We are running a web-based photo processing service, the architecture is as follows:

Web backend -(photo to process)-> [task queue] --> worker -(processed photo)-> Object storage

The task queue is only exposed to our web backend program. To be specific, we plan to use Dramatiq which is (EDIT: was, as they changed it to LGPL in 2018) licensed under AGPL. Do we need to open source our program in this case? If so, which part of our code should be open-sourced?

  • Are you modifying dramatiq or just using it? Either way it shouldn't infect the rest of your site.
    – chicks
    Jan 1, 2018 at 17:30
  • 1
    @chicks We are just using the original distribution.
    – lz96
    Jan 2, 2018 at 3:24

2 Answers 2


Dramatiq is not covered by the AGPL but by the LGPL:

Project License

Copyright (C) 2017,2018 CLEARTYPE SRL

Dramatiq is free software; you can redistribute it and/or modify it under the terms of the GNU Lesser General Public License as published by the Free Software Foundation, either version 3 of the License, or (at your option) any later version.

Dramatiq is distributed in the hope that it will be useful, but WITHOUT ANY WARRANTY; without even the implied warranty of MERCHANTABILITY or FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE. See the GNU Lesser General Public License for more details.

You should have received a copy of the GNU Lesser General Public License along with this program. If not, see http://www.gnu.org/licenses/.

You can use it without having your code license affected in any way.

  • 2
    It might be worth noting that the license on Dramatiq changed from AGPL to LGPL om 13 march 2018. Apr 16, 2018 at 16:26

Dramatiq appears to also provide a Commercial license.

See https://dramatiq.io/commercial.html

Commercial Licensing

Commercial licensing is available to companies or individuals that do not wish to publish their source code. Commercial licenses are invoiced anually and come with NET30 terms. Each license costs $2,000 per year.

Companies that are just starting out may get a commercial license free for one year. Ask about this in the “Additional Notes” section when you fill out the form below and tell me about your use case.

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