AGP Discussion: Aragon Comprehensive Legal Review Program

Description of desired Association policy change

Fund 3-5 hours of legal council for every Aragon application shipped through the Nest or Flock program. This council would determine the following items (for major jurisdictions):

  • if developers would be held liable for shipping the application
  • if users would be held liable for using the application, and if so what use cases would fall under what rules
  • a disclaimer that can be attached to Aragon apps releasing developers of any liabilities and informing users to do their own research

Motivation for changing this Association policy

Aragon apps are cool. Aragon apps are fun. Aragon apps are, legally compliant?

Aragon exists to allow anyone anywhere to organize freely. Just passing votes and making decisions is fairly non controversial. When money is attached to those votes, things are different. In many parts of the world there are strict rules as to what you can and cannot do with money. This is currently a legally grey area as tokens may or may not be classified as money, commodities, securities, or even other things depending on your jurisdiction. This is frustrating and nerve-racking for Aragon application developers.

Just like applications receive security audits, they could also receive a legal audit. Having legal council before shipping applications to mainnet would improve the experience of building and shipping Aragon applications. This would help developers sleep sound at night. It would also increase consumer confidence in Aragon applications. This would help organizations and users understand what they can and cannot use Aragon applications for.

We cannot boil the ocean. Hiring lawyers in every jurisdiction in the world is not possible. We could, however, consult legal council in the jurisdiction in which Aragon app developers operate, or, most likely, in the major jurisdictions in which there is likely to be a significant user base. Ideally a combination of both. This point is up for discussion, but legal support needs to be provided to the Aragon ecosystem so that people can build, ship, and use Aragon apps with confidence.

This AGP can be found here.

I think it would be useful to have an opinion wrt the legal liability of publishing packages to APM, its an interesting edge case between “deploying” code and publishing source code. It would be nice to be able to provide more clarity and assurance to all participants included developers about their actions interacting with the platform…

However, I really don’t think funding x amount of hours across the board to give individual legal advice on an application or team basis makes sense.

Agreed! This was the goal for this AGP.

It would be good to have a broad and vague statement waiving any liabilities that come from just publishing code (use at your own risk, etc…). In addition, however, for applications that end users are going to use (Aragon Fundraising, Token Request, etc…) it would be good to have legal council take a look at those applications specifically. If I build or use something I want to know that the thing I’m building or using is ok.

As mentioned in Comprehensive Security Review discussion, perhaps this is not required for all applications, but only those that directly face end users.

All in all, however, it seems like encountering a legal snafu would be much more damaging to Aragon’s reputation than a technical bug. We should start to take basic steps to provide clarity and protection for users and developers. This will inspire confidence in Aragon as a safe and professional platform that people can be confident building on or using.

Would like to add that @DanielS is a friendly contributor to this proposal and the proposal is a result of our conversations on the legality of various DAO mechanisms. I totally forgot to add this in during the second community review period. My bad.

@light @lkngtn Since this would be a minor edit to the AGP that would not change the content in any way (really just a note to list a contributor) is it possible to add this in? Or would I have to wait until the next AGP and then submit an AGP to edit/amend this AGP?

we can add Daniel as a contributor without requiring an AGP amendment. however the version with Daniel contributing will not be the version on the ballot because it’s not the same one the AA is reviewing. go ahead and submit your PR and we’ll merge it in.

If I understand correctly, the AGP on the ballot would be as is. If the AGP was approved, however, then in the Aragon AGPs repo the AGP would list @DanielS as a contributor. This would not affect the AGP’s status in the ANV process or have any other effects other than just adding a contributor to the final copy in the AGPs repo. Is that correct?