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The European Commission Praises Nextcloud as a Role Model for Open-Source Businesses

Mikaela Schneider, Nextcloud:

Last September, the European Commission published a comprehensive study about the impact of open-source software and hardware on the EU economy. The main breakthrough of this study is that open-source benefits the public good and that it increases technological independence, competitiveness, and innovation in the EU economy.

In the “Success Case” section of the Open Source Study (pages 70 and 71), the EC praised Nextcloud as a role model to the entire open-source community.

From the report:

Nextcloud is a particular success story in the Open Source end-user applications domain. It enables users to synchronise data between computers, mobile devices and with the cloud. As of 2020, Nextcloud is the most widely deployed Open Source content collaboration platform. It was concepted and incubated as ownCloud by the also European-centered KDE community with the goal to improve the control users have over their cloud-stored data.

After ownCloud received venture capital investments, conflicts arose between the developer community and the investors. In the resulting split, Nextcloud was created with a governance model that is oriented more closely on the viability of both the commercial and volunteer community. Nextcloud is licensed under the AGPL-3.0 and does not require a contributor license agreement.


The innovations provided by Nextcloud affect stakeholders across the board. Enterprises are currently the biggest group of users. It also sees adoption by hobbyists and individuals as a self-hosted platform for home use. Governments and public institutions increasingly adopt it because of the match between the privacy focus and the public mandate to protect citizen data.

Nextcloud is a prototypical European Open Source business - a self-funded SME that emerged from the creative fabric of the European Open Source community and aligns itself with community and user values. The sustainability of its community governance model that builds on symmetry between contributors and a supportive role of the company for the developer community is a role model for Open Source businesses.

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