Nov 24, 2020
Some of my upcoming projects would benefit from collaboration. In turn I’d like to redistribute any profits into the pockets of those that contributed.
Just up front, if you’re reading this and you see something glaringly obvious or think something should be done differently please do ping me a note about it, this is nowhere near being set in stone!
The gist is that if a project of mine brings in a bit of cash everyone that helped create it sees a bit of cash too. I don’t know if this plan is iron clad yet but here’s the initial go at it.
How it works
The best option I’ve come up with so far is to allocate a project an amount of tokens before we start and give the tokens out when someone contributes.
Lets say we start a new website project, we might issue it a nice exampley round 1000 tokens. I’ll get 10% of them so that I don’t have to deal with rewarding myself. The project itself will have another 10% of the tokens to allow for future growth. There’s then 800 tokens left to be handed out as and when someone makes a significant contribution to the project. Some contributions might be worth just a couple of tokens, massive contributions might be worth more than 100. There’s no upper limit on how many tokens a contribution might be worth.
Each month for each project I’ll divide its profit (please brush up on profit vs revenue if you’re unclear on the difference!) by how many tokens it has and make the relevant payouts. Unissued tokens go into a future-projects pool to be used to kickstart more ambitious projects later.
The minimum rewarded token would be 1, so think more along the lines of writing a page of documentation rather than fixing a typo. Contributing or maintaining a feature rather than fixing some code style, fixing a bug rather than writing a bug report.
Responsibly disclosing security issues (to [email protected] please) would also warrant tokens.
Significant will be determined by me as and when needed, but I will be reasonable.
So is this all about code then?
Nope! One of the more ambitious projects in the pipeline is a TV show. In any case everything’s going to have non-technical tasks that need doing! I’m just thinking code to start with because everyone’s a bit isolated which makes physical or IRL projects less feasible for now. I’m also open to other types of projects further afield than my skillset as long as the things that need doing to make it a reality can be at least in part streamed in an interesting way!
I’m open to anything that might be somehow fun and entertaining to make on stream. If you come up with an idea we do on stream you’ll get an automatic 5% token cut (from my end) – but think of “idea” as closer to a business plan than a throwaway one-liner in chat!
So I can do all of the work and get all of the tokens?
No. If you want to do all of the work go ahead and do all of some other thing. Go make yourself rich, haha.
This is a collaborative process and a livestream primarily, while it would be amazing to have someone do all of the work in any other situation that would be very boring for everyone else in this case.
Do I own some of the company?
Good lord no. That would be a massive legal headache. Tokens do not carry any implicit value nor do they imply you being owed any money. We have no contract between us. They also confer no control over any company and they do not provide any shareholder rights or votes. Tokens are not shares and should not be seen as such.
I like to think I’m an honest person but of course you also have to trust me on whether a project makes profit or just revenue. Not being a shareholder you’re not entitled to see the books (I probably will let you know anyway but it’s not any sort of legal requirement)
If this takes off and gets to the point where people are relying on the income (though you shouldn’t while this note is in place!) I’ll definitely look at making things legally binding. It would be infeasible to do this from the start, it just wouldn’t work yet.
Copyright and the law
Copyright is a tricky one. Lets say we collaboratively wrote a film script and 30 odd people contributed. Who owns the script?
I own the script. By contributing you agree to transfer your copyright for your contributions to me exclusively. You cannot reuse the content elsewhere after contributing it to one of my projects without permission from me.
This sounds a bit harsh but please consider: How do we sell a script that has 30 different peoples’ copyrights from all over the world where 20 of them might have used the same content somewhere else? You can’t, nobody would buy it.
Consider if one person contributed something major but then got banned and decided to try legally revoking their copyright permission. How do you even handle that? The copyright is transferred to me, end of story. If you’re not interested in that then please don’t contribute!
In return we have the token system. If I ever revoke everyone’s tokens out of the blue in one go I encourage you to cancel my ass with extreme prejudice and also that would mean my personality has drastically changed in a short space of time so get me an MRI booked in too please.
Data and the law
Personal data will be handled according to the GDPR. Contributors will have zero access to any project’s customer data (where relevant)
Contributor data (payment info etc) will also be handled in compliance with the GDPR.
In rare cases it may be warranted to revoke a user’s tokens. The only reasons (but for legal arse covering purposes this list is not exhaustive) I could see myself revoking someone’s tokens would be:
- Breaking the the code of conduct or Twitch channel rules
- Breaking any UK laws while working on the project
- Trying to scam me or other users in any way shape or form
- Anything that smells like money laundering
- Causing any other legal headaches
- Making the token system more of a pain in the arse than it needs to be
- Acting butthurt over how many tokens you got for something
- Spamvertising the project
In regards to the Twitch channel specifically, timeouts will never revoke tokens and all token holder bans will be automatically appealed. This is so that nobody needs to panic and moderators don’t feel like they should hesitate to ban if warranted. If it’s an accidental ban you have no reason to panic, your tokens are still in place until I’ve manually reviewed and upheld the ban.
In regards to feeling your contribution has been unfairly rewarded - I promise you I am reasonable. Please ping me an email and we’ll have a look. It’s the acting butthurt part that isn’t acceptable. Please, email me. I wont bite :)
Spamvertising means cold emailing or going on places like reddit and spamming the link to the project everywhere without regard for the local community rules. Spamming on my behalf will not be tolerated under any circumstances. Lets discuss it before you start any form of advertising campaign.
Any tokens that have been revoked will never be un-revoked unless it was due to a fuckup. Even if you get unbanned from the channel later your tokens will not be restored. You may receive new tokens after being unbanned but just to really pound this one in your former tokens will not be restored. Don’t get banned, play by the rules.
Any tokens that get revoked will be transferred to a charity pool to assure you nobody is revoking anyone’s tokens for personal benefit.
In some situations it may be warranted to increase the amount of total available tokens a project has. A reason I might inflate tokens is a scenario where we work on a brand new from the ground up version of an older project that has all of its tokens issued already.
The options there seem to be either inflate the tokens in this manner or declare the older tokens no longer responsible for future profit. It seems more fair to inflate the available tokens to include new contributions rather than discard the contributions that got us to this point.
As with revoking tokens this would be a rare situation and the decision would not be made willy nillily.
Payments would be made as if you were a freelancer - that is to say you must do your own taxes. I will not be responsible or liable for doing anything beyond sending the cash. If you’re not a fan of doing your own taxes you can opt to have your payouts be sent to the charity pool (you can reverse this decision later if you wish)
Payments will be held for a month (for sake of argument a month is 28 days) at most. If you’ve not set up a payment method before the next payout day I’ll make the decision to donate it to charity for you. The accounting for all of this will be pain in the arse as it is, you need to be on your toes. Setting up a payment method is a one-time thing and only needs doing if there’s money to be had. You’ll be told if there’s money to be had with plenty of notice so no need to worry about missing anything.
It’d probably be via Paypal but honestly as long as I don’t get doxxed with your preferred method of transfer I’m open to suggestion. I probably wont be installing any new apps just to make a single payment though.
How long do tokens last?
A token is valid until the project leaves my hands - be it through the project being shut down or sold off.
If a project is sold the net after-legal-fees-and-whatnot amount will be distributed as profit before the relevant tokens are deleted :)
Am gonna be so rich
Please do keep in mind that this is in no way an alternative to employment. It is very possible that every project will flop and will bring in zero profit. If a project does turn a profit anything beyond beer money may be months or even years away.
Treat this as a fun bonus if your tokens come up good rather than a guaranteed payment. If you’re just contributing looking for a payout then please don’t contribute.
The idea is that this is a sort of Twitch Plays Business. The goal is for everyone to learn new skills and see creative endeavours come to fruition. Anything beyond that is a bonus.
I have trouble believing this is a thing, whats your game?
No games, no trickery. I have more ideas than I’ll ever have time to complete them, lets crowdsource a few of them into existence!
The profit share is there to encourage collaboration and make things a little more entertaining for everyone. It’s also unashamedly the unique selling point and investment into the stream that brings you in and keeps you coming back :)
Convinced? Not convinced but want to watch it fail?