Proposal: Give the Company the Right to Enforce The Deal

Proposal for strictEq: Have developers give my company, which runs the site, the right to enforce the public license for projects that implements the “standard deal”. This part of the relationship would look a bit like the agreements that Software Freedom Conservancy signs with developers to enable them to enforce the GPL.

I doubt enforcing the license for projects will be terribly profitable. Most likely an lawsuit would have to be on contingency or another arrangement with the lawyer. But I think the company could be in a far better position to do enforcement when necessary than individual developers

If potential violators agree, there would also be a deterrent effect. They might be less likely to infringe the license for the software with a company standing behind it, rather than just an individual developer.

The trick to implementing this would be dealing with potential conflicts of interest. The company would have an interest in enforcing the license for the benefit of all developers using the service, as well as itself. Individual developers might disagree on a particular enforcement plan.

If you sell software through the site, would you be comfortable giving my company permission to enforce the license that says who gets to use for free, and who has to pay?

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if i were selling something through L0, i’d probably want veto power over enforcement just in case, but i’d be fine with terms like “if Artless Devices notices likely violation and wants to take an enforcement action, AD checks with the developer(s) on whose behalf it would be acting, and unless a developer says otherwise within ten business days, AD can go ahead with enforcement”.

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That’s great feedback.

I’m definitely concerned about seeming to “take ownership” of the software. That’s not what I intend, and I don’t want it coming across that way.

I’m trying to imagine a situation when I might want to enforce against a violator, but the developer would understandably refuse.