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Re: [tlug] Timed licenses? (and eschrow/smart contracts)

Hi Darren.

To be clear on what you're asking, are we just talking about the
license, for source code that's already available, or are we talking
about proprietary, closed-source source code that needs to actually be
*revealed* on the trigger date?

If it's the former then I haven't heard of it being done, but since
the thing you're trying to control is a legal thing designed to be
interpreted by courts, amending the license to say "as of date X"
seems like the obvious way to go. You *could* have legal contract that
delegated control to a smart contract that then did the transfer at
the right time, and Ethereum would almost definitely [1] enforce the
time correctly, but I'd imagine the legalese you needed to execute
"delegate control of this license to this smart contract" would be
funkier than the legalese you needed to execute "this license is valid
from date X".

If it's the latter then I can talk about some approaches that probably
won't help you, but might.

[1] Ethereum can't give you high precision with timestamps - miners
can fudge timestamps by a few seconds at no cost to themselves. Also
there's an argument that says that the incentive system that's
supposed to make the timestamps go forward broadly in line with actual
time is broken and miners have an incentive to start creeping it
forward, but if that happens then we probably say that Ethereum is
broken, rather than just that Ethereum doesn't work for your use-case.


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