First off, I’d like to state that I’m well aware of the passionate feelings in the software development community around software licenses, and I don’t mean to offend any individuals with this idea!
I’m sure there are flaws in the idea and approach, but I’m posting this publicly on the forums to engage you all and receive honest feedback, with the hopes that there’s an evolution of the idea that which is even better.
You are encouraged to post honest feedback!
I’d like to float an idea to the IC community that I believe could play a part in helping open source projects become financially sustainable. I’m calling it a “Decentralization License”.
The software world rests on the shoulders of open source software. These projects are maintained by passionate developers volunteering their efforts after work or on the weekends.
Open source software should be public and free, but there should also be a mechanism in place to reward the maintainers of open software when the applications that they power become massively successful.
This is where the Decentralization License comes into play, as it is uniquely suited for the Internet Computer, and its developer and DAO communities.
A Decentralization License on IC software works like this:
Any software with this license is open, publicly available, and free to use up until the point of decentralization.
When an application’s founders sell a significant portion of their equity through an SNS or other type of decentralization sale, some small percentage (0.0001-1%) of the sale’s tokens/proceeds are paid out to the maintainers of that project. This can easily be configured in the
developer_distribution section of the
If an open source project’s Decentralization License fee is 0.01% and an application raises 100k through an SNS sale, in order to obtain the license, $10 is owed to the project. If the application raises 10 million, $1k is paid to the project.
When application-level projects are successful, this means the open source project shares just a little bit in that project’s success, aligning interests and encouraging further collaboration between open software and the project.
Additionally, this framework allows for a software project to tokenize around a DAO, such that developers and projects that contribute to the development of the open source software can receive a reduced price (discount) on their decentralization license. Depending on the contribution, the party can receive a discount, or can receive ownership tokens that would allow them to share in the rewards from other projects that SNS and benefit from that open source software.
I’m going to do a bit of hand-waving here for this next part, but hopefully the big picture idea makes sense.
If you generalize the idea of a Decentralization license to a “mass liquidity event”, such as a large fundraise or software sale, then any open source software project (web2 or web3) can potentially tokenize around a DAO on the IC if they choose to do so, with project/developer contributions resulting in a discount on their decentralization license or ownership tokens in that software’s DAO.
The majority of companies and agencies are small and never IPO or raise beyond a certain stage, so hopefully this would provide a mechanism for all open source software to fractionally share in the successes of the big projects and mass liquidity events that produce the Googles and Facebooks of the world.