The Digital Media Project



Martin Springer


Financing content production by collecting loans from End-users




Name: Martin Springer
Affiliation/additional information: Active Contributor
Date submitted: 2004/04/27


# Criteria Description
1. Name of DMBM Financing content production by collecting loans from end-users
2. Summary description of DMBM The Street Performer Protocol [1] is a way of encouraging the creation of creative works and intellectual property in the public domain, described by the cryptographers John Kelsey and Bruce Schneier of Counterpane Systems (although the underlying idea is much older). It assumes that traditional forms of copyright and creative compensation will not work in the future, because of the ease of copying and distribution of digital information.

Under the SPP, the Author/Creator announces that when he receives a certain amount of money in escrow, he will release a work (book, music, software, etc.) into the public domain. Interested End-Users (donors) make their donations to a Publisher, who keeps the donations in escrow, identified by their donors. If the Author/Creator releases the work on time, he and the Publisher are paid from the escrow fund. If not, the Publisher repays the End-Users (donors), possibly with interest.

The Publisher may act like a traditional publisher, by soliciting sample works and deciding which ones to support, or it may only serve as an escrow agent and not care about the quality of the works [2]

To handle payments a Finacial Service Provider (Banker) holding donations in trust for the Publisher can be added. Bankers have a huge amount of reputation capital, and no financial incentive to cheat (usually) either End-Users. The Finacial Service Provider must not release donation funds until material is published according to a contracted sequence and time frame. When the Finacial Service Provider recognizes that publication has occurred, he pays a given amount to the Publisher and Author. Of course, the Finacial Service Provider may decide to keep a small portion of donations as a fee for services rendered.
3. Example usages of DMBM The Street Performer Protocol was successfully used to release the source code and brand name of the Blender 3D software. [3]
4. DEUs related to this DMBM All DEUs from the table of Digital Enabled Usages (DEU) of Media Users [4] appear applicable with the exception of:
  • Accessing governed content with a single device
  • Identifying and tracking physical objects
  • Description of human profiles (digital identity)
  • Determining entitlements
  • Content use accounting
  • Automatic generation of an audit trail
  • Attaching information to content in a persistent way
  • Non repudiation
5. TRUs related to this DMBM All TRUs from the Table of Traditional Rights and Usages (TRU) of Media Users [5] appear applicable with the exception of:
  • TRU of withdrawal/objection
  • TRU of developing nations exception
  • TRU of applying technological access restrictions
  • TRU to compel real-time only consumption
  • TRU to restrict place of use
  • TRU to restrict time of use
  • TRU to restrict adaptation
  • TRU to restrict performance
  • TRU to determine context of use
6. Benefits of DMBM The Author/Creator is remunerated before the work is published. The Author/Creator keeps the copyright and can receive additional payments (e.g. by Collective Management Societies monitoring the usage of content)
  • No overhead for copyright enforcement
  • No need for Security Providers and Certification Authorities
7. Requirements The SPP depends on the reputation of the Author/Creator, so that he is known for producing valued works and that he will live up to the terms of the agreement. It therefore assumes that the Authors/Creators will have built up this reputation by releasing works into the public domain, such as previous chapters in a serial.
  • A license that allows the copying and redistribution of content (e.g. [6])
  • Support of a broad range of payment methods and mechanisms in order to enable the End-Users to donate money
  • Possibly a Financial Service Provider (Banker) who acts a Clearing House between Authors/Creators, Publishers and End-Users.
8 References [1] - The Street Performer Protocol and Digital Copyrights, by John Kelsey and Bruce Schneier
[2] - Street Performer Protocol From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia, last modified 18:13, 6 Oct 2003.
[3] - Blender and the Street Performer Protocol: Freak success or first of a trend?, Andreas Neus, October 2002
[4] - A table of Digital Enabled Usages (DEU)
[5] - A table of Traditional Rights and Usages (TRU) of Media Users
[6] - Creative Commons