OSS Citizen platform

Hi there,

I’m building something to help tackle opensource sustainability challenges and this forum seems like a great place to get feedback and thoughts from interested parties!

One of the main challenge I can imagine is to help maintainers change/add new licenses to their existing projects (get approval from hundreds of people, getting ‘no’ from important contributors, etc.). It’s been done with libvlc before, and it was no cakewalk (and it wasn’t even a commercial relicense).

Opensource licensing is a complex topic but the opensource ecosystem and definitions really need to evolve in some ways to become more sustainable for maintainers IMO.

Excited to get feedback as I put together an MVP. Let me know what you think!

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Hi, @mkfl.

I see this is just a solicitation of interest page so far. But it sounds like you’re looking to build something very similar to earlier iterations of License Zero and Indie Code Catalog. Both were originally Stripe Connect marketplaces that brokered and standardized online license sales for developers using dual-licensing models.

My own biggest lesson from that process was that I put far too much emphasis and time on automating the business model, as opposed to explaining and popularizing it. So in time I shifted more toward promoting and creating social proof for the model, as via https://duallicensing.com/, and toward publishing better general-purpose resources around software licensing, like https://fastpathlicense.com/.

We certainly had some sales through License Zero back in the day. But I’m not sure developers in particular found all that much utility in a software-specific platform, as opposed to simply selling through their own websites or general-purpose platforms.

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Hi Kyle,

Glad you saw my post, was hoping you’d comment.

I see this is just a solicitation of interest page so far.

Yes, just put a landing page together to gather feedback and interest while I build the MVP.

But it sounds like you’re looking to build something very similar to earlier iterations of License Zero and Indie Code Catalog. Both were originally Stripe Connect marketplaces that brokered and standardized online license sales for developers using dual-licensing models.

Yes, it looks like it. I’m planning to use Stripe Connect as well.

My own biggest lesson from that process was that I put far too much emphasis and time on automating the business model, as opposed to explaining and popularizing it.

Thanks for that insight. There is indeed a massive undertaking of education to do amongst both OSS maintainers and companies using OSS…

We certainly had some sales through License Zero back in the day. But I’m not sure developers in particular found all that much utility in a software-specific platform, as opposed to simply selling through their own websites or general-purpose platforms.

My assumption is that devs don’t know too much about pricing and licensing, and having a one-click setup integration to sell services around their OSS projects would alleviate some of the friction to get started. But I also need to show/tell them this path exists and is viable, indeed.

I have a lot of ideas, need to build a few and see what sticks. I’d love to connect with you though. And I might need your lawyer services for licensing/relicensing questions I’d have for OSS citizen users as I build the platform.