Can baserow codebase be used for commercial purposes for a niche?


I’m interested in forking the baserow codebase(s) and using it to build on top-of. However, the licensing seems convoluted. Ideally, I like something like Apache 2.0. I want to do things commercially with this software, but I find the licenses to be somewhat convoluted.

I basically want to build ontop of baserow a very specific niche feature. Then repackage and sell it to specific niche companies after trying it out as an internal tool for myself. There are no guarantees that what I want to build will be wanted by anyone else. I want to keep a majority of the code I write closed source and just use some of the existing architecture baserow has in-place. It would not be a SaaS and wouldn’t directly compete with baserow in my opinion. I’m not sure if this is permissible under the multiple licenses within the baserow repo. I would obviously have to fork the repo and self-host.

Basically, I want to know the following:
Are the people at baserow okay with this kind of thing?
Is this permissible under the current licenses and how do I do this in a way that stays true to the licenses under the repo?

The stuff I would build would be separate both in architecture of hosting and separate codebases. The only unique differences that would be part of the existing codebase would be a different cost structure. It would be by transaction and not per month. A pay-per-use pricing model. I basically want to use baserow as a high-fidelity front end, because I don’t care to rebuild a spreadsheet interface from the ground up but I feel like it would be a good way to do what I am trying to accomplish with less risk. My background is in software development and I am extremely comfortable with hosting and code.

All the best,
Daniel Legut

You can definitely do that and we’re okay with it! Almost all the code is MIT licensed, it is the most permissive license out there, you can find a simple explanation here MIT License (Expat) Explained in Plain English - TLDRLegal. Except from the premium and docs folder, the premium folder is basically of limits, because it enforces every user to get a subscription with us (Baserow), which is probably not what you want. I recommend deleting that folder in your fork. The docs folder is licensed under the Creative Commons: CC BY-SA 4.0 license, which comes down to that you must give credit to us, more information can be found here Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International (CC BY-SA 4.0) Explained in Plain English - TLDRLegal.

You must also check which licenses all our dependencies have and make sure that you’re compliant with them.


Thank you so much for your reply! I appreciate you taking the time. So I basically have to acknowledge that I built on-top of baserow for it’s interface and attribute that to you (+whoever else is involved). Then also keep inline with the MIT license you linked, and delete the premium folder and doc folder because it’s licensed under something more proprietary.

What breaks when the premium folder is not used or what functionality gets broken? I have not looked at the code yet, but wanted to know roughly what the functionality is in there that would be taken out. It’s not entirely clear to me what that folder has in it. Is it just features that are in the “early premium” pricing tier but not in the other tiers?

Baserow will probably not run out of the box when you delete the premium folder. In order for it to run, you need to remove baserow_premium from the installed apps (Django) in the backend. And you need to make sure the /modules/baserow_premium/module.js module (Nuxt) is not added to the web-frontend.

Without the premium version you will not have access to the admin user/groups management, row comments, kanban view and XML and JSON exporters. These feature were already disabled before, so it should not have made a difference.