GraphQL News

Relicensing the GraphQL specification

From the post:

Today we’re relicensing the GraphQL specification under the Open Web Foundation Agreement (OWFa) v1.0. We think the OWFa is a great fit for GraphQL because it’s designed for collaborative open standards and supported by other well-known companies. The OWFa allows GraphQL to be implemented under a royalty-free basis, and allows other organizations to contribute to the project on reasonable terms.

Additionally, our reference implementation GraphQL.js and client-side framework Relay will be relicensed under the MIT license, following the React open source ecosystem’s recent change. The GraphQL specification and our open source software around GraphQL have different licenses because the open source projects’ license only covers the specific open source projects while the OWFa is meant to cover implementations of the GraphQL specification.

I want to thank everyone for their patience as we worked to arrive at this change. We hope that GraphQL adopting the Open Web Foundation Agreement, and GraphQL.js and Relay adopting the MIT license, will lead to more companies using and improving GraphQL, and pave the way for GraphQL to become a true standard across the web.

The flurry of relicensing at Facebook is an important lesson for anyone aiming for a web scale standard:

Restrictive licenses don’t scale. (full stop)

Got that?

The recent and sad experience with enabling DRM by the W3C, aka EME, doesn’t prove the contrary. An open API to DRM will come to an unhappy end when content providers realize DRM is a tax on all their income, not just a way to stop pirates.

Think of it this way, would you pay a DRM tax of 1% on your income to prevent theft of 0.01% of your income? If you would, you are going to enjoy EME! Those numbers are, of course, fictional, just like the ones on content piracy. Use them with caution.

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