I’ve seen a lot about the whole react licensing issue lately, and even read posts titled things like “Don’t use react if you are a startup". First, let me give you a quick run-down of what these issues are, and why it isn’t a big concern of mine.
Facebook makes React. React is open-source, they licensed this with the BSD + Patents license. Now, the BSD license is not new, it’s the “+ Patents” piece that changes things. Basically, the short of this is that it says if you use React and Facebook infringes on one of your patents, you can’t sue without immediately discontinuing your use of React.
Ok, that sounds bad, but let me break down my thinking of why this just doesn’t concern me. Keep in mind, this is just my view, for my current situation. First, we aren’t building anything in Facebook’s space so the issue of cross-over is low. Second, we are a startup, we aren’t patenting things right now. Ain’t nobody got time for that. But seriously, patenting things is just not something we would choose to put resources on right now. Ok, now let’s say we changed our minds on that and patented this super sick process. Now Facebook ripped it off, what now? Well if we had nothing stopping us from suing, we probably still wouldn’t. How the hell are we going to win a lawsuit against Facebook? Srsly.
Basically we are left with a choice between putting ourselves in a place where we would have to move off of a technology before attempting to sue for infringement. Of course all that hinging on the premise of us actually getting a patent. Or, not using the industry leading technology that will enable us to move faster, make hiring simpler, and improve consistency of our codebase.
We are moving our apps to React, the community is too strong and the technology is too good to not make this move.
By the way we are hiring, and I’d love to hear your thoughts.