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HCL App? #14

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burrrata opened this issue May 10, 2019 · 4 comments

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commented May 10, 2019

I've been thinking about the HCL and how to implement it...

Since DAOs are all crypto based the HCL could actually be tested in the context of an Aragon app, whereas it would be difficult for any traditional structure to work with. Imagine if there were projects that spin out of the hive, use the apps/resources we build, and then use the HCL to give back to the hive to support ongoing research and resource creation. It's completely possible and would make 1Hive the first sustainable open source community project that uses the HCL.

Following the "process" for EIPs:

  • build something useful
  • implement and test it
  • once it's working and people like it create a standard around it

Seems like a similar process could work for the HCL:

  • build an app that makes it easy to use the HCL in an Aragon DAO
  • dogfood it and create resources that help others discover and use it too
  • refine the model with help from developers and legal, then ship an "official" version

@lkngtn do you see this as a reasonable way to go about making the HCL a reality?

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commented May 10, 2019

A couple quick thoughts here, will come back with a longer response soon but don't have time to dive into it too much right now.

At a high level this is what I'm thinking with the HCL:

  1. It should be possible for software devs to use the license the same way they use any other software license (eg including it as a file with the code they distribute)
  2. We to make it easy for people who choose to create proprietary derivative works to comply with the license terms. This is where I think blockchain/smart contracts are useful. You essentially want someone to be able to register their proprietary derivative work, provide some meta data about it and set their Self-assessed valuation, and deposit funds to pay a "tax" or "fee" based on that self-assessed valuation back to the commons.
  3. Initially it may be reasonable to have all the funding managed by a non-profit foundation (from a legal perspective), and that foundation would create some technical infrastructure to allocate this funding back to software projects (ideally in a bottom up way). I think the CLR mechanism is a really good fit for this.
  4. We would want projects to be able to join a curated registry, which specifies the address they should recieve funds and provides information about the project that they are working on. Being included in the registry would require that they are developing HCL license software. (This is where I think using a DAO makes a lot of sense, as you can send money to the dao and it can be transparently governed by the open source project and distributed to contributors).

So all that is to say that I don't think we need an HCL app for Aragon. But we may use the Aragon Court (depending on timing) for curating the whitelist of recipients, and we would probably want to use AragonOS for creating the derivative works registry.

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commented May 10, 2019

This sounds great, but why do you think that initially it makes sense to involve a non-profit or any type of legal entity? Wouldn't it be easier to just have the HCL be opt-in and non-binding so that people who want to experiment with it can, and have the whole processed managed by DAOs/smart-contracts? Then as the model evolves and gets more feedback/resources it can become something "official", but initially it's just a light-weight experiment that's opt-in.

Can you explain more what the Aragon Court would enable that an automated system would not?

When you say the AragonOS would create the derivative works registry, that's really just a fancy way of saying a DAO would manage it right?

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commented May 12, 2019

This sounds great, but why do you think that initially it makes sense to involve a non-profit or any type of legal entity?

  1. Some sort of legal entity is required in order to help enforce the license in the event that people/organizations do not comply with license terms. and 2) on-chain governance is still super experimental, it feels much safer and easier for people to adopt anchoring trust in a non-profit which can then delegate management to the most compelling on-chain experiments. 3) for the HCL to be successful, it needs to be easily adopted/understood by people who do not understand or trust crypto/blockchain etc. (there is actually significant distrust in my experience for anything blockchain related among the wider open source community)

Can you explain more what the Aragon Court would enable that an automated system would not?

I'm not sure how you would automate validating that a specific address is associated with a project which is working on HCL license software. Its a very subjective link, not something that could easily be validated by a smart-contract.

that's really just a fancy way of saying a DAO would manage it right?

I think maybe its the other way around, I think DAO is not a very specific term, it could mean literally any sort of on-chain governance process. 🤷‍♂️

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commented May 12, 2019

My thinking is that it would be easier to roll out the HCL as a volunteer based opt-in honor system, and then move towards a non-profit legal entity when it's more fully baked. This restricts the initial target market to a very small audience (not the broader open source community), but that will allow us to experiment and get a basic model working. Then once it's ready we can expand into the broader market. This has the benefit of allowing us to move fast initially, and then as we grow use our brand name recognition, experience, and growing awareness of DAOs/blockchains to attract a broader community.

  • if a project really needs/cares about a license that's enforceable, they're not going to try out a novel structure anyways
  • if a project is in the blockchain space they're more likely to be interested in the bleeding edge of technology and want to experiment with new ideas, and they'll be familiar with the concepts/infrastructure required to make it happen
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