I just noticed on the Secret Network discord some discussion about the license for the network code. I was surprised to learn that the license was updated from a GPL license to a far more restrictive license in Nov 2022 in advance of the Shockwave upgrade. The license can be found here: SecretNetwork/LICENSE at master · scrtlabs/SecretNetwork · GitHub.
Although it can be argued the validators approved this change by approving the upgrade, as far as I know there was no explicit discussion about this change of the license in the public governance chats prior to the upgrade, and it is not mentioned in the proposal on chain: https://secretnodes.com/proposals/123 .
The most pertinent clause, in my opinion, is part three which now reads as:
3. Permitted Uses. For the sole purpose of contribution to this repository, you are granted a non-exclusive, non-transferable, non-sublicensable license to publish, copy, modify, adapt, merge, translate or create derivative works based upon, the Program (such resulting program, collectively, the “Resulting Program”) solely for Non-Commercial Use as long as you: a. give prominent notice (“Notice”) with each copy of the Resulting Program that the Program is used in the Resulting Program and that the Program is the copyright of Gamma; and b. subject the Resulting Program and any distribution, publication, copy, modification, merger therewith, combination with another program or derivative works thereof to the same Notice requirement and Non-Commercial Use (as defined in section 1) restriction set forth herein. c. You will not use any trade names, trademarks, service marks, or product names or logos of Gamma, Secret Network, Secret Coin, or any other contributor or related entity, in a way that may cause confusion about the identity of the owner or authorized user of such marks, names or logos.
The new wording of the license could restrict the ability of validators to determine the future forms of the network, given that Slabs (Gamma) owns all edit privileges to the Secret Network repo. In effect, it limits anyone other than Slabs from forking the existing repository and running a blockchain with it. Although we all recognise that Slabs does the bulk of network development, does that mean we want that set in stone so that all new network code must be approved by Slabs for all perpetuity? Personally, such a situation seems antithetical to the idea of a decentralized network to me. I am curious about why this change was made by Scrt Labs, what the rationale was (scared of competitors?), and why it was not publicly discussed in advance of the Shockwave upgrade?