MUL2020: The Moral Upgrade License 2020

The Last Flinch of a Dying Demon

There is an artificially induced financial stability in the world, which obscures the actual value of our work. If we are part of a guild — e.g. programmers, we expect our salary to be in a certain range, regardless of what we do. And these salary ranges have more to do with a market average, than with what is fair within the company. There is no direct or transparent connection to how much the end client is paying for the product that we are building and how much of that payment should directly go to us.

True Capitalism — Meritocracy in Depth

But the capitalism of today is not pure. It is plagued with local minima that capture and maintain wealth. These local minima eventually develop communist-like mini-societies around that wealth, as a maintenance mechanism: the more people you corrupt, the harder it is to see and break the corruption and let the capital flow in the way a free fluid intends: it takes the form of the market.

The Youtube Case

The clearest example of how this system can be implemented is Youtube. Youtube can know exactly how many viewers a portion of a video video1 had. If that portion contains the IP of another creator video2:

  • part of the views on that common portion from video1 should also go to video2
  • if video1 is monetized, then part of the proceedings (directly proportional to the views on the clip) should go to video2

HitRecord Case

The most interesting example I know of collective creation, where everyone was paid for their effort is I used to watch their creations (without paying) and I remember how Gordon was filming each envelope with money, going to each creator that produces something for the short film and showing receipts. He acted like he implemented the intent of the Moral Upgrade License.

Open Source, not Free Source

This system can be built now, with the tools that we already have. And it can start with open-source software. Continuing the freedom-in-software revolution.

Donations for Open Source

GitHub now has a donation system for open source creators. And other systems exist, on the same pattern. This lack of clarity over what is deserved and what is given through another type of reasoning (a moral sense of altruism) will be the downfall of the open-source movement due to unsustainability.

Forward Payment and Backward Payment

I will take a phenomenon that is a condensation of the above aspects, in such an extreme, that it makes things clearer.

Forward Payment

How many ICOs (Initial Coin Offerings)(*) have given back to the projects that they have used to promote and build their products?


How many projects have been funded on the work of others without making a valuable improvement and without paying it backward?

Backward Payment

The moment you accrue capital, you must give back, directly proportional to the project/library’s value inside your project/company. If it is pennies, those pennies must be given.

How About Free Beer?

The torch of free beers needs to be passed on. In other words, free software should remain free for entities who also give their software for free.

The Moral Upgrade License 2020

A project upholds this new license if:

  • it is open source
  • it can only be used by projects who also respect this license
  • it is financially supported only with publically known payments, traceable without doubt
  • its financial outputs are traceable, so any individual can verify that the project upholds the license
  • a project can define many types of payment: financial (e.g. money, digital currencies), social (e.g. retweets, shares), time (e.g. volunteer developers) and the calculated percentage of owed resources will be applied to them.

Computable Moral Upgrade License

In the next articles, in this series, you will see software solutions to this problem.

What I Can Do

  • open an Ethereum account for your project, for ALL financial inputs and outputs of that project (if you have a better solution than Ethereum, with smart contract support and better decentralization, open an issue:)
  • watch the GitHub repository for changes
  • if you have commercial law knowledge, open an issue on GitHub, so you can help compose the license
  • open an issue on GitHub if you have any improvements to these ideas and plans
  • if you are a programmer, look at the source code that will appear in the repo.



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