Holochain Forum

Holochain licensing

I just noticed that on crates.io, the HDK is licensed as GPLv3. Is that intentional? Are we explicitly excluding proprietary software from being built on Holochain now?

Seems like it should be Apache or MIT-style licensing to me…

I might be wrong. But I believe they intend to release the next version under the new Cryptographic Autonomy License (CAL) license anyway, which the Holo team drafted and registered with the Open Source Initiative.

This one should allow Holochain to be used for proprietary software / services, as long as they adhere to said license.

Probably the most important part is that any such software or service running on Holochain must guarantee to leave the data / access keys etc. in the hands of the users.
So the current versions of Google, Facebook and co could not collect and sell your data on Holochain.

I think that is a huge deal. It means you can (more or less) trust, that any app running on Holochain will not steal your data. And should they do so and be caught, they can be held accountable!


it is tricky to say, but I think they are not using the license they intend to use.
Many licenses across the project, are not the one that actually should (by their intention) be in place.
Cause of this seems to be giving developers too much freedom when spinning up new repos, to choose whatever they want ‘for now’ and never come back around to it

Mabe. But they stated somewhere (can’t remember where exaclty though) that they would release the next version of Holochain under the CAL license.

I am not sure though if it is ready yet. It hasn’t even been publised on the website of the Open Source Initiative yet…

I’m really not convinced that the CAL is a good idea- more in this thread.

Totally agree that sovereignty and ownership of data is a noble goal to aim for. But it would also make some for-profit businesses unable to develop on Holochain. And more worryingly, there could be cases in the developing world where user key management is impractical, as discussed in that thread.