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alain94040

Share of profit or revenue projects (FairSoftware)

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I am moving this thread to this forum as it is the appropriate place to discuss.
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Original post by Drew_Benton Thanks for taking the time to post Alain. Here's a few follow up questions based on that, just curious by all means :) Let's say you have 3 people, Joe, Tom, and Sue that start a project on your site. Each of them has a 33% share of the project. Let's assume the project is getting close to done, then Tom disappears and fails to contribute to the project anymore. Sue and Joe continue working and get the product ready to sell but there's the problem - what about Tom? * Does Tom still get his 33% of the share? * How would Sue and Joe get Tom removed from the team? * Assuming it were possible to get Tome removed from the team, what role does FairSoftware play in ensuring no hostile takeovers take place? I.e. Joe and Sue are conspiring to get Tom off the team, who really has done most of the work. * What's there to protect the virtual business's assets that are not an integral part of the FairSoftware project? I.e. if everyone has the project so to speak, what provisions in FairSoftware are setup to prevent a team member from walking off with the project using it for their own good? (Usually NDAs are established but are those being integrated into the site?) * What safeguards do you have in place to prevent people from using the site illegally? I.e. selling things they do not have the intellectual rights to, etc.. Assuming you've gotten the money to them already and they go off and disappear, would you be liable? Now that just covers some of the main "protection" question I have. The features you described about the EULA, the cooperation, and the shares are all great. I've never gone through that process myself, so my mindset when reading these things was not one of considering the costs of those, so that's a nice plus. 9% is a nice number, I've seen various "royalty" percentages that range up to 50% for some things so something like that is a big issue to watch. That's it for now, I'll check back on the site often for updates. I mean the idea is very interesting, but it's all the "worse case" scenarios that I'm thinking about that would prevent me from working with people in the first place; it has nothing to do with your solution itself. I've seen a lot of people get cheated out of their hard work, so thats my main concern currently with how people can(not) abuse the setup. Cheers!

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Original post by Drew_Benton
just curious ...

Let's say you have 3 people, Joe, Tom, and Sue that start a project on your site. Each of them has a 33% share of the project. Let's assume the project is getting close to done, then Tom disappears and fails to contribute to the project anymore. Sue and Joe continue working and get the product ready to sell but there's the problem - what about Tom?

* Does Tom still get his 33% of the share?

This and your other questions are answered with another question:
"What does their collaboration agreement say?" (Just curious)

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Drew,

You are asking very important questions. People that get together to work on a significant project should think about these issues before they get started.

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* Does Tom still get his 33% of the share?


At FairSoftware, jobs typically vest over a period of 4 years. So if Tom leaves or is removed from the project early on, he probably will keep only a few shares, but nothing close to the original 33%. The same mechanism is used by Silicon Valley startups to guarantee that in case of trouble between co-founders, there is a reasonable solution for everyone.

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* How would Sue and Joe get Tom removed from the team?


Sue and Joe own a big majority of the shares, so they could decide to terminate Tom's job. There are two levels of termination at FairSoftware: regular "job is over", and ban. A ban is only used when a contributor is misbehaving, taking code away, leaving for the competition maybe... If you are banned, you lose all access to the project. It does take a "super-majority" to be banned, so it's only extreme cases.

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* Assuming it were possible to get Tome removed from the team, what role does FairSoftware play in ensuring no hostile takeovers take place? I.e. Joe and Sue are conspiring to get Tom off the team, who really has done most of the work.


If Tom accepted to do most of the work for only 33% of the company, he is taking a risk. Same as in real life, by the way. Where we help is the fact that the deal is documented and tracked in the system, so that if there is abuse by Joe and Sue, they will have a very hard time recruiting any more people, because new comers to the project will find out. That's an incentive to play "fair".

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* What's there to protect the virtual business's assets that are not an integral part of the FairSoftware project? I.e. if everyone has the project so to speak, what provisions in FairSoftware are setup to prevent a team member from walking off with the project using it for their own good? (Usually NDAs are established but are those being integrated into the site?)


The Software Bill Of Rights include confidentiality, but more importantly, clearly says that as a contributor, you can't take other people's code and distribute it yourself. If you do that, you are infringing on the project's copyright. This structure is a key provision of the license: the only way to build the complete product, using pieces for all contributors, is when the contributors agree to build a product. Any one on their own doesn't have the rights to the full product.

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* What safeguards do you have in place to prevent people from using the site illegally? I.e. selling things they do not have the intellectual rights to, etc.. Assuming you've gotten the money to them already and they go off and disappear, would you be liable?


Yes, there are interesting liability issues. Let's just say that if you behave really badly (as in steal code and sell a pirated version of commercial software), you'll be in trouble, no more or no less than if you had used a system other than FairSoftware.

Alain.

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Original post by Tom Sloper
This and your other questions are answered with another question:
"What does their collaboration agreement say?" (Just curious)


Tom, you can check out the legal agreement, it is online at softwarebillofrights.org/license.html

It spells out how the revenue sharing occurs, what are the conditions for managing (governing) the project, how the intellectual property rights are managed, etc.

Alain.

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Original post by alain94040
Quote:
Original post by Tom Sloper
This and your other questions are answered with another question:
"What does their collaboration agreement say?" (Just curious)

Tom, you can check out the legal agreement, it is online at softwarebillofrights.org/license.html
It spells out how the revenue sharing occurs... etc.

Great! Then all your questions are answered. Since it's a thoroughly written agreement that covers all the bases, you know:

* Whether Tom still gets his 33% of the share
* How Sue and Joe get Tom removed from the team
* what role FairSoftware play in ensuring no hostile takeovers take place
* What's there to protect the virtual business's assets
* What safeguards are in place

Of course, if the agreement doesn't spell those things out, then you still have your answer -- the problem is the agreement.

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