ZeroTier not really open-source?

I caught this discussion on reddit: (/r/selfhosted is a community of 150k techies that like to run/host their own software instead of relying on cloud services)

I learned one surprising thing, that ZeroTier is not truly self-hostable. And I quote your own docs linked in the discussion above: “You can host your own roots in addition to ZeroTier’s, but you can’t not use ZeroTier’s (unless your are a Very Large Enterprise Customer).”

If people can’t keep using older versions of ZeroTier running on their own servers the day ZeroTier Inc Ltd decides to go closed-source, or goes bankrupt, then what’s the point of any of it being open-source? OK, the open-source client allow people to independently audit the zero-trust encryption, but that’s the only benefit, isn’t it? Everything else might as well be closed-source.

Why don’t you allow everything to be self-hostable without ZeroTier Inc Ltd having a killswitch in their hands? I realize open-source might mean different things to different people, but I think it’s fair to say the common definition of the word is one that gives the user the freedom to run the program forever (within the terms of the license). I think it’s dishonest to call ZeroTier open-source, it would be more accurate to say “proprietary tech with some components open-sourced that can’t function without the core closed-source ones, which can be turned off at any time”.

Do you have any plans to change this?

Thanks for writing. That should read more like, “we can’t support” not “you can’t”. Will amend the article.

It’s a bit of a pain, and your custom nodes won’t be able to find standard nodes.

It will be easier in the future.

Hope that helps

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