Sustainable Source

Open source within a year ‐ guaranteed

Sustainable Source is an attempt at combining the best of open source development and entrepreneurship. It offers freedom to pursue development that its contributors believe in and the ease of mind that they can sustain their lives while doing so. When a sustainable source project releases a new version, it comes with the guarantee that a year later that same release can be used under the terms of the permissive MIT license, making it fully free and open source. Releases that are less than a year old can be used when a license fee has been paid.

Supports developers

Any proceeds from license fees are automatically distributed among the developers. Those who contributed the most to the sustainable source project receive the largest share. This allows contributors to sustain their lives by developing the software. To ensure that proceeds are distributed fairly, a smart contract is employed to handle payments. A smart contract is a piece of code on a blockchain that is guaranteed to be executed as written. No cheating is allowed, or even possible.

How does it work?

Paying a license fee is a very similar experience to doing any other payment online. What happens directly afterwards is very different though. The payments will be kept by a smart contract that will distribute the proceeds fairly among the contributors. To claim their share of the proceeds, contributors can register their contributions in the form of accepted Github pull requests. More registered pull requests means a larger share of the proceeds. Like in most open source projects, anyone is allowed and even encouraged to suggest improvements by submitting pull requests.

Why sustainable source?

We are developing the Sustainable Source License and its accompanying smart contracts to ensure the right balance between providing enough money to to sustain development and allowing enough freedom for anyone to use, share and contribute to the software. Letting people buy a license will ensure that there is an incentive for developers to create software that people will want to buy. Limiting the period for which license fees have to be paid creates an incentive to continuously improve the software.