PGM-28: Protecting Paladin's contracts

Dear community,

This proposal is more of a defeat than anything else for us.

We love DeFi and want to champion its values, however, it has come to our attention that projects were inspiring themselves from our code to compete with us. While this is far from illegal, the developers working on Paladin spent countless hours testing innovative methods that are becoming Paladin’s moat. We have a large number of very novel ideas we want to test out and feel they can both help the ecosystem move forward and bring value to Paladin.

This however cannot happen if projects take our code and directly compete with us without the same R&D effort. If we do not take action, all of the work that has been done will simply flow out to projects who can focus on marketing and BD instead of R&D.

As such, we’re requesting the community to switch from an open source licence (MIT) to a Business Source License (BSL) 1.1 for the next products we will release.

BSL licenses have been adopted with success by Aave & Uniswap for their v3 in order to prevent value extraction without innovation on top of their code.

Here is a short summary of what a BSL license entails:

  1. This will enable us to create a moat around our intellectual property while having a transparent and publicly verifiable code;
  2. Anyone is free to build on top if the code or modify it — Provided that the value proposition is fundamentally improved;
  3. If you want to monetize the code you have to ask permission to the owner (the Paladin DAO led by the Paladin community itself).

After a predefined amount of time (i.e: two years), the code becomes open source through a GPL license.

Anyone who wants to use the Paladin smart contract code for their own projects could pay a license fee to Paladin. This could be :

  1. For a one-time fee;
  2. On a monthly/yearly basis;
  3. Based on monthly active users;
  4. Or based on volume (% of platform fee).

All requests should be addressed to the Paladin Community on the forum.

Paladin DAO (the Association representing the general interest of Paladin DAO) and Mithras Labs (the Developper company behind Paladin) cannot grant such usage rights without the Paladin on-chain DAO permission.

Such changes will enable Paladin to internalize more of its value creation while continuing to champion DeFi’s growth.

As a personal side note, if you want to build something that is not just a bland fork of our code, we will welcome it.

All licenses will be made open source and integrated in the github file of our new products.

If you have other ideas about licensing and how the Paladin community could benefit from using the project code, please let us know.

None needed

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I co-wrote this post with Hu_bo, so please take this message as my support to the initiative. As Paladin grows (which we are) our projects are going to be bigger, need more R&D, and we need to start building a moat around the fact that we have ideas and devs, otherwise, we’ll just be competing on marketing.


Full support on this proposal, very important to avoid unfair moves from competitors.

What can happen if a project decides to use the Paladin code without the community consent ?

Also, I guess not but is there a way for this kind of licence to have retroactive effects ?


Hello Dydymoon, thank you for your support regarding this initiative.
With this business source license, Paladin will either be able to take legal proceedings for copyright violations if our code is forked without prior authorization, or to engage a contractual liability action depending on the provision violated by the licensee.

Indeed, the software already deployed by Paladin is open source and will not be covered by a license. The objective is to cover the next Paladin products that will be deployed.

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We support this proposal!
This is a crucial business practice that will ensure we can benefit from the innovation the team creates by investing in Research.


Vote is up: Snapshot

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Quorum PGM-28: 538 266 votes