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The custodian is a legal entity that acts as a trust for the OVN. In that sense, it is pat of the organizational interface, acts as an interface between the OVN and entities in its environment.

See also Legal framework


Chris Cook also proposed the concept of nondominium property and of Custodian, which was later implemented by Sensorica in the OVN model.

Sensorica's most important Custodian is ACES-CAKE, which was first created to handle a grant to pay an intern student.

Roles for the custodian

  • Property: implement the nondominium form of property (more on nondominium and peer property on the p2p Foundation).
  • Legal representation: represents the network's interests in legal procedures
  • Liability: take on the legal responsibility for the use of material assets by affiliates in the OVN. (Ex. insures the use of spaces, tools and equipment, and consumable materials).
  • Trust: Legal owner of important assets used by the OVN's affiliates, manages shared assets. These assets can be material (space, equipment), or immaterial (websites, logos).
  • Transaction services: offers transaction instruments (financial transactions and others) to network affiliates, fiscal sponsorship services.
  • Referee: balances governance between OVN affiliates and other peripheral legal entities like Exchange firms, or external legal entities, mediates between co-creation and maintenance of commons and co-extraction practices.

In the Sensorica OVN, the Custodian ACES-CAKE has also been branded as an organization offering consultancy services. In this instance, ACES-CAKE acts as an Exchange firm.

Some custodial functions can be automated and absorbed into a DAO.

Obligations for the custodian

  • Must respect a charter provided by the affiliates of the OVN, which specifies how assets should be managed and used.
  • Cede all assets to another entity in case the OVN affiliates decide to revoke the role of custodianship

Types of custodian

  • network custodian - concerned with assets (material or immaterial) that are shared across the network.
  • project custodian - the scope is limited to one project, which is considered as an autonomous unit.
  • casual custodian - the scope is limited to a particular asset, ex. someone "owning" a Facebook account for the network.

Examples of custodians

See Sensorica's custodian agreement templates

See also

  1. Legal framework
  2. Exchange firm

Open the Nondominium document