Licensing Strategy for Our Software Components

Reuven Aboulker
Secured Finance

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In the rapidly evolving landscape of software development, the choice of licensing for various components is a critical decision that shapes how our technology is used and developed further by the community. In this article, we will outline our licensing strategy for key components such as Smart Contracts, Software Development Kits (SDKs), and User Interface (UI) elements.

Smart Contracts: Business Source License (BSL)

Our smart contracts are the foundation and core of our technology, representing our most significant competitive advantage. To foster transparency and trust, we have decided to give access to these contracts available through the Business Source License v1.1 (BSL). BSL allows anyone to view or use the licensed code for internal or testing purposes but places limitations on the use of the code for production purposes (Commercial Use), which is crucial given the nature and features embedded within our smart contracts.

Unlike open-source licenses, BSL ensures our intellectual property is protected by ensuring that any intended use of our code for Commercial Use is prohibited unless we have explicitly approved such intended use by granting “Additional Use Grants.” Additional Use Grants allow us to identify specific circumstances where our source code can be used for Commercial Use.

While BSL may appear very different to open-source licenses, it shares certain important similarities with them, such as:

  • it allows licensed source codes to be publicly available;
  • is free for anyone to use, redistribute, copy, modify and create derivative versions of our source code provided it is strictly for non-commercial Use purposes (Limited Use); and
  • it becomes an open-source license within 4 years of the release of the specific version of the source code, through a GNU General Public License.

This critical balance between transparency and protection aligns with our strategic goals, ensuring that while our core technology is fully accessible for scrutiny, we can ensure that the latest version of our technology remains unique to our platform for a specific period.

Opting for GPLv3 for both our UI components and change license fosters a unified licensing approach, preventing unnecessary complexity. This choice ensures that any modifications, derivative versions or innovations based on our open-source code (Modified Features) must adhere to the GPLv3 terms, allowing continuous open collaboration and unrestricted access for us and our community.

For an example of BSL in action, see Uniswap v3 core’s license: Uniswap v3 Core License

SDKs: MIT License

Our SDKs are the gateways through which users and developers interact with our data and smart contracts. We aim to maximize their use and integration into various applications. To this end, we have chosen the MIT License for our SDKs.

The MIT License is one of the most open and permissive licenses in the software world. It allows virtually unrestricted freedom to use, copy, modify, merge, publish, distribute, sublicense, and even sell copies of the software. This openness encourages widespread use and adaptation, fostering a robust developer community around our SDKs.

You can find more about the MIT License here: MIT License

UI Components: GNU General Public License v3 (GPLv3)

For our UI components, we have adopted the GNU General Public License v3 (GPLv3). This license allows others to freely use, modify, and share our UI code, but with a key condition: any derivative work must be distributed under the same license terms.

This approach ensures that while we are open to the community leveraging our UI components, we receive due credit, and any enhancements or modifications made to them are also shared with the community. It’s an excellent way to promote collaborative improvement and innovation.

For more details on GPLv3, visit: GNU GPLv3 License

Conclusion

By carefully selecting the appropriate licenses for each component, we aim to strike a balance between openness, community engagement, and protecting our competitive advantages. We believe that this licensing strategy will foster a healthy ecosystem around our technology, encouraging use, contribution, and innovation.

About Secured Finance

Secured Finance is revolutionizing the digital asset landscape by constructing interbank-grade capital markets. Our innovative protocol is designed to offer a secure, flexible, and scalable fixed-income solution for digital assets. Comprised of a team of expert investment bankers, we are committed to integrating traditional finance wisdom into the realm of cryptocurrency and digital assets.

Stay informed and connected with us for further information and updates.

Secured Finance Official Links

Website | Gitbook | Twitter | GitHub | Galxe | Link3 | Guild

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Reuven Aboulker
Secured Finance

Director of Engineering @ Secured Finance | Web3 | ex-interest rate derivatives financial engineer | ex-technical lead in a top-tier bank