[Beowulf] Anaconda distribution sowing FUD to generate sales?

Alex Chekholko alex at calicolabs.com
Wed Apr 13 16:43:50 UTC 2022

Hi Prentice,

I believe their first goal is to cover the cost of outbound bandwidth since
they are a commercial entity and everyone pulls packages from them and
cloud egress is expensive.  So their new terms of service focus on people
who mirror their repos.  If you're another commercial entity mirroring
their repos and presumably producing another commercial product based on
that, you should pay them something.  All academic use is still free.
Primarily they are focused on other companies that have commercial products
that have anaconda under the hood.


On Wed, Apr 13, 2022 at 9:11 AM Prentice Bisbal via Beowulf <
beowulf at beowulf.org> wrote:

> Recently, one of my users go this e-mail from a commercial account rep at
> anaconda.com:
> 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) channel without a paid license.
> 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 removed]
> <https://anaconda.getoutreach.com/c/Cody_Foxwell>
> Cheers,
> [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..
> Your thoughts?
> Prentice
> --
> Prentice
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