Is Riak dead?

Steve Roberts steve.roberts at
Sat Jul 15 04:22:24 EDT 2017

Hi All

Great to see there is so much enthusiasm for Riak.

I'm from Erlang Solutions. Just to clarify where things are at the 
moment. The company Basho Technologies still exists - it hasn't filed 
for bankruptcy yet - although we expect it to. There is no grave just 
yet.  We are creditors and shareholders so we will be notified when/if 
they do file for bankruptcy.  Assuming it goes into liquidation, the 
receiver will sell whatever assets can be liquidated in order to pay the 
creditors.   Registered names like Riak are things which can be sold... 
so we will see. it will probably take a long time before Basho is truly 
dead and buried.

I've asked our CEO  Stuart Whitfield (who happens to be a lawyer) to 
look at the legal questions and give a more detailed view.

As Russell correctly points out existing customers are the priority.  In 
terms of our thoughts of this situation, our priority is to ensure 
enterprise customers have continuity of support since they are the ones 
most likely to abandon Riak as it will be a forced migration situation 
if there is no support. I expect to  launch a paid support service very 
shortly  -  if you're interested, let me know.

In terms of Riak software, the open source software is safe since it is 
open sourced under a friendly licence.  The situation with the code for 
the enterprise version is not clear yet (highly dependent who/if it is 
bought in the fire sale since it is closed source) - although we aim, 
one way or another, to have an open source data centre replication 
layer. Not sure who is using the other functionality like super clusters 
in the the enterprise version - ping me if you are.

In terms of the products, KV is the priority for support followed by 
CS/S2.  There aren't many people using TS so it will probably be 
community support for the code. I already have some interest from a 
former developer  to move TS forward - if others want to work on TS I 
can help co-ordinate in the interim.

In terms of evolving the code we're happy to co-ordinate a community and 
help steer the future direction for the product.  We are looking whether 
this should be done through a similar model to the Linux foundation.

For major feature development, our thoughts are some kind of crowd 
funding model for functionality which requires significant development 
effort - Basho funded this activity through support and being closed 
source which doesnt really work in a completely open source model.  Our 
goal would be to have just the open source version and no closed source 
code. Where possible we wouldnt want customers to have closed source forks.

We definitely see Riak has a future and want to focus on getting back to 
basics of a product which is high performance and does it well - before 
adding lots of new functionality. For example ensure there is a clean 
demarcation between the data layer and the control layer - this should 
make it easier to create new storage types and change the replication 
layer. Right now for those of Enterprise, migration back  to Open Source 
is not straight forward because of this.

If you are planning to set up groups etc, please let me know and our 
marketing group can help you establish the community.


On 15/07/17 08:08, Russell Brown wrote:
> On 15 Jul 2017, at 01:29, Alexander Sicular <siculars at> wrote:
>> I'm not dancing on anyone's grave. Im a big fan of Riak, you know? I'm just pointing out that there is in fact a grave and if there is any hope for a Riak future the project will have to rebrand.
> This is the thing we disagree on. But like I said before, neither of us is a lawyer, and even if you’re right, it hardly matters. It’s inconsequential.
>> I'm sorry, but no company in their right mind would seriously consider using Riak today if they weren't already using Riak. That's today, the story may change tomorrow.
> Again, I disagree, but I’m personally not that interested in looking for new Riak users at the moment. I think now is the time to shore up the existing customers who want to stay with Riak. Chasing non-existent new business whilst ignoring the core users is a large part of what did for Basho.
>>> On Fri, Jul 14, 2017 at 5:41 PM, Russell Brown <russell.brown at> wrote:
>>>> On 14 Jul 2017, at 23:36, Dave King <djking at> wrote:
>>>> You asked what difference the tm made.  The tm invokes clause 6.  So yes it means moving forward means a new name.  That's one of the things to be considered.
>>> Agree, so if we’re sticking to the subject, “Is Riak dead?” the worst case is: “No, but potentially the name could be some time in the future”, right?
>>> I asked rhetorically what difference the TM made. I’ve also read the license, and taken legal advice. This was not in any way a surprise.
>>>> - Peace
>>>> Dave
>>>> On Fri, Jul 14, 2017 at 4:30 PM, Russell Brown <russell.brown at> wrote:
>>>> On 14 Jul 2017, at 23:28, Dave King <djking at> wrote:
>>>>> No, but I can read.
>>>> I read it too. I’m not sure what your point is. A day may come when the name has to change?
>>>>> - Peace
>>>>> Dave
>>>>> On Fri, Jul 14, 2017 at 4:27 PM, Russell Brown <russell.brown at> wrote:
>>>>> On 14 Jul 2017, at 23:26, Dave King <djking at> wrote:
>>>>>> 6. Trademarks. This License does not grant permission to use the trade names, trademarks, service marks, or product names of the Licensor, except as required for reasonable and customary use in describing the origin of the Work and reproducing the content of the NOTICE file.
>>>>>> So At minimum I read that as there would need to be a new product name, and the docs for that product could say formerly known as Riak.
>>>>> You are lawyer?
>>>>>> - Peace
>>>>>> Dave
>>>>>> On Fri, Jul 14, 2017 at 4:22 PM, Russell Brown <russell.brown at> wrote:
>>>>>> On 14 Jul 2017, at 23:17, Dave King <djking at> wrote:
>>>>>>> Looks like Basho has the trademark on Riak.
>>>>>> They sure do. And if you look at the Apache2 license you’ll see that it grants use of the name to identify the source.
>>>>>> Look, I’m not a lawyer, and I’m guessing you’re not a lawyer. What difference does the name or trademark make? There are a bunch of active users of Riak, some of whom have made it clear they plan to continue using it. Dance on Basho’s grave all you want, but Riak isn’t dead yet.
>>>>>>> - Peace
>>>>>>> Dave
>>>>>>> On Fri, Jul 14, 2017 at 4:08 PM, Alexander Sicular <siculars at> wrote:
>>>>>>>> On Jul 14, 2017, at 11:32, Russell Brown <russell.brown at> wrote:
>>>>>>>> What do you mean “encumbered”? Riak is the name of an Apache2 licensed open source database, so it can continue to be used to describe that apache 2 licensed database, please don’t spread FUD.
>>>>>>> You willing to invest time in a project that could be legally encumbered at some point in the future because lawyers? You willing to put that beyond the clown fiesta that is Basho? I don't think so.
>>>>>>> _______________________________________________
>>>>>>> riak-users mailing list
>>>>>>> riak-users at
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Steve Roberts

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