Facebook Releases Llama 2 Under an ‘Open for Everyone Other Than Really Large Rivals’ License


We’re now ready to open source the next version of Llama 2 and are making it available free of charge for research and commercial use. We’re including model weights and starting code for the pretrained model and conversational fine-tuned versions too. As Satya Nadella announced on stage at Microsoft Inspire, we’re taking our partnership to the next level with Microsoft as our preferred partner for Llama 2 and expanding our efforts in generative AI. Starting today, Llama 2 is available in the Azure AI model catalog, enabling developers using Microsoft Azure to build with it and leverage their cloud-native tools for content filtering and safety features. It is also optimized to run locally on Windows, giving developers a seamless workflow as they bring generative AI experiences to customers across different platforms. Llama 2 is available through Amazon Web Services (AWS), Hugging Face, and other providers too.

First, this is yet another sign that OpenAI has no moat around LLM AI technology. Second, I’m glad to see Facebook drop their awkward “LLaMA” letter-casing style. Third, there’s a notable restriction in Llama 2’s license:

2. Additional Commercial Terms. If, on the Llama 2 version release date, the monthly active users of the products or services made available by or for Licensee, or Licensee’s affiliates, is greater than 700 million monthly active users in the preceding calendar month, you must request a license from Meta, which Meta may grant to you in its sole discretion, and you are not authorized to exercise any of the rights under this Agreement unless or until Meta otherwise expressly grants you such rights.

700 million seems oddly specific. Obviously the other companies in the Big Five exceed that number (Apple, Google, Amazon, Microsoft), but who else? Ben Thompson, in today’s subscriber-only Stratechery update (and — spoiler — tomorrow’s episode of Dithering) notes:

Probably the closest company to that 700 million monthly active user (MAU) figure is Snap, which said it passed 750 million MAUs earlier this year. Obviously all of the other big consumer tech companies have more than 700 million MAUs, as well as other services like Telegram, which just surpassed 800 million MAUs.

Good news for Elon Musk, though: Twitter is free to use it.

Thursday, 20 July 2023