Fair Source

Red Hat will phase out use of Fair Source Licenses in Codenvy. Eclipse Che with an Eclipse Public License is the preferred go-forward solution.

How Fair Source Works

(this license model is being phased out)

The Codenvy Fair Source License is a derivative of the Fair Source (fair.io) license created by Sourcegraph. The Codenvy Fair Source License honors the philosophy and intent of the Fair Source License while incorporating elements unique to our business.

Any individual user can view, download, execute, and modify the code free of charge. Up to a 3 users from your organization can use the code for free, too. After an organization hits the user limit, you will start paying a licensing fee determined by Codenvy.


Bob can view and modify the code and run Codenvy free of charge for his personal use. Up to 2 other people at Bob’s company can use the code and run Codenvy free of charge for business purposes. However, when 4 or more people across ay group(s) at Bob’s company are using Codenvy, Bob’s company must get a paid license.

Codenvy Fair Source License

License Grant.

Licensor hereby grants to each recipient of the Software (provided that if any two or more individual recipients access the Software for the benefit of the same entity, such entity is the recipient) (“you” or “your” as the context dictates) a revocable, non-exclusive, non-transferable, royalty-free and fully-paid-up license, under all of the Licensor’s copyright and patent rights, to use, copy, distribute, prepare derivative works of, publicly perform and display, the Software, subject to the Use Limitation and the conditions set forth below.

Use Limitation.

The license granted above allows use by up to the number of your users set forth above (the “Use Limitation”). If you exceed the Use Limitation, this license terminates automatically and your continued use of the Software is subject to your payment of Licensor’s list price for Software licenses under the terms of a separate license agreement(s) with Licensor. You agree the Software may provide Licensor with the means to ensure compliance with the Use Limitation.


This license does not grant you any right in the trademarks, service marks, brand names or logos of Licensor. You hereby grant Licensor the right to use your trademarks in conjunction with lists of Software end users.


Redistribution in source code or other forms must include a copy of this license document to be provided in a reasonable manner. Any redistribution of the Software is only allowed subject to this license.

You will not, and will not permit your Users to: (a) interfere with any license key mechanism in the Software, or otherwise attempt to circumvent, disable or disrupt any mechanism in the Software intended to limit or monitor use of such Software; (b) use the Software in any way that would violate, or that could cause Licensor to violate, an applicable international or U.S. law, regulation or court order or third party right; (c) use or interface the Software with any software the license for which would prohibit Licensor from restricting further modification or distribution of its source code by third parties; or (d) remove, alter or obscure any proprietary or other notices contained in the Software.


You hereby agree to defend and hold harmless Licensor in any action or claim, and to indemnify Licensor from and against all losses, liabilities, sums of money, damages, expenses, and costs suffered or incurred by Licensor in such action or claim, to the extent arising from your and/or your Users breach of a term or condition set forth in this license.




If you violate any term or condition in this license, your rights will terminate automatically and will not be reinstated without the prior written consent of Licensor. Any such termination will not affect the right of other licensees who may have received copies of the Software from you.


This Agreement is governed by the laws of the State of California and any claims arising hereunder will be resolved through binding arbitration before a single arbitrator at a proceeding held in the State of California, under the then current Commercial Rules of Mediation and Arbitration of the American Arbitration Association.


How is the Fair Source License similar to (or different from) open-source licenses?

The Fair Source License is not an open-source license and doesn’t intend to be an open-source license. Fair Source allows usage, redistribution, and modification when the usage is below the Use Limitation. Once an organization exceeds the Use Limitation (which is determined by the licensor), it must pay a license fee to continue doing those things.

What happens if I mistakenly violate the license?

If you’ve made a mistake and violated the license, Please contact us. Please note that going over the Use Limitation is not a violation of the license and will not terminate your license, but it will mean you are obligated to pay fees for the additional use.

What if I want different license terms?

Please contact us. Codenvy Enterprise offers a rich set of business terms around distribution, liability, indemnification, dispute resolution, governance, and trademark rights.

What counts as “using” Fair Source licensed software with respect to the Use Limitation (e.g., 3-user limit)?

We rely on a common-sense definition. If you are executing the software, modifying the code, or accessing a running copy of Codenvy, then this counts as usage.

How will I know if my company exceeds the Use Limitation?

Codenvy has controls within the product to report on the number of registered users in the database. We display the usage data and alert you if the Use Limitation is exceeded. We also recommend that you track the number of users who use the software internally, as you would for all other commercial software that charges per user. Because you have the source code, Codenvy cannot stop you from removing our license key check functionality. However, we trust the software community to report fair and accurate usage numbers in line with the ethos of Fair Source.

Am I responsible for knowing who within my organization is already using Fair Source software?

Yes. If you are working for a company, we recommend checking with your engineering manager to make sure you don’t accidentally go over your organization’s Use Limitation. If you’re unsure about anything, contact us.

If I contribute a patch to your project, what license applies to the patch?

We welcome contributions to our project. Contributions usually occur as part of open source Eclipse Che where you will continue to own the copyright to your contributions. The Eclipse Foundation requires all contributors to sign a Contributor License Agreement before your pull request is accepted. Once the agreements are signed, any patches will be placed under the Eclipse Public License - the same as the rest of Eclipse Che.

Can I use Codenvy Fair Source-licensed products to develop software that will be licensed under different licenses?

Yes, as long as you don’t use any of Codenvy Fair Source-licensed code in the software you’re developing, or you contact Codenvy to get a Codenvy Enterprise license with distribution rights.

Can I use Codenvy code that is licensed under Codenvy Fair Source in the code base for my commercial, closed-source product?

You cannot. You can acquire a Codenvy Enterprise license that grants you a variety of usage rights for embedding and re-distributing Codenvy code.

If I modify the source code, can I redistribute my modified version under the MIT License?

No. Your modified version consists of the original software (which is under the Codenvy Fair Source License) and your modifications, which together constitute a derivative work of the original software. The license does not grant you the right to redistribute under a license like MIT without the Use Limitation.

Who created the license?

Codenvy Fair Source was created by Codenvy and drafted by Neil Bagchi. Codenvy Fair Source is a derivation of the original Fair Source License authored by Sourcegraph and was originally drafted by Heather Meeker.