I recently sent the following summary of changes coming to platform to @aredridel, who I see just accepted her invite to this forum, too!
So I have someplace to link folks to, and to double down on my openness to feedback, here are the relevant parts:
First, I do think I’ll substantially retire the “License Zero” brand. First because I promised to do so in my commitment to users, which has become something of a limitation, both for L0 and the devs it wants to serve. I also think it’s time to transition from being a strong voice of criticism and harsh realism about the problems in our industry toward advocating more strongly for the better path we’re blazing. I don’t want to go full happy-slappy “enterprise”. I’ll leave that to other platforms. But I want to balance the criticism inherent in what we’re advocating with positive conviction that what we’re advocating is better, and can work.
The leading contender for the new brand is “stricteq”, which came up on the forum. One of the big messages we want to get across is that the model that’s good for us is the same model we’d be glad to see helping the developers we rely on. Or, in more License Zero-ish terms, that the platform is really about support, respect, and regard among peers.
Second, I’m planning some incremental changes to the way the platform actually works.
I anticipate that I’ll eliminate the difference between “free for open source” projects and “noncommercial” projects. The overall gist of the deal devs really seem to want boils down to “if you make money on this, buy a license so I make money, too”. I’ve also found that putting the licenses so far forward obscures the fundamental social point, and that smart, earnest folks trip up and get confused by the choice of license.
I also anticipate that we’ll shift from keeping all transactions fundamentally private to putting each customer who buys a license on the project’s platform page, OpenCollective-style. For one, this helps build social proof, both for the projects and for the platform. And for two, it adds a new layer of accountability.
Fundamentally, the business model works on the honor system. Devs aren’t going to police every company and website on earth to root out people who use their work without buying licenses. But we can hold others accountable by checking online if they’ve supported those whose work they’re using. On the flip side, I like the idea of a profile page where I can show how many developers I’ve personally supported.
Finally, I think the new platform has to take a much more proactive role in helping developers promote their projects and the fact that there are licenses for sale. Rather that promise not to promote projects unless devs ask me to, I think the website itself needs to constantly showcase the projects for sale. We also want to maximize blog, social media, and the like by default.