The current platform is a minimum viable product (MVP). It’s not finished (and we will hopefully never finish it). We already have fairly specific ideas on what the platform should finally look like (and probably you have good suggestions as well).
The first step in creating the online platform for sharing model contracts is to feed the platform with model contracts and clauses. This is why we started crowdsourcing. Once we succeed in building a rich open source of model contracts, the crowdfunding will start.
Your contribution can be a gift or you will receive a discounted early-bird subscription for using Mdlcntrcts as their proprietary platform for storing, managing, discussing and improving their own model contracts. We will use the contributions to develop the platform, to moderate uploads and discussions (and work towards an attractive community) and to add or expand platform functionalities.
We anticipate offering the following funding options:
- Subscriptions (using the advanced contract know-how management functionality):
- Organisations: 10 euro (approx. 10 U.S. Dollar) per user per month
- Individual legal professionals: 10 euro per month
- Gifts: any amount is welcome
We will only build the platform if altogether an amount of at least [25,000 euro] (approx. USD 28,000) is collected. It would be better, however, if we succeed in obtaining funding for maintenance and extra’s: up to (in the aggregate) [45,000 euro]. Therefore, spread the word and encourage your legal colleagues as well.
We anticipate that the platform will be realised in four to eight weeks after succeeding in our crowdfunding. This period will be deducted from your annual contribution (so you get 12 months full function).
If we collect (much) more than [45,000 euro], we will use that additional amount to further improve the platform.
Share a model contract. Tell your colleagues.
Our ideas for future features – once crowdfunded
The current platform is a minimum viable product (MVP). It’s not finished (and surely it will never be finished). Probably you have good suggestions, so let us know your ideas! We already have fairly specific ideas on what the platform should finally look like:
We have already established that the website can perform faster. This is a relatively easy one to solve, for which numerous parameters should be optimised.
Optimised searching: tagging and user-rating.
Upon uploading a model contract, everyone must add certain information (title, description etc.) and optionally assign tags and contract descriptors (in conformity with the predefined search filters). Only predefined tags can be used (a moderator functionality will be created to manage tags). We will most likely discover that a more elaborate search mechanism is desirable, which uses the tags, contract descriptors and fields in an advanced way, to make both the model contracts and the discussions searchable.
The best parameters for ranking the search results, especially when a search delivers a large number of matches, are most likely how previous users rated the model contract, and how often it was downloaded. The tagging and ordering of search results will be more advanced. It might be helpful if a registered user can set certain default search settings (e.g. contract language or industry).
User registration must work more smoothly. Members will be enabled to fill in a more elaborate personal profile (photo, name and contact details, with short description)).
Of course, the person uploading a model contract must confirm that the contract (a) will become available under an open source licence and (b) does not infringe the copyrights of a third person. Similarly, before being able to see the Word-document, a person downloading must accept a disclaimer (‘no legal advice’, ‘use at own risk’) and respect the open source licence terms (‘non-commercial use’, ‘no resale’). We will likely need to develop a mechanism to address and handle infringing uploads.
Once funding permits, version management on the (community-improved) versions of uploaded model contracts will be introduced. Versioning of the model contracts will then include the possibility to create alternating versions, with option for users to pick-up intermediate versions.
All open-source discussions can be moderated by one or more moderators. Moderators must be able to define the search and filter tags (create, rename, translate, delete), and must be able to link tags to each other (such that a search action on one tag also delivers the tag-results connected to the linked other tag). A moderator must be able to remove an uploaded model contract from the open source and contact an uploader-user directly (i.e. be able to send messages via the central e-mail system). The moderator must be able to manage paid accounts (activate, deactivate, add users manually etc.).
There should be a more fine-tuned functionality to distribute e-mails to users: (a) with a regular (e.g. weekly) updates helping users to get the most out of the platform, (b) notifying them when someone places a comment to a discussion which the user liked or to which a user contributed, (c) when a new model contract is uploaded within a particular category, and (d) related to (expiring) paid accounts. We don’t want to bother you too much, but many will like to stay informed about certain aspects of our platform. Therefore, users must be able to adjust their own e-mail settings.
Security and accessibility.
The platform must be secured with state-of-the-art technology (against spam mails, unauthorised downloads, hacks). Search engines must be able to search and index the metadata of the uploaded model contracts (only the open source, not the paying customers’ model contracts), as well as the discussions, without accessing the underlying Word document.
Website and languages.
You can already upload model contracts in any language. The final platform will support multilingualism of the interface (English, French, German, Spanish, and hopefully also Hindi, Chinese, Japanese).