Sometimes I get emails with questions about how our license works, and also why we chose the AGPL. I’m happy to discuss this if anyone has questions. I think there are some common misconceptions about the AGPL / commercial option.
Why the AGPL?
All Numenta codebases containing patented works are licensed AGPLv3, which means you may use it in almost any way you want as long as any code you write using it is also AGPLv3. This helps keep new innovations open to the community and allows Numenta to perform open research of new theory and implementations in a transparent way. You may build commercial applications under the AGPL.
HTM is both a discovery and an ongoing investigation. We realize that the idea of HTM is bigger than one person or company. Numenta chose the AGPL as a way to ensure its accessibility to a broader audience and allow ourselves and outside parties to perform research and development atop core theory. We at Numenta believe that HTM will be a foundational technology, thus important enough to share. We are also a privately-funded organization with a significant investment in this technology. The AGPL allows us to develop and share HTM while opening an avenue for monetization via commercial licenses.
If the terms of the AGPL are too strict and you would like to keep your codebases proprietary, you may contact Numenta about commercial license options. We aim to make licensing easy and cheap for new businesses.
Not All AGPL
All Numenta codebases that do not contain patented works are licensed using other non-restrictive licenses like MIT.