CLOUD CITY, Washington — April 1, 2019 — At AWS, we focus on solving problems for customers. Over the years, customer usage and dependencies on open source technologies have been steadily increasing; this is why we’ve long been committed to open source, and our pace of contributions to open source projects — both our own and others’ — continues to accelerate.
When AWS launches a service based on an open source project, we are making a long-term commitment to support our customers. We contribute bug fixes, security, scalability, performance, and feature enhancements back to the community.
AWS is pleased to announce our newest initiative to help customers use open source. Enterprises often balk at the complexity of open source licenses and the legal risks those license pose. This complexity has grown recently as commercial open source software startups engage in what can only be described as “license engineering”. While we chuckle at these startups and their priorities, making fun of them is not sufficient to make our customers comfortable using these polysyllabic and ever-changing licenses.
Protecting Investment in Software Source (PISS) is a new initiative aimed at reducing the complexity and risk of licensing changes. Once we identify a successful open source project, we will produce a commercial version that our customers can consume as a managed service without worrying about new and arbitrary licensing. If the OSS vendor changes the license terms to prevent us from offering commercial offering, we will create a different copy of the software and offer it to our customers as a managed service. We will never fork an OSS project, because fork is a four letter word that evokes strong emotions from some of the open source warriors out there. Instead we will just create a different version of the software. Instead of a Fork, we will PISS the OSS project, so a commercial version can be created and offered to our customers.
“Open source projects are a very good source of innovation for us, being able to use them without worrying about licensing and without having to contribute back to the project is valuable for us”, said Art Vandaley, CIO of Vandaley Industries.
“While we don’t use open source because our CIO once saw Richard Stallman shout at a conference, but this initiative from AWS will help our CIO overcome the trauma of Stallman”, said Peter Griffin of the Griffin & Family Inc.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is PISS really a Fork?
No — it is not a Fork. We are offended that you used that word that offends people.
Will you contribute modified code back to the open source project?
Yes, we will, but some open source warriors may not like our code and may choose not to accept our contributions. Your best bet is to consume it via our managed service. AWS managed services save you from having to install, update and operate specific software. Leave that to us and benefit from a single bill for all your services, management through a single pane-of-glass and worldwide availability.
What if the company behind open source sues you or customers for violating terms of their license?
We have some of the most talented lawyers working for us. These lawyers will be available to our customers on an hourly pricing model thru Amazon Defend service. Reserved instances of Amazon Defend are also available (some call this retainer).
Why not just participate in open source like IBM and others do?
There is a reason we are the Cloud leader and IBM is well on their way to being a historical footnote. Enough said.
How do we submit new open source projects for this initiative?
Just tell Alexa to PISS on your favorite open source project. For example: “Alexa, PISS on Tensorflow”
Some Commercial Open Source Companies argue they can run managed services for their OSS projects better than AWS?
Their courage is admirable but do you really think they know more about running cloud services at scale? Just because Richard Stallman can sleep under his desk at MIT doesn’t mean he can run a global scale service under his desk.
On Twitter, we saw some Clouderati call this initiative a violation of the spirit of open source. What do you say about it?
If there is one thing the Clouderati needs to learn, its Cloud. As a matter of policy, we do not engage with server huggers.
Where can I buy PISS t-shirts and hats?
The AWS store is the best place for these. In addition to t-shirts and hats, we also have open source branded toilet paper. Currently we are out of stock on Elastic version, but we still have MongoDB version on sale.
What are analysts saying about PISS ?
As expected, during our analyst briefing, all the analysts cheered this announcement and said this is a ground breaking offering that competitors will have a hard time catching up to.
Are you creating a PISS Foundation?
A foundation? What are we? A freaking Google or that collection of ankle biters that call themselves “cloud native” when they don’t even have their own clouds? LOLOLOL
What are your thoughts on open source?
Useful, but leave the art of making money to us