I propose we create “The Fair Forking license”, that would function very similar to “The fair mining license”.

Any derived repository fork that charges a developer fee(or sells a premine) after forking a fair project
—one with no premine or other form of developer compensation—
shall offer to share half the fee revenue with the coin developers.

I don’t think it’s fair that XYZ project can launch based pretty much entirely off Grin’s codebase and then go ahead and create a “premine”/ charge a dev fee without giving something back to Grin. Why should XYZ projects developers get compensated for the work of Grin’s developers, whom many have worked for nothing(or a minimal amount). Most of these forks will also heavily rely on Grin’s updates moving forward.


@Neo nice suggestion! Would you consider opening an RFC for this? Doesn’t need to be that long text wise but a good way to ensure your proposal is given fair consideration and that we reach a decision.

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I don’t think it’s fair (read: it’s completely insane) to abuse centralized government power for Grin’s benefit. This is an absolute mockery of the work people in this space have put in to strive towards decentralization.

I agree, but is their away we can prevent these scam artists from downloading and cloning the grin repo? If so, I’m all for it. But at the end of the day, that decision is for the devs, its their hard work for one

This is not so different from The Fair mining Licence that is already in place. Both licenses could be considered a bit anti-free software since the ‘original developers’ have more rights than the end-user. However, Grin is not some company/ centralized entity with claims to original developers( the original developer is MIA), the development is already vastly more decentralized than most projects could ever hope for, no one essentially has ownership/ out right control of anything. So, calling it an abuse of power would be a bit over the top. IMO.

There is more discussion on The Fair mining License here: Grin Miner Dev Donation Option

The license per se would not be legally enforceable. It falls more in line with ethics than with law and is more a show of respect than an abuse of power.

Furthermore; you can argue that Forking grin, to form a project with a premine/ dev fee that directly rewards the founders (promoting centralized development) is a mockery to the people who have worked on Grin/ continue to work on Grin and other fair launch projects. You could even take it to the extreme and argue that The Fair Forking Licence disincentives centralized development since forked projects would have fewer funds to spend on hiring devs and would rely more on 3rd party/ community developers.

Under The Fair Forking License, anyone can fork the repo and do what they like with it. The only implied restriction is that you can’t directly profit from it (through a centralized means, eg sale of premine/ dev fee) without also compensating Grin. If you want to go ahead and create another fair launch project with no dev fee, then you have no restrictions. Or start from scratch and build your own MW implementation(like Beam)

Over the next few years, there’s going to be dozens of MW projects that are pretty much nothing more than a low-level fork of Grin’s codebase( Monero/ Cryptonote is a good example of this). Most of these projects will start very centralized and go down the ICO/ premine sale/ dev fee route(the popular thing at the moment is to claim no premine/ ICO and then charge a dev fee each block). This enables these copycat projects to hire paid developers, developers that might have ended up working on Grin instead/ or it could even be developers that are currently working on Grin but got frustrated working for free, so they went off to form a paid project- Diluting the quality of Grin’s community. Wouldn’t it be great if we had the means to fund Grin community projects?

The other thing to consider is that many of these projects will heavily rely on future upgrades to Grin’s codebase, thus they are incentivized to some extent to support the continued development of Grin. So, some projects could be willing to comply even if it was just “opt-in”. It could also put them in better standing with the Grin community (as opposed to just being that hated shit coin fork that offers no value). It would certainly put them in better standing vs another competing fork who refused to comply. So overall giving back to Grin might have a net-net position effect on their project.

We could even do cool things like apportioning a % of the funds collected from The Fair Forking License towards a bug bounty program/ future security audit. That way any fee paid by xyz project could benefit them as well- If there are security exploits in Grin’s base layer protocol, there’s going to be exploits in all it’s derived forks aswell.

IMO Mimblewimble(Grin) is going to become the new cryptonote ( Monero) in terms of forks/ shitcoin projects. A few are starting to pop up. The Grin repo has 810 forks all ready; It’s the 13th most forked repo out of all Cryptocurrency and mainnet has only been live for circa 6 months.

If the license is not expected to be legally enforceable, then I would suggest not making it a license, but instead make an explicitly non-binding request than accompanies the license.

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That doesn’t have the public shaming power of a violated license though.

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But, if it is made part of the license, it would make the project code incompatible with the GPL. I think that license incompatibilities should be avoided where possible, and the GPL is a popular license.