For the record: Varnish and Money

Poul-Henning Kamp phk at
Fri Nov 19 14:03:22 CET 2010

Just so everybody know where I stand on this...


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As the main developer of the Varnish Software and the de-facto leader
of the Varnish Open Source Project, it is my desire to see Varnish
used and adopted as widely as possible.

To the same ends, the founders of the Varnish Project chose the BSD
license to facilitate commercial exploitation of Varnish in all
forms, while protecting the independence of the Open Source Project.

The BSD license is non-discriminatory, and makes no attempt to
separate the good guys from the bad guys, and neither should it.

The Varnish Project, as a community, is a different story.

While the BSD license can guarantee that Varnish, as software, will
always be available, a thriving Open Source Community takes a fair
bit more effort to hold together.

Nothing can rip apart an Open Source project faster than competing
commercial interests playing dirty, and since Varnish has started
to cause serious amounts of money to shift around, it is time to
take this issue a bit more seriously.

Non-competition pledge:
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My interest in Varnish is developing capable quality software, and
making a living at the same time.

In addition to Varnish, I have some long time good customers for
whom I do various weird things with computers and software, and
since they have stuck with me and paid my bills, I will stick with
them and send them more bills.

The Varnish Moral License (VML) was drawn up to provide a money-stream
that can fund my Varnish-habit, and it was designed as an "arms-length"
construction to prevent it from taking control of the projects

Therefore acquiring a VML does not mean that you get to tell me
what to do, or in which order I should do it.  There is no "tit for
tat" involved.  The only thing you get out of the VML, is that the
next version of Varnish will be better than the one we have now.


	As long as I can keep my family fed, happy and warm this
	way, I will not enter any other commercial activity related
	to Varnish, and am more than happy to leave that field open
	to everybody and anybody, who wants to try their hand.

Fairness pledge:
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As the de-facto leader of the Varnish community, I believe that
the success or failure of open source rises and falls with the
community which backs it up.

In general, there is a tacit assumption, that you take something
from the pot and you try put something back in the pot, each to his
own means and abilities.

And the pot has plenty that needs filling:  From answers to newbies
questions, bug-reports, patches, documentation, advocacy, VML funding,
hosting VUG meetings, writing articles for magazines, HOW-TO's for
blogs and so on, so this is no onerous demand for anybody.

But the BSD license allows you to not participate in or contribute
to the community, and there are special times and circumstances
where that is the right thing, or even the only thing you can do,
and I recognize that.


	I will treat everybody, who do not contribute negatively to
	the Varnish community, equally and fairly, and try to foster
	cooperation and justly resolve conflicts to the best of my

Policy on Gifts:
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People sometimes prefer to show their appreciation of Varnish by
sending me gifts.

I really love that

But please understand, that any and gifts or other appreciations I
may receive, from cartoons on my Amazon Wishlist, up to and including
pre-owned tropical tax-shelter islands, with conveniently unlocked
bank vaults filled with gold bars (one can always dream...), will
all be received and interpreted the same way:  As tokens of
appreciation for deeds already done, and encouragement to me to
keep doing what is right and best for Varnish in the future.

Poul-Henning Kamp

Signed with my PGP-key, November 19th, 2010, Slagelse, Denmark.
Version: GnuPG v1.4.10 (FreeBSD)

Poul-Henning Kamp       | UNIX since Zilog Zeus 3.20
phk at FreeBSD.ORG         | TCP/IP since RFC 956
FreeBSD committer       | BSD since 4.3-tahoe
Never attribute to malice what can adequately be explained by incompetence.

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