Update: The full text of the Jelurida Public License has now been published: https://www.jelurida.com/jpl
The copyleft licenses such as the GPL were designed to protect the value of the code which is created in open source projects. They make sure anyone who builds on top of this code also releases their code under the same copyleft license, thus sharing back with the community and the developers of the original project the added value of the derived work.
Copyleft licenses however were created long before cryptocurrency and blockchain technologies appeared, and could not have anticipated the fact that today the value of an open source blockchain project is contained not only in the program code being written, but in the unique public blockchain instance maintained by this project, with its developers and community sharing the common interest to preserve and increase the value of this blockchain token.
Jelurida is working on a new "coinleft" license model for its upcoming Ardor platform, better suited for open source cryptocurrency projects, which would make sure that not only the value of the source code is protected when the code of a blockchain project is used in another blockchain, but the community of the original blockchain token holders also receives back some of the new blockchain token value created by any such derived work projects.
The new Jelurida Public License (JPL) under which our Ardor platform is planned to be released, will have the following requirement, as an addition to the current GPLv2 clauses. Anyone can use the Ardor source code in another blockchain platform, provided that:
- The Ignis holders from the original Ardor platform are allocated at least 10% of the forging tokens in that new blockchain, proportional to their Ignis holdings,
- The Ardor holders from the original Ardor platform, or the forging token holders from a blockchain that has already satisfied the JPL requirements, are allocated 100% of the forging tokens in that new blockchain, proportional to their forging token holdings.
The first case covers clones of the Ardor platform, and ensures that Ignis owners will receive a sharedrop from any such clone launched in the future, or any existing Nxt clone that decides to either migrate to the Ardor codebase or backport code from it.
The second case is to cover hard forks, as by definition at the time of the hard fork all accounts start with the same balances on either fork, and it would be difficult to make a hard fork satisfy the first condition.
In both cases, Ignis or Ardor holdings respectively must be calculated based on a snapshot taken not earlier than 3 months before the launch of the new blockchain. For a new blockchain, the snapshot should also be taken not later than 24 h before the launch, to avoid the uncertainty due to the 720 blocks rolling checkpoint.
There should be no restriction or any type of discrimination against accounts receiving tokens as a sharedrop.
If token distribution must be restricted by some criteria that not all existing Ignis holders can potentially satisfy, a specific exemption from the full JPL sharedrop requirements must be obtained in advance. Jelurida reserves the right to not grant such exemption, or to require a commercial license in such situations, to be decided on a case by case basis.
Any derived work based on the Ardor software (or any other JPL-licensed software) must also be released under the same JPL license, with the requirement to give back forging tokens from new blockchains to the original Ignis or Ardor holders (not to the derived blockchain token holders).
The JPL requirements apply not only when a new blockchain is started as a derived work based on the Ardor platform, but also when including any JPL-licensed code into another blockchain. Such inclusion requires that this other blockchain is placed under the JPL license, and one of the above sharedrop requirements is satisfied (unless already done).
A derived work which cannot satisfy the sharedrop requirement because it does not constitute a blockchain and does not issue tokens, will be exempt from the sharedrop requirement, however still must be placed under the JPL, meaning any use of such work in another blockchain carries with it the full requirements of the JPL, including the sharedrop requirement.
Jelurida makes a commitment not to sell commercial licenses to any projects that intend to distribute their forging tokens to the general public. The above license and mandatory sharedrop will apply for any blockchain that is a derivative of the Ardor platform, without the possibility for the new platform creators to pay Jelurida for an exemption. Such a project can optionally still pay Jelurida for support and consulting services, but does not have to, and Jelurida is free to decide whether to provide such support, consulting, or endorsment.
Jelurida reserves the right to provide commercial licensing, or grant full or partial exemption from the JPL requirements for projects that by design or legal restrictions cannot satisfy the JPL sharedrop requirements.
As internal (private) use of Ardor software cannot satisfy the JPL sharedrop requirement, such use will also require an evaluation license agreement with Jelurida.
The above is only a proposal and work in progress, and as such is subject to change at any time. The final text of the Jelurida Public License will be prepared and published before the launch of the Ardor platform.
With the JPL, Jelurida aims to start a new class of "coinleft" licenses, better protecting the interests of all cryptocurrency projects. We would encourage other projects to also use the JPL, with modifications as needed to fit their specific platform, and hope that the JPL will become the de-facto standard in this field.