I’m personally familiar with Backblaze as a fine backup solution I’ve helped my parents in law setup and use. I’ve found it reliable and easy to use. I would recommend it to others.

Over the Christmas holidays 2019 someone emailed me and mentioned that Backblaze have stated that they use libcurl but yet there’s no license or other information about this anywhere in the current version, nor on their web site. (I’m always looking for screenshotted curl credits or for data to use as input when trying to figure out how many curl installations there are or how many internet transfers per day that are done with curl…)

libcurl is MIT licensed (well, a slightly edited MIT license) so there’s really not a lot a company need to do to follow the license, nor does it leave me with a lot of “muscles” or remedies in case anyone would blatantly refuse to adhere. However, the impression I had was that this company was one that tried to do right and this omission could then simply be a mistake.

I sent an email. Brief and focused. Can’t hurt, right?

Immediate response

Brian Wilson, CTO of Backblaze, replied to my email within hours. He was very friendly and to the point. The omission was a mistake and Brian expressed his wish and intent to fix this. I couldn’t ask for a better or nicer response. The mentioned fixup was all that I could ask for.

Fixed it

Today Brian followed up and showed me the changes. Delivering on his promise. Just totally awesome.

Starting with the Windows build, the Backblaze about window looks like this (see image below) and builds for other platforms will follow along.

15,600 US dollars

At the same time, Backblaze also becomes the new largest single-shot donor to curl when they donated no less than 15,600 USD to the project, making the recent donation fall down to a second place in this my favorite new game of 2020.

Why this particular sum you may ask?

Backblaze was started in my living room on Jan 15, 2007 (13 years ago tomorrow) and that represents $100/month for every month Backblaze has depended on libcurl back to the beginning.

/ Brian Wilson, CTO of Backblaze

I think it is safe to say we have another happy user here. Brian also shared this most awesome statement. I’m happy and proud to have contributed my little part in enabling Backblaze to make such cool products.

Finally, I just want to say thank you for building and maintaining libcurl for all these years. It’s been an amazing asset to Backblaze, it really really has.

Thank you Backblaze!

10 thoughts on “Backblazed”

  1. I worked for a company who moved our backup solution to BackBlaze, I had an issue and logged it with BackBlaze, whilst the support process wasn’t too great – back and forward and neither side (BackBlaze and upload program CloudBerry) were helpful I plead for help from Brian on one of the articles he had wrote for this issue. He pushed the issue from his end and the issue progressed alot further. The product itself is an amazing product built by geniuses and I’d recommend you use this solution, it’s cheap as chips too the point I now have my 6TBs of personal data uploaded to BackBlaze. Whilst the support was lacking, when someone at that level shows compassion it shows that a product actually values it’s customers and made me want to choose them.

    Sorry for the essay 😉

  2. Great story and congratulations to Backblaze for rectifying the issue, and with class! Btw, I’m a happy Backblaze user and would recommend it as well

  3. That’s an awesome attitude… not only swiftly correcting the license error without any pushback or excuses, but throwing a generous amount of cash your way as an unexpected bonus. The world needs more folks like Brian…

  4. I’ve been a backblaze user for years and love the product and price/performance. Reading this, I now love backblaze even more than before. Great to see how they have handled this issue, both the fact that the CTO personally engaged on this (rather than “leave it to legal”) and the approach taken. Great also to see FOSS devs being recognized and rewarded for their endeavours. Modern software these days is all built on the shoulders of others.

  5. The donation is great. However, backblaze got libcurl from daniel and daniel gave backblaze the freedom to edit and share libcurl. Then people get libcurl from backblaze (perhaps a modified version) and backblaze does not give people any freedom to edit and share that version of libcurl. Do unto others as you would have them do unto you. This is required by copyleft, but it doesn’t make it right just because a program is not copyleft.

    1. I think Backblaze is a good actor here, but it’s true the four freedoms are always important. I’d argue the freedom to inspect is more relevant (e.g. for security: I’d like to know if curl is verifying TLS certificates, which certificate store it uses etc.).

      I only use b2 on the command line on GNU/Linux systems, where this is very simple: the python code just uses an HTTP library among many others and that library comes from my distribution’s repository. I don’t know much about Windows: is there even a (sane) way in Windows to ship a (proprietary) software which dynamically links a (free software) non-system library, in a way which wouldn’t trigger copyleft requirements? I know but I don’t quickly find an answer about the opposite case although it has been asked various times, e.g. or .

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