Towards sustainable Open Source development.
Please read the Introduction, and join my gitter channel to discuss.
This work was inspired by: http://commonstransition.org/commons-based-reciprocity-licenses/ and http://wiki.p2pfoundation.net/CopyFair_License .
The project you are currently looking at: CopyFair Corp is an a idea and attempt at practical implementation of a sustainable Open Source development model. CopyFair Corp aim is to help people establish and run their own CopyFair Corporations to run their projects with.
Implementing CopyFair Corp for your own project
Running your own project (let's call it Project X) as CopyFair Corporations can be explained in just a couple of simple steps.
The copyright ownership should be assigned to a legal entity: Project X CopyFair Corp with it's details described as a part of Project X itself (it's source code, documentation, etc).
By submitting work (usually, but not only, code) to the project, contributor
agree to transfer copyrights to the CopyFair Corp in exchange for stake in it.
The typical way would be putting a special tag in the git commit log
stating payment method (Bitcoin or other crypto-currencies
address, and potentially others) and the price (eg. hours worth of work).
If the contribution gets
merged to the project, it means the contribution was accepted by the Project X CopyFair Corp
and this fact
gets recorded in the project's history (eg.
git log). After that the
contributor is rewarded with an agreed number of shares.
The shares should be valid for a specific time (eg. 5 years) - long enough to be attractive and encourage long term participation, but short enough to sustain the inflow of contribution, even to a legacy projects.
The Project should be licensed under FairCopy License (eg. THE FAIR COMMONS GENERIC LICENSE v.0). Which means it is Open Source, but for-profits need to pay to use it. It's up to Project X CopyFair Corp to decide Project X licensing terms. The project should own and maintain and offical payment address under control of it's leaders.
The profits from licensing fees should be distributed among the shareholders, and used to fund other project costs (like hosting servers etc.).
Due to Bitcoin transparency, licensing parties don't even need to contact the Project X shareholders to use it. All they have to do is to pay the official licensing price to an official address and keep the record of the transaction and private key used to prove they controlled it.
To prevent fraud, Project X should use a shared multi-signature (M-to-N) official Bitcoin address in control of it's leaders. Since the Project's X income, dividends paid, and share distribution are public and recorded correspondingly: in Bitcoin blockchain and project history, it's easy to verify that all the rules are being followed.
The decision making and fund distribution should be proportional to the total stake of the shareholder. The selected number of highest Project X CopyFair Corp shareholders should be nominated Project X leaders for a given term (eg. a calendar year). After that time, new leaders should be nominated.