Introducing "The Deal"

stricteq differs from License Zero in how is presents the terms of “the deal” between developers and their users. Rather than talking first and foremost about a license, stricteq talks directly in terms of a deal, a kind of wrapper around the license terms.

The Deal lives at https://stricteq.com/deal. Right now, at version 1.0.0, it reads:

To use software listed on stricteq.com to make money or for work, beyond a free trial to make sure it works, you need to buy a license. If you’re part of a team, everyone on your team who uses the software needs to buy a license.

Otherwise, you can use and share the software for free.

The legal terms for paid licenses are at https://stricteq.com/paid.

The legal terms for free licenses are at https://stricteq.com/free.

The free license begins:

Prohibited Purposes

You may not use the software to make money or for work, except for Free Trials.

Free Trials

You may use the software for brief trial periods to verify that the software works as described, such as by running on test data or integrating into private, proof-of-concept prototypes.

The paid license is much like the paid license for License Zero.

The hope is that this will be:

  1. easier to understand
  2. easier to link to and explain
  3. better at emphasizing the relationship between developers and users, rather than the tool or implementation detail of licensing

What do folks think?

4 Likes

I really like this approach. That will work very well with tools I think.
For libraries it’s a lot harder though.
Contribution is also a question.

1 Like

I’m embarrassed to say my plans for stricteq didn’t explicitly cover contribution. They should.

The simplest path is just to tell people to accept contributions on the terms of the Blue Oak Model License, and then add a note like:

Some contributions to this software are made available on the terms of the The Blue Oak Model License 1.0.0 https://blueoakcouncil.org/license/1.0.0.

So this merges a license / deal together?

Like, it’s sort of like Prosperity but not completely?

And then the contribution part brings in another license? Is there a way to bring in contributions under the same license?

Perhaps making a contribution that is accepted entitles the contributor to a license.

2 Likes

I Like this Idea, but now you have to declare what Kind of contribution? A merged PR? File an issue?

Under the hood, it’s still licensing: free license, paid license, contribution license.

The “Deal” is just a name for the system made of those licenses, for how they work together. It’s a kind of explanatory wrapper around the legal terms. A way to emphasize the relationship they create between developer and users, rather than the implementation mechanism of licensing.

From the L0 toolkit, Prosperity is the closest. But rather than picking noncommercial over share-alike, or picking noncommercial for the sake of picking just one, I see the stricteq deal as collapsing two choices into one. Whether folks picked Prosperity or Parity, what they were really after usually boiled down to “if you’re in business, buy a license”.

No. The lead developer needs broad, free permission for all the code in their project. They have to be able to continue developing the project as a whole and licensing it as a whole, for free and for pay.

Ok I’m confused. I think ANOTHER license — where I guess deal == license — is confusing as heck and throws out all the recognition you’ve built around Prosperity.

Can this deal just use Prosperity? What are the differences? At a lay person level :wink:

Re: contributions: what I was asking if the contributions could have the same license applied, not if the contributor would use that license.

I guess we are in CLA land now? Or, notice that contributions come in under a highly permissive license like Blue Oak?

I’m going to write this down in a flow. Right now I’m confused both as a developer and a consumer.

Here it is concretely, with new language:

strictEq Standard Deal

Version 1.2.0

To use software listed on stricteq.com to make money or for work, beyond a free trial to make sure it works, you need to buy a license. If you’re part of a team, everyone on your team who uses the software needs to buy a license.

Otherwise, you can use and share the software for free.

Everyone’s welcome to contribute fixes and improvements under a broad, free license like the Blue Oak Model License. If you’d like to become a partner in development, e-mail the developer.

The legal terms for paid licenses are at https://stricteq.com/paid.

The legal terms for free licenses are at https://stricteq.com/free.

Looks good.

Re https://stricteq.com/signup is there a plan to support group/team/business accounts? As right now I’m unsure if I should register as myself, or as Bevry (the collective/coop/non-profit/open-company that I go by).

1 Like