microPledge help

Getting your project going

Other help topics:

How do I start a project?

Just click on our dreams page and type in the idea. Dreams are free.

What are the licensing options?

When you create a project you have various license choices. For non-software projects it’s easy as you only have one choice. But for software projects you can restrict the project’s copyright to these rules: open source, closed source or proprietary (roll-your-own).

microPledge has intentionally arranged the fee structure to encourage free software. If you are willing to give something away, then so are we. But our service can also be extremely effective to provide low-cost commercial software to thousands of pledgers.

Which software license is best for me?

If your project is to add features to existing software then you will probably be bound to stick to the license that is already attached to existing code (read its license to find out). For example, extensions to GPL code have to remain GPL-licensed.

However, if you are starting a new project, you have a choice. Generally, a hobbyist would choose open source and a commercial developer would choose proprietary. Either one might choose closed source.

What about a proprietary license?

A proprietary license gives you ultimate flexibility. You can define your own license and set a minimum pledge. But beware. Someone else might start up a competing project with the same idea but a more open license. You might want to consider injecting some funds into the project to give it a head start – and don’t set your minimum pledge too high.

What if someone starts another project just like mine?

It’s in your interests to join forces with them or your potential pledgers will be split between the two projects. Our Incubator below may also interest you.

We are planning a system to help projects collaborate, but right now you need to use the project’s comments to discuss this and to notify pledgers that another similar project is available. They can move their pledge away from a project as long as the quoting period is open.

How can the Incubator protect my idea?

Our Incubator takes a two-pronged approach to protect your idea. Firstly, it protects against someone else who patents your idea later. We do this by letting you establish prior art (see more about prior art below).

The second prong is like a short-term patent with the evil teeth pulled. You pay $20 and get an 8-month head start where only you can use your idea on our site. But unlike real patents, you can’t hold it over someone to prevent them from implementing an idea that they thought of first.

If someone else starts a microPledge project using your Incubated idea, you can challenge them. If a challenge does occur, your right to the idea will be jury-judged: half the vote from each project. The jury will decide whether you had the idea first.

Real patents can cost you up to $30,000 just to file plus any subsequent legal challenge costs. By contrast, the Incubator is quite inexpensive.

What is prior art?

When you select our Incubator service a box will pop up to let you enter your prior art, giving you legal protection against someone else who patents your idea later. Make sure you give clear detail under each of the following section headings.

Warning: if you change your prior art text, your prior art date will be restarted, which means that if someone else has claimed the idea since your previous change, their claim will take precedence.

Your prior art will be published in our official gazette. If you are interested in the legal value of your prior art, you might like to read this article from the US Patent and Trademark Office.

Please observe our disclaimers about the prior art information that we provide.