Aave V3 Launch strategy: Code licensing

The vibe check / vote from the community for Aave V3 was overwhelmingly positive as seen in the following snapshot vote . As indicated in the initial introductory thread there will be a few more snapshot votes for the community to define the V3 launch strategy. This request for comments is for the community to discuss the licensing for the Aave V3 code. It is up to the community to determine which licensing regime is appropriate for Aave V3. The licenses proposed here will be collected and voted on by the community through a specific snapshot vote.

14 Likes

Congrats on the Aave V3 introduction and the “decentralized launch” strategy.

From my pov, there has not been a tremendous amount of Aave V2 forks.
I would suggest sticking to the Open-Source Aave initial ethos, preferring an MIT Licence for the V3.

3 Likes

Let me be the first to suggest a Uniswap-style time delayed license (see here v3-core/LICENSE at main · Uniswap/v3-core · GitHub). It basically hinders the blind copying of the V3 protocol for a time and lets it flow into open source after that. I would, like Uniswap as well, suggest a two year delay in which time the AAVE community can build out the ecosystem.

I know a lot of people will say that it goes against the open source nature of DeFi and Crypto, and to a degree it does and to a degree I would even be on the same page. But it also is a sort of safety mechanism to protect from low effort forks with hyped coins that go nowhere. The “developers” (copiers) make a lot of money, the token holders and liquidity providers often don’t.

Let me quote the original Uniswap blogpost for their V3, which I would agree with:

We strongly believe decentralized financial infrastructure should ultimately be free, open-source software. At the same time, we think the Uniswap community should be the first to build an ecosystem around the Uniswap v3 Core codebase.

Don’t @ me.

3 Likes

I share a very similar opinion to this. Protect the protocol and grow for a set period of time after which it can become open source.

my opinion: The Aave community and the AAVE holders should have ownership of the technology as it becomes an asset. Forking the code should be allowed only with proper collaboration and recognition to the Aave governance. I don’t know if any specific license matches this configuration though.

9 Likes

I would say stick to a permissive opensource license.

Uniswap style has not been proven to be effective or useful in what it set out to do.

  1. Forks still happened by anons in BSC (and probably elsewhere) – but nobody cared.
  2. A big part of the opensource community was alienated due to the license.

Uniswap style has not been proven to be effective or useful in what it set out to do.

  1. Forks still happened by anons in BSC (and probably elsewhere) – but nobody cared.

That is a very weak argument, to be honest. “Don’t do it because it doesn’t work” makes no sense when it comes to licenses. A musician doesn’t give his music away unlicensed because “it’ll be pirated anyway”. A license like this would a least hinder companies to fork the protocol and it would stop some happy-go-lucky VCs to invest in a cheap knock off. The code base can’t really be secret, can it? Needs to be on chain to be executed.

  1. A big part of the opensource community was alienated due to the license.

I don’t really see that that is what happend. Of course, you’ll alienate a few people - there is no question there. But Uniswap wasn’t abandoned in droves. It’s one of the biggest DEXs with a lot of growth and V3 was well adopted by liquidity providers.

1 Like

I think it’s important, as Web3 gets rolling and protocols will be held to certain standards as awareness of the importance of decentralization, that anything less than an MIT will just be written off as VC trash. Not to get too inflammatory but isn’t the whole thing with AAVE “just be fucking nice”? I don’t understand how you can champion decentralization without starting from the foundation of your source code. Just pretty sus. Open it up!

I would see something like curve’s forks. Allowing it in a permissionned way avoiding the greed of bad devs, VC’s and blockchain owner’s.
Open source yes but after a little time. Maybe 1 or 2 years. And before permissioned autorisations with protocole tokens give to aave holders.

5 Likes

sorry but this argument doesn’t make much sense to me. How can this be written off as VC trash? everything is literally being decided by the community and also the Aave protocol is not raising money, and there is no VC involvement in the development of V3.
Being nice doesn’t mean giving up bleeding edge tech to ungrateful forkers for money grabbing schemes.
You want to fork the Aave protocol, you come to the Aave community and negotiate your terms, then you are free to go.
Also why are you giving for granted that the code will not be open? Everything Aave built til now is completely free to use and the community could very well decide to keep going along this path.

6 Likes

As a side note, this discussion and subsequent vote is super important. The sooner an agreement is found on this, the sooner the code can be released for the community to assess and the bug bounty to start.

As long as the minimum amount of AAVE to make a proposal remains so high, how can you make that claim about governance? “Community decides” feels like a meme. I don 't say what I say because I have something against AAVE. I just think if governance is reserved for those who can afford it, you don’t have democracy-- you have oligarchy. Maybe inevitable in the space, but maybe also reason to look elsewhere? idk

I am coding for a few years in space, and I cannot thinking why it is okay in 2021 almost 2022 to not open source like before. It is like going backwards to fascism. I hope governance vote is think long and hard about what it is saying to do this. I will be cast my vote.

First, the threshold to submit proposals is below most other protocols governance. Second, you can submit a proposal and hold 0 AAVE. You can just get delegated.

I don’t really get it. Somehow crypto is all about ownership without ownership? Crypto is about giving a voice to the people. If it gets licensed and restricted, it’s the vote of the owners of the protocol, which also own the codebase. Equalising that with fascism is just absolutely ridiculous hyperbole and, to be honest, quite insulting.

In a democracy in which you cast your vote (and you say that you will), if the majority goes against what you want - is that fascism? No, it’s democracy.

So instead of screaming bloody murder, how about you come up with an argument for the V3 protocol to be open source? That, as of now, is absent from this thread.

2 Likes

That is not forking. That is buying a license. If you can’t freely fork opensource code then it’s not opensource.

I won’t argue further on this but don’t do it because it does not work seems like a pretty good argument to me.

If something was tried by another project and has failed in its intended purpose, evidenced by the cheap uniswap v3 forks in BSC then I posit that the approach of going closed source, or source available or whatever the trendy name for closed source software is nowadays has not worked well.

And if it does have negative consequences by alienating some devs then I believe it’s not a good idea to follow.

You are free to not agree with me. I came here to give my opinion as an OG dev in the space, an Aave holder and an Aave user since @Emilio asked on twitter. (or at least I think it was him :sweat_smile: )

2 Likes

would it be bad to retain the ownership of the IP only for a certain amount of time after launch? tbh to me opening up to such abuses and risks of wasting the huge investments the community has made in researching and implementing the technology doesn’t make much sense.
You wait till the governance maximizes the benefits of its own efforts and investments (which is only fair) then if others want to use the code, they wait. Or they find a mutual agreement with the governance. I don’t see whats bad in this. Must be noted that the agreement can be beneficial to both parties. Many aave forks failed because of misconfigurations/bad code changes. Maybe they wouldn’t have failed if they had asked for the aave community support.

4 Likes

@lefterisjp

I won’t argue further on this but don’t do it because it does not work seems like a pretty good argument to me.
If something was tried by another project and has failed in its intended purpose, evidenced by the cheap uniswap v3 forks in BSC then I posit that the approach of going closed source, or source available or whatever the trendy name for closed source software is nowadays has not worked well.

I disagree with you saying it “hasn’t worked”. Stopping some random anons on what in itself can be considered a bad, poorly executed copy of Ethereum is not the goal of a prohibitive license. The goal there is more of stopping projects that don’t innovate in getting traction. Be it that they can not just copy it while being incorporated, because they will make themselves legally vulnerable. Or be it that they can’t work with a VC because every VC that has even the lowest of standards will not work with a project that uses pirated IP.

You could say that it will be harder for someone to just blindly fork it and get away with it.

And if it does have negative consequences by alienating some devs then I believe it’s not a good idea to follow.

To be honest - I’m not a developer, so I can’t really argue that. I believe strongly in decentralization and immutability and most other core values of the crypto community. But I also believe in AAVE and I believe that in the hands of the team, this project will have a good chance in becoming the go to standard for reserve banking. I believe in a bigger picture. And ungrateful AAVE forks that are short term hyped doesn’t further crypto, it furthers nothing but short term gains for people who can click Alt+C.

And to be honest. On a protocol level, especially in the DeFi sector, I have yet to come across a fork of a protocol that innovated enough for me to say that it was worth it. OHM forks are literally a meme. Sushi was nothing but bad blood. AAVE forks are a joke (and some of the most ungrateful on CT). It just doesn’t really work as a concept.

A good counterpoint to this would be Ethereum - the EVM especially - which has become the gold standard. But then there are other problems with that…

@Emilio

Or they find a mutual agreement with the governance.

If the AAVE governance would be allowed to license V3 out on a proposal by proposal basis, I would suggest that there can not be any transfer of monetary value involved. We would open ourselves up for a bribery market of epic proportions. I would suggest a proposal procedure that outlines the vision of whoever wants to fork it with a proper whitepaper and what innovation they want to bring forward to further the development of their version of AAVE V3, then there should be a decision. Not just “I give you token, you give me code”.

1 Like

very surprized to see this debate in 2021. not having OS licence would go against web3 and steps taken to decentralize Aave in past months
i understand from proposal that company wants to keep ownership of code but needs blessing from community. good decentralization theater. a top defi protocol still having a company behind should either lead the “de” part of defi and go full open source, or own the VC tease and follow uniswap without asking community

v3 should be MIT)

Neptune, we are here to build public goods, everyone should spend more time on sushi and maker forum and understand how DAO led projects are miles ahead in their way of thinking about open protocols compared to company led projects. if you dont understand, then its much time larping community, instead of being part of it.)

@Emilio does this include IP of brand as well ? Sushi and Yearn are very good successful exemple where the WHOLE IP is OS and it has only made them stronger. no reason for Aave to keep brand closed source at this point.

I support not having MIT/OS if full control with token holders and proper process in place, but everything would be held by the company and/or multisig of VCs and CT influencers so i would have to vote against.

for now) lets see how it evolve)