> discuss some options moving forward.
> Are you or someone in your IT department available to chat? Book time
> with me [link to online scheduling service
> [salesperson's name]
Have any of you received an e-mail like this?
Since I work at an academic, government research site, I don't think we
fall into the commercial category, so I'm pretty sure we're safe, but I
still don't like this attempt to monetize open-source software like
this. I'm not an open-source zealot like RMS, but I don't like when
people take open-source software, try to monetize it it like this.
What's interesting is their approach here - they are not trying to keep
open-source software from your directly - they're saying you can't use
their *repo* to get that software. So you can have your open-source
software, but to get it from the dealer to your house, you need to pay a
toll to use the roads.
I don't like this because many people now rely on conda, and conda only
has value because of the repo. If people using conda knew that this
might be a problem, perhaps they would have stuck with the python.org
distribution of Python and pip.
The other think I don't like, is that you can't find any of this
information on the anaconda.com website. Even after knowing these terms
and conditions applied, I couldn't find any warnings about this on the
product pages for the Anaconda Distribution. It's as if they're
deliberately hiding this information from potential downloaders of
Anaconda. I only found it by going directly to
https://repo.anaconda.com, where they do have links prominently displayed.
This seems like a trap to me. You download anaconda, completely unaware
of these terms and conditions, and then use conda to install the
packages you need, unknowingly violating their license..
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