Welcome five educational institutions joining Seafile community

We are happy to announce that in the last quarter five educational institutions joined Seafile community, including Max Plank Society (MPS) in Germany, Poznan Supercomputing and Networking Center (PSNC) in Poland, University Hannover in Germany, Institute of Informatics at the University of Zurich in Switzerland, St. Paul’s Hospital of University of British Columbia in Canada.

We are working with Max Plank Digital Library (MPDL) on the Keeper project. The Keeper project is for the exchange, storage and long-term archiving of research data. Researchers at the Max Planck Society (MPS) are required to comply with the “Rules of Good Scientific Practice” adopted by the Senate of the MPS, which include guidelines for long-term archiving of primary data for at least 10 years. The syncing performance, reliability and support for large files is critical to the success of the project. MPDL chose Seafile after throughout testing for about a year. Seafile’s high reliability and the ability to sync very large file (even 1TB in size) makes it a very satisfying solution for them.

We are also working with Poznan Supercomputing and Networking Center (PSNC) to provide a file syncing and sharing service to universities and schools in Poland. Initially, the service will introduced to a few selected universities. After the pilot, the service will be introduced to more universities. PSNC have been using Seafile community edition for almost 2 years. They compared multiple products and find Seafile the most reliable and performant. “Users want the ‘Dropbox’ equivalent, not something else.” says Maciej Brzezniak, storage management team leader from PSNC, “Users appreciate Seafile’s performance and reliability in file syncing.”

St. Paul’s Hospital of University of British Columbia uses another product for internal file sharing and collaboration for a few years. After switching to Seafile, they find the reliability and performance of the service are much improved.

We’re looking forward to bigger developments for Seafile in educational communities in the year of 2017!

Drive client for Windows is now ready for production use

We’re glad to announce that Seafile Drive client for Windows is now ready for production use. Since the initial beta release in September, the Drive client has evolved rapidly. Thanks to the feedback from our community, many issues in the beta version have been fixed in the last two months. Now the Drive client is stable enough to be used by general users. You can download it from our website. User manual is available too.

The Drive client is a new way to map your Seafile storage as a virtual drive on your computer. You can access all your files in Seafile without syncing them. We believe it’s a more intuitive way to use cloud storage. For more information about the Drive client, you may read our previous post.

There are still a few milestones ahead for the future releases:

  • File locking support
  • File upload/download progress
  • Encrypted library support
  • Keep selected folders always in sync
  • Auto update of the client

We’re also working on Linux and Mac version of the Drive client. They’ll be available soon.

Seafile pro edition 6.0 is ready!

After Seafile pro edition 6.0 runs smoothly for several weeks on our servers (seacloud.cc, demo.seafile.com), we are glad to announce that it is ready for production use!

Quite a few important new features are added in pro edition 6.0:

  • A full screen adaptive Web UI
  • Collabora Online (LibreOffice Online) integration
  • Role based permission control
  • Two-factor authentication
  • Remote wipe

Full screen adaptive Web UI

If you have a wide screen, the new full screen can take the advantage to show more contents in a line. If you have a narrow screen, the new interface can also adapt to it.

seahub-6-0

The navigation label is also changed according to feedbacks from users:

  • Mine -> My Libraries
  • Shared -> Shared with me
  • Organization -> Shared with all
  • Groups -> Shared with groups
  • Starred -> Favorites
  • Devices -> Linked Devices

Collabora Online (LibreOffice Online) integration

Collabora Online is LibreOffice-based online office suite that supports all major document, spreadsheet and presentation file formats, created by Collabora. It is an open source Office 365 alternative and works on all major browsers including those on mobiles.

The Collabora Online integration is finally ready. Now you can edit Microsoft Office files and LibreOffice Office files online in Seafile. Here is a screenshot:

Role based permission control

With this feature, you can define roles and assign a role to a user. This make permission/feature control more flexible.

As an example, you can define a new role “employee” to have all the feature enabled:

   'employee': {
        'can_add_repo': True,
        'can_add_group': True,
        'can_view_org': True,
        'can_use_global_address_book': True,
        'can_generate_share_link': True,
        'can_generate_upload_link': True,
        'can_invite_guest': True,
        'can_connect_with_android_clients': True,
        'can_connect_with_ios_clients': True,
        'can_connect_with_desktop_clients': True,
    },

You can define a “guest” role as:

   'guest': {
        'can_add_repo': False,
        'can_add_group': False,
        'can_view_org': False,
        'can_use_global_address_book': False,
        'can_generate_share_link': False,
        'can_generate_upload_link': False,
        'can_invite_guest': False,
        'can_connect_with_android_clients': False,
        'can_connect_with_ios_clients': False,
        'can_connect_with_desktop_clients': False,
    },

So the guest can’t create his/her own libraries and groups. He/She can’t use desktop/mobile clients too.

Two-factor authentication

This is a quite common feature nowadays and it comes to Seafile now. Seafile supports Google Authentication and text message currently.

After the admin enables this feature globally, a user can turn it on via the settings page.

After setup, the next time when the user login via Web UI or desktop/mobile clients, a dialog will popup and ask for the authentication code:

More information can be found in Seafile manual.

Remote wipe

Enterprises usually have demanding requirements on data security. Losing a laptop computer, even though not an often case, is a threat to data security. With remote wipe, files synced to a computer can be wiped after it’s lost.

A user can unlink a device via the web interface. When unlink a desktop client, he/she will be asked an option to whether wipe the data on that desktop client. If the answer is yes, the data on that client will be deleted when the client connects the server. Desktop client version 6.0 is needed to use this feature.

For mobile clients, the data is wiped by default when the device is unlinked.

Other pro features improvements

Other features in pro edition are also improved:

  • Improve zip downloading by adding zip progress
  • [Anti-virus] Support parallel scan
  • [Anti-virus] Add option to only scan a file with size less than xx MB
  • [Anti-virus] Add option to specific which file types to scan
  • [Anti-virus] Add scanning virus instantly when user upload files via upload link
  • [online preivew] Add printing style for doc/pdf
  • [online preivew] Warn user if online preview only show 50 pages for doc/pdf with more than 50 pages
  • [fix] Fix search only work on the first page of search result pages

Formation of Seafile Educational Community

Educational institutes are among the biggest customers of Seafile. From file syncing to sharing, from collaboration to long-term data retention, Seafile helps educational institutes to solve many important use cases. Users from educational institutes also actively participate in the Seafile user community, providing valuable feedback and suggestions to our road map. With outstanding reliability and performance, Seafile has become a leading file sync and share solution for educational institutes.

From Sep. 26th to Sep.29th, founders and developers of Seafile Ltd. met with Seafile users from educational institutes in Europe. It was a fruitful trip and we have a lot exciting news to share. The most exciting one is the formation of Seafile educational community.

The meeting was held in Homboldt University of Berlin. Administrators/researchers from other universities and research institutes attended the meeting, including University of Mainz, University of Strasbourg, University of Hannover and PSNC of Poland. Users and Seafile developers actively exchanged ideas about Seafile’s features and development. We received many good inputs into our development road map. Seafile developers presented an outlook to the development of the next year, especially the up-coming Seafile Drive client. People showed a lot of interest to new features.

At the end of the meeting, educational users and the developers all agreed to further advocate the growth of Seafile educational community. The efforts will be lead by Homboldt University of Berlin and University of Mainz. A dedicated educational community forum (https://moodle.hu-berlin.de/course/view.php?id=67467) was set up and maintained by Homboldt University of Berlin. This will become a communication platform for all Seafile educational users to share ideas and coordinate events. More and more institutes will be joining this community. If you’re interested in joining the forum, please contact us via info@seafile.com.

After the meeting, Seafile developers went on to Munich to meet people from Max Planck Digital Library. We also met with some business partners in Germany. We’ll have more interesting news in the near future.

Welcome to the new Seafile educational community!

Announcing Seafile Drive client, a new way to map Seafile storage as virtual drive

We’re proud to announce an exciting new way to access all your files in Seafile — the Drive client. The Drive client maps your storage space on Seafile server as a virtual drive on your computer. It allows you to access all your files in Seafile immediately, without syncing them. Conceptually, the Drive client extends your local disk space with the massive storage capacity on your Seafile server.

Since the beginning of Seafile project, file syncing has been one of  the most valuable features. However, there are still some limitation with the sync client:

  • The users have to manually initiate syncing of libraries. Even though this allows the users to selectively sync what they’re interested in, it’s not the most intuitive way to use cloud storage. Many users are more used to “Windows share”. Accessing cloud storage in the same way as Windows network drive is most intuitive for many users.
  • The amount of file you can sync is limited by the client computer’s disk capacity. If you have huge amount of files on your server (true for large organizations),  it’s not possible to access them all on your client computer.

How it works

After installation and setting up up your Seafile account, a virtual drive will appear in your Windows explorer (labeled as ‘S:’ and named ‘SeaDrive’). You can also choose a different drive letter. The Drive client then fetches the file list from Seafile server and cache them on your local disk. No file contents are downloaded so it would finish quickly. Then you can see all your libraries and files inside the ‘S:’ drive. You could open/edit any files. File contents will be downloaded on demand. That’s it!

drive

But wait, does it just work like Windows share or WebDAV? No, the Drive client works differently.

  • Supports offline mode. You can still access the folders and cached files even there is no network connections. Your changes will be uploaded to the server after network is accessible again.
  • No network delay when you browse folders, as file list are loaded during initialization and synced periodically.
  • No network delay when you move, delete or create new file or folders. Metadata changes are first written to local cache then synced with the server in the background.
  • No network delay when you update files, even large files. Files are first written to local cache and uploaded to the server in the background.
  • Reading files works like “streaming”. You read file contents as the contents are being downloaded from the server. This reduce the delay of opening files.

Windows share doesn’t have offline mode and doesn’t work well in WAN environment. Mapping WebDAV server as local drive is usually slow, because the OS sees it as local disk and sends many redundant requests to the server.

There could be many use cases for the Drive client:

  • Replace Windows Share (SMB) or Samba with Seafile.
  • Access files on workstations with small local disk.
  • Writing large scientific data directly to Seafile server.
  • Better enforcement of company data access regulations. Users access files from Seafile server exclusively. The locally cached files can be removed on logout. In the future we’ll implement encryption for the virtual drive. Companies don’t need to worry about data leak after computer lost.

Under the hood

The Drive client works like a sync client with a FUSE like virtual file system interface. The client still use the syncing protocol for upload/download files in the background. But it also implements some “smart” caching algorithm that fetches and caches local copy of files. Then it presents the files/folders to end users as a virtual file system.

On Windows, we use Dokany, an open source user-mode file system driver and library to implement virtual drive. On Mac and Linux, we’re going to use FUSE for the task.

Where can I get it?

The Drive client is currently in beta. You can download it from this link. Note that the Drive client requires Seafile server 6.0.

What’s next?

Currently there are sill some limitations on the beta version:

  1. Mac and Linux clients are under development.
  2. Encrypted libraries are not supported yet.
  3. File locking is not supported.
  4. Lack of an option to allow the user to keep some folders always synced to local disk.

We’re rapidly developing the Drive client, so you’ll see new version very soon. Below is our road map:

1.0

  • Mac and Linux client
  • File locking support
  • Translations
  • Polished UI

1.1

  • Encrypted libraries

1.2

  • Enable keeping a folder sync

Side Note: Compared to Dropbox’s “project Infinite”

While we were developing the Drive client, we saw the news that Dropbox is also going to release something similar, named project Infinite. But it raises many concerns because it will use its own “kernel extensions”, other than standard and open source mechanisms like FUSE. The concerns are about both privacy and security. A kernel extension will give Dropbox even deeper access to all information on your computer. Not using standard mechanisms also introduce potential security and stability concerns.

Unlike “project Infinite”, Seafile Drive client uses open source FUSE-like mechanism to implement virtual drive. And we believe that the Drive client will have even more use cases in private cloud environment, where the network is much faster than WAN.

Seafile server 6.0 stable is released

Seafile server 6.0 is now out of beta and production ready! This latest version comes with many improvements, most notably a full screen web UI, Seafile Drive client support, file comments.

You can download it on our official download page.

Here is an overview of major new features in 6.0 version.

A modern full screen Web UI

This new design makes Seafile look more like a web app. Making use of technologies like backbone.js and Bootstrap, the UI is now more responsive and easier to use than ever.

The new UI is also adaptive to screen sizes. If you have a wide screen, the new UI can take the advantage to show more content in one line. If you have a small screen, the new UI can also adapt to it.

We also changed the navigation labels on the left panel to make their meanings clearer.

  • Mine -> My Libraries
  • Shared -> Shared with me
  • Organization -> Shared with all
  • Groups -> Shared with groups
  • Starred -> Favorites
  • Devices -> Linked Devices

Seafile Drive client support

6.0 server includes supports for the new Seafile Drive client, a new way to map Seafile storage as a virtual drive on your computer.

File comments

File comments is feature asked by many users. In some old versions of Seafile, there was a feature where you could comment on a file. But it was actually implemented by starting a group discussion with the file as attachment. When we redesigned the group feature in version 5.1, this “group discussion with a file” feature was removed. In this version, we add back and re-design the file comments feature from scratch. Now the comments are directly associated with the file.

You can comment on a file in the file’s preview page. All users shared with the library will receive a notification.

Improve folder download by adding zip progress

When you download a folder in the web UI, a zip file has to be created for download. For large folders, this operation can take long to finish. When the zip file is being created, the web UI stops responding. This confuses some users.

In version 6.0, the zip task will be performed in the background and the Web UI will show the progress. This greatly improves usability.

Other Changes

  • [admin] Add group transfer function in admin panel
  • Remove number of synced libraries in devices page for simplify the interface and concept
  • Update help pages

Seafile server core changes license to AGPLv3 and will be separated from client source code

From the beginning, the Seafile server and Seafile syncing client’s source code are managed in one repository (https://github.com/haiwen/seafile). We thought this was more convenient since the client and the server share some common data structures (like commits, fs and blocks). The common code can be reused by both components.

But this also introduces some confusion about Seafile’s copyrights. The syncing client uses Git’s index data structure source code, which is under GPLv2. The server code doesn’t rely on GPLv2 code so it doesn’t have to be released under GPLv2. We still release it under GPLv2 so that we could keep the client and the server code in the same repository.

Now as the Seafile project becomes more and more mature and popular, we reconsider our earlier decisions. As a cloud storage server software, we believe the most suitable license for the community server is AGPLv3 instead of the old GPLv2.

Today we announce a separate project for the Seafile server core on github. The code is released under AGPLv3. Future development of Seafile server will be continued on this repository. From version 6.0.1 on, the community server will be built from this repository.

The change of license for the community server doesn’t affect the license of Seafile Professional server. The Seafile servers are released in a dual license model. The community server is in GPL, while the Pro server is in proprietary license.

Seafile server 6.0.0 beta is ready for testing

We are proud to announce that Seafile 6.0 has been released. Version 6.0 introduces a full screen Web UI and several other improvements. The translations are not ready yet.

Because we have done a significant amount of code cleaning, some minor features may be broken though we have tested as much as we can.

You are welcome to test it and give us feedback.

You can download it from: https://bintray.com/artifact/download/seafile-org/seafile/seafile-server_6.0.0_x86-64.tar.gz

Here is an overview of changes in version 6.0:

Full screen Web UI

If you have a wide screen, the new full screen can take the advantage to show more content in a line. If you have a narrow screen, the new interface can also adapt to it.

Change of navigation labels

The navigation label is changed according to feedbacks from users:

  • Mine -> My Libraries
  • Shared -> Shared with me
  • Organization -> Shared with all
  • Groups -> Shared with groups
  • Starred -> Favorites
  • Devices -> Linked Devices

Improve zip downloading by adding zip progress

In the old version, a problem with the zip download is that when the zip takes a lot of time, the web UI does not respond. If the zip task takes a few minutes, the user does not know what is happening.

In version 6.0, the zip task will be performed in the background and the Web UI will show the progress. This greatly improves usability.

Add file comment

In the Seafile old version, there was a function where you could comment on a file. It was actually starting a group discussion with the file as attachment. When we redesigned the group feature in version 5.1, this “group discussion with a file” was removed. But there were some requests and use cases for file comment, so in this version, we added a real file comment feature back.

Other Changes

  • [admin] Add group transfer function in admin panel
  • Remove number of synced libraries in devices page for simplify the interface and concept
  • Update help pages

Future development plan of Seafile

After the open conflict between Seafile Ltd. and Seafile GmbH, we received many emails and inquiries from users of the Seafile community. We first want to thank you for supporting Seafile development team. But we also saw some concerns or uncertainties about the future development of Seafile project. These concerns are totally understandable given that Seafile GmbH claimed to fork Seafile. So we feel the necessity to share our thoughts about the future of Seafile.

Since the first release at October 2012, the Seafile development team has been working on Seafile and supporting the community for almost 4 years. We’ve seen that Seafile grows from a small project to a main stream cloud storage solution trusted by many large organizations. As the developer, we’re really proud of our product. And we have good faith in pushing Seafile to greater success. As we stated in our statement, Seafile GmbH’s leave won’t have any effect on our development capability. The core development team are 100% within Seafile Ltd. Community members will continue to get supports and updates to the Seafile community edition. All client apps are still actively developed and maintained by us. The Seafile software released by us will always be the official packages. A new 6.0 version will be available for testing soon. So stay tuned.

In the future we’ll build a more open user community around our new forum (https://forum.seafile.com/). We’ll invite active community members to help manage the forum and coordinate communication within the community.

There are some aspects that we’ll improve in the future:

  • Keep our road map and feature list more stable. In the past there were a period that we removed non-essential features to make Seafile more focused on file sync and share. Now that Seafile has been more stable, we’ll keep the feature list as stable as possible. Road map and feature plan changes will be more careful.
  • Improve installation and packaging of Linux clients and servers. We’ve heard many requests from Linux users about this. We’ll make Linux clients easier for packaging and finally make it into official Debian repositories. We’ll also provide Debian packages for Seafile servers.

Our customers who signed contracts with Seafile GmbH are the ones who are affected most by this event. Seafile Ltd. will honor all the contracts customers signed with Seafile GmbH. We’ll ensure smooth transition for these customers.

A lesson we learned from this conflict is that we have to use law and more rigorous contracts to protect our and our customers’ interest. If we were more careful in law when cooperating with Seafile GmbH, the incident today won’t happen. We’ll use legal ways to protect our brand and copyrights from infringement. Since Seafile Ltd is still a relatively young team, we will keep on learning and growing.

 

Statement about Stopping Cooperation with Seafile GmbH

From today on, Seafile Ltd. will stop all business relationship with Seafile GmbH. Seafile GmbH is a business partner of Seafile Ltd. in Germany. They’re not the developer of Seafile project. The termination of this cooperation won’t affect Seafile Ltd.’s ability to develop Seafile and support our customers.

In this statement we’ll explain why this business relationship has to be terminated, with support from facts. We’ll also reveal the infringement actions done by Seafile GmbH recently towards us. Yesterday Seafile GmbH published a statement about stopping cooperate with us. That statement has many places not consistent with the truth. We’ll clarify the confusion they’ve made in that statement.

In this statement, “we” refers to Seafile Ltd. and “they” refers to Seafile GmbH.

History of the Cooperation with Seafile GmbH

Our cooperation with Silja and Alexander Jackson began back in 2014. At that time they ran an IT service company JacksonIT in Germany. They became a reseller of Seafile Pro Edition and provides support to local customers. They also offered to help maintaining a community forum for Seafile in Germany (forum.seafile-server.org).

After cooperating for about a year, Seafile Ltd. and JacksonIT decided to take a step forward for our business cooperation. Seafile GmbH was founded at January 2015 by Silja and Alexander Jackson. Seafile GmbH was founded with the help from Seafile Ltd., including fund and branding supports. Seafile Ltd. made an investment of 16,000€ into Seafile GmbH as interest-free loan. We also granted them the rights to use Seafile trademark (and use “Seafile” as company name). The purpose of forming Seafile GmbH was to:

  1. Provide local support and better sales procedure to customers in Germany and Europe in general.
  2. Seafile GmbH will run a cloud storage service for German users (now known as app.seafile.de).

With these investment, Seafile Ltd. didn’t take any equity share from the newly formed company. The rationale was to leave the cloud service completely in German hands so that user’s data can be protected by German laws. Seafile Ltd. will get 70% share from the profit of Seafile GmbH’s businesses.

During 2015, as the business of Seafile GmbH developed, they needed more investment into infrastructure building and hiring employees. We agreed to leave part of our profit shares as fund for Seafile GmbH. We’ve been doing so for 3 quarters, totally about 80,000€. Again this investment was considered as interest-free loan.

At the beginning of 2016, Seafile Ltd. and Seafile GmbH both realized that we have to build a more solid legal foundation for our cooperation. They proposed the following framework:

  • The Pro software sales business of Seafile GmbH will be merged into Seafile Ltd. In exchange we will give shares from Seafile Ltd. to Silja and Alex Jackson.
  • A new company — Seafile Cloud GmbH will be formed to run the cloud service. This company will be completely owned by Silja and Alex Jackson.

But in the negotiation, they asked for an amount of shares that were completely not acceptable for us. The negotiation didn’t end up with a new agreement.

Not reaching agreement in a negotiation is normal in business practices. Seafile GmbH could have ended the cooperation if they’re not satisfied with the result. But they didn’t do that at that time. What they did were to secretly try to gain ownership of the Seafile project, without our notice.

Seafile GmbH’s Infringements to Seafile Ltd.

Since April 2016, we’ve noticed multiple infringement actions from Seafile GmbH towards Seafile Ltd.

First, they registered “seafile” organization on github without noticing us. The contact email and address for this organization are set to Seafile GmbH. And they forked all open source Seafile projects into this organization. This action makes people think that they’re the owner of the Seafile project. This is not allowed in our agreement.

Second, they changed the community forum domain name from “forum.seafile-server.org” to “forum.seafile.de”, without noticing us again. This action turns a community website into their private property. The valuable contents on this forum were created by Seafile developers and the community. Taking ownership of this forum is unethical. In their statement yesterday, they announced removing the account of Seafile team members from the forum. This action further proves that they consider the forum their own property. They have the rights to ban anyone they don’t like on the forum.

Third, they secretly applied for “Seafile” trademark in the United States. The application can be viewed below. This is serious violation to our agreement, which clearly stated that Seafile Ltd. is the trademark owner of Seafile. A screenshot of our agreement is attached below, with Silja Jackson’s signature. Furthermore, they stated their first use date of “Seafile” name in U.S. is 2014.02.14. But at that time they haven’t even started cooperate with us. Their claim has no ground.

trademark2

agreement

Fourth, they refused to transfer the profit shares from Pro software sales  for Q2 2016 to us. After we requested them to stop all the above infringement actions, they silently ignore our request to transfer profit share to us. This is not only violation to our agreement. This is business fraud.

Fifth, they committed copyright infringement to Seafile Pro Edition. Seafile is an open source project release under dual license. The community edition is released under open source licenses. But the Pro Edition copyright is owned by Seafile Ltd. The reason we granted them access to our Pro source code was that: one of our customers — HU Berlin wanted to have access to source code. Because Seafile GmbH was also one party in the contract, we let them provide the source code access to HU Berlin on behalf of us. We didn’t authorize them to do anything other that on our source code. In yesterday’s statement, they announced that they’ll continue developing Pro Edition based on 5.1.8. This is copyright infringement. They have no rights to further develop Pro Edition or distribute it. This behavior is also dangerous to all customers who want to buy software from them.

Counter Statements against Seafile GmbH’s Statements

In their statement: “Instead we will continue to develop Seafile independently in Germany and Europe for the Seafile Professional Edition based on version 5.1.8.”

Our response: This is copyright infringement behavior.

In their statement: “Our cooperation now has reached a point where we can no longer in good conscience develop a software together.”

Our response: As we’ve stated above, it’s obvious that it’s them who pushed our relationship into the current point. And they’re no developer of Seafile project. They’ve never committed a line of code to Seafile’s repositories. Their only “contribution” to Seafile “development” is writing an auto-installation script.

In their statement: “Seafile Ltd. …… disrespect towards data privacy when it comes to German or European law.”

Our response: We haven’t committed any actions that break privacy laws in Germany or Europe. After publishing their statement yesterday, Seafile GmbH deleted all the private data of Seafile Ltd. team members stored on app.seafile.de. This implies that they think they have the rights to delete anyone’s data on that service if they don’t like them. This is violation of their terms of service. This is also infringement to user’s privacy. Seafile GmbH is not so trustworthy in terms of privacy protection.

In their statement: “Seafile Ltd. revoking our access to the Seafile Professional sources despite it violating contracts with customers. After all the effort we have put into Seafile we see this as the final breach of trust which leaves us no other choice than to part ways with Seafile Ltd.” “Seafile GmbH is obligated to provide our customers with a trustworthy, secure and reliable product. We can no longer guarantee under these circumstances.”

Our response: Given their infringements to our copyright, we’re just going to protect our interest. If a customer of Seafile Pro Edition wants to access the source code, they can get it directly from Seafile Ltd. So revoking Seafile GmbH’s access source code doesn’t affect customers’ trust on Pro Edition.

In their statement: “Our goal at Seafile GmbH is and has always been to provide a stable and reliable product for our customers and the Open Source community.”

Our response: Seafile GmbH has never committed a line of code to Seafile. Their statement about stability and reliability should be doubted.

In their statement: “Price raises during the last 12 month are unacceptable””Raising prices three times within a year (which in some cases meant a price increase of up to 400%) is extremely unprofessional in our opinion and sends a signal of instability and unreliability.”

Our response: We admit that raising price too frequently is not professional. But since we’ve just started commercialize Seafile last year, we didn’t have much experience. At the beginning we tagged an overly low price. With that price we found that we cannot sustain further development. We’ve changed price twice last year (not 3 times in a year). For old customers we all provide them with the old prices or with a discount.  We’ll take this advice and keep the current pricing scheme stable for the long term. Compared to other providers, Seafile’s price is in the fair range. On a side note, Silja and Alex from Seafile GmbH weren’t much against our raise of price. They even suggested higher prices than the current one. Using a decision that they agreed to attack us is not fair.

Conclusions

The statement from Seafile GmbH is full of false arguments and disrespect to Seafile Ltd. With all the helps we’ve given to them, they’re not only ungrateful but also greedy. They’ve committed copyright infringement, business fraud and violation of agreement. Such a business partner shouldn’t be trusted any more, by anyone. We’ve tried hard to reach out to them and negotiate a settlement, but they silently ignore our emails and calls. Their statement yesterday let us make the final decision to terminate the relationship.

The next step we’ll take is to use law to protect our rights.

Such a business decision doesn’t come easily and will have effects to our customers:

  • Seafile Ltd. will honor all the contracts for Pro license sales from Seafile GmbH before 2016.07.22. But since Seafile GmbH is no longer a legal distributor of Seafile software, we request all customers to download Seafile Pro edition from Seafile Ltd.’s channels from now on.
  • The cloud service app.seafile.de can no longer run Seafile Pro Edition. However Seafile GmbH can still use the community edition for hosting service. We request them to stop using Pro Edition immediately.

For the community, you can still continue using community edition and getting support from Seafile developers. The only change is we’ll setup and maintain a new community forum (to be named forum.seafile.com). We’ll make sure this forum always be the asset to all community users. A new version 6.0 with many improvements will be released soon.

But there are still some valid opinions in Seafile GmbH’s statement. We’ll certainly improve our release management and avoid road-map changes as long as possible. And we’ll keep our pricing scheme stable for the long term.