Web Payments Community Group Telecon

Minutes for 2011-09-16

  1. Introductions
  2. PaySwarm Use Cases Review
  3. For-profit Content Redistribution
  4. Crowd-sourcing Digital Distribution
  5. Streaming Content Payments
  6. Ad-based Content Payments/Incentives
Manu Sporny
Jeff Sayre
Jeff Sayre, Manu Sporny, Jose 'Manny' De Loera, David I. Lehn
Audio Log
Jeff Sayre is scribing.
Today's agenda: Use cases (in scope/out of scope); familiarize members in web payments techs

Topic: Introductions

Manu Sporny: We have a new participant - would you mind introducing yourself, Manny?
Jose 'Manny' De Loera: Hi my name is Jose De Loera, but most people call me Manny. Recent grad of DeVry - technical management - have a big interest in technology, saw Web Payments stuff pop up online, wanted to get involved.
Manu Sporny: Great to have you here, Manny.
Manu Sporny: Agenda today is to try and cover use cases - we want to ground the discussion - focus on what we're working on. We want to get everyone familiar w/ various technologies applied to these problems. Let's go ahead an jump into first topic.

Topic: PaySwarm Use Cases Review

Manu Sporny: PaySwarm use cases may be out of date. There are 10 initially that may be useful to consider
Manu Sporny: Will do quick overview of use case and get members' feelings about usefulness

Topic: For-profit Content Redistribution

Manu Sporny: For profit content blogging -- reviews of music, book, etc. Want to provide value in digital content artists. Point people to artists content that is available online for sale... sell other people's content directly via a blog. This is digital content sales - not necessarily access to Web pages.
Jeff Sayre: No middle man required - direct sale of item from artist to customer/fan - good use case. [scribe assist by Manu Sporny]
Manu Sporny: requirement separation between users who create, distribute, and consume. Content distributor has to respect license put forth by artist.
Manu Sporny: Artist may be fine with marking up content to a certain level, let prices be set independently from other distributors. But artist would get the same required fee per sale regardless of who is distributing the content.
Manu Sporny: creator sets base royalties independent of the sale price, those are enforced by the system. Content distributor has the ability to then markup the sale price above the base fee to also make a profit - good for the artist, good for the content distributor.
Manu Sporny: Is this a good use case?
Jeff Sayre: +1
Jose 'Manny' De Loera: I like the PaySwarm model of allowing content distributors the opportunity to set their own retail price. Brick & mortar retail sales often do not allow much of a market up beyond listed, street price. This will allow digital sales sites more flexibility and content creators better chances of a sale.
Manu Sporny: Having the widest, broadest distribution channel as possible is desirable to content creators. Good, so since there are no objections, we'll add this one to the list of requirements.
Manu Sporny: Second Use Case: crowdsourcing of digital distribution. We were able to implement this for Bitmunk - peer-to-peer collaborative distribution platform - used micropayments to reimburse digital content distributors for each part of the digital file that they provided for download. Respected copyright, distribution restrictions setup by original artist.

Topic: Crowd-sourcing Digital Distribution

Manu Sporny: Bitmunk is like a BitTorrent w/ payment attached. Current PaySwarm technology supports it in theory, but this might be a little too much to focus on at this stage due to client complexity required to implement it correctly.
Manu Sporny: Example: what if every single customer of a NetFlix download could act as a data provider, piecing out fractional bits of the file to a paying customer. So, when you download from 1,000+ people, each one is remunerated for the piece of content that they provide.
Jeff Sayre: It's an interesting model - swarming for bits of micropayments - it may be too complicated at this point. [scribe assist by Manu Sporny]
Jose 'Manny' De Loera: Everyone having the right to swarm a NetFLix file, for example, would have to have a PaySwarm account, permission (access) to a data provider's computer, etc. The complexity and scope might be outside our initial focus.
David I. Lehn: Let's keep this (swarming) in mind for possible future implementation, but not add it to the list of use cases for PaySwarm 1.0.
Manu Sporny: If rejected as a use case, let's not reject it as a possibility for the future.
Jose 'Manny' De Loera: The additive benefit of allowing for swarming of content form a data provider could add up to a reasonable revenue stream over time.
Manu Sporny: PaySwarm's swarming concept would benefit companies like NetFLix, would reduce data center loads. It could also allow new competitors to enter the market without needing to have large data centers to stream traffic.
David I. Lehn: maybe we could put these "rejected but useful" use cases into a "roadmap" document
Manu Sporny: We could possibly create a PaySwarm's Roadmap 2.0 and add use cases that we want to support in the future on to that doc.
Manu Sporny: Ok, so this use case is rejected for PaySwarm 1.0, but we'll move it into a future "Road Map" document.

Topic: Streaming Content Payments

Manu Sporny: Next up is Streaming Content Payment
Manu Sporny: In US, as an example, Internet Radio Stations have to pay a standard ephemeral broadcasting fee per song, per play, per person. This use case is a way to help address this scenario - how does one setup an Internet Radio station and easily collect broadcast royalties.
Manu Sporny: Pick a PaySwarm provider, sign in, based on what you listen to, your account will be debited for the required fee and credited directly to the artist's account. Let's the DJ/radio station address the issue easily, helping them focus on providing good music and not the nasty bits of collecting tiny fractions of royalties. Makes expenses low and accounting very precise. Could be applied to any streaming movies and television as well. Pay $x per y time viewed or listened.
Manu Sporny: This use case works today in the PaySwarm software - so it would be easy to put into the spec. The difference between for-profit blogging is that user pays for content in one lump sum. This is a pay-as-you-go option for streaming of content.
Jose 'Manny' De Loera: Question - say a radio station charges $15 per month for listening to all of a station's content. What does PaySwarm offer?
Manu Sporny: PaySwarm does allow a flat rate per payment option -- like Flattr. The fee is used up each month no matter how much content is consumed. But the pay as you go is an a la carte model. So, you might spend $15 per month, less, or more. You just need to authorize that money is pulled from your PaySwarm account with set limits put on deductions. It would be up to the person that pulled money from your PaySwarm account to disburse the $15... but that's not necessarily the same thing as pay-as-you-go.
Jeff Sayre: I think pay-as-you-go is crucial for digital content distribution - need it for version 1.0 [scribe assist by Manu Sporny]
Jose 'Manny' De Loera: Even though I will not necessarily use it, I agree that the pay-as-you-go use case should be in version 1.0 of the standard.
Manu Sporny: iTunes, Spotify, Last.fm, Pandora have their own payment models. Maybe there is another market that desires a different model, that will allow others to offer competing models without worrying about how payments are done. Content creator's rights can be respected without each new content distributor having to think about what they need to do to honor licensing rights.
David I. Lehn: Need to support this use case. May not be a big deal to add it to PaySwarm's core spec because it kind of falls out of what we already do.
David I. Lehn: It probably just requires that the appropriate ephemeral broadcasting contracts get setup.
Manu Sporny: Ok, so this use case is in there - seems like everyone likes it. Next up is Ad-based support of digital media streams - like television shows with ads to cover the cost of the show.

Topic: Ad-based Content Payments/Incentives

Jeff Sayre: I wonder if this will also fall under some of the other basic spec stuff. An ad exec could still use PaySwarm to purchase ads, or a director could still sell ads. Should it be something we specifically target? I'm not sure. [scribe assist by Manu Sporny]
Jeff Sayre: Ad-slots are still something you could sell... whether it's a digital file or specific ad spot - still a sale. [scribe assist by Manu Sporny]
This use case was inspired by Joss Whedon great shows and television execs' poor judgement. ;) This use case would allow directors/producers to support Web-based production via selling ad spots, via generating ad revenue to support Web-based video distribution
Jeff Sayre: Producing a Web-based series or a single show... if you're going to generate all your revenue online - no studio budget. You need sponsorship through users and through advertisers. [scribe assist by Manu Sporny]
Jeff Sayre: maybe users aren't buying the content - they're funding the content - they're crowd-funding. [scribe assist by Manu Sporny]
Jeff Sayre: Maybe they're paying for additional shows down the road. It's a sponsorship of some sort - maybe they love the concept and want to fund it further. Maybe the advertiser wants to promote their product. [scribe assist by Manu Sporny]
Jeff Sayre: This is basically dealing directly with the content creator - "We love this concept, move it to the web and we'll support you through PaySwarm." [scribe assist by Manu Sporny]
Jose 'Manny' De Loera: Ratings give TV shows a type of acknowledgement and lead to a show staying on air or being canceled.
Manu Sporny: It seems like everyone wants a crowd-funding focus. PaySwarm can support this. Let's add a crowdfunding use case
Manu Sporny: Ad-Based Content Payment pushed to PaySwarm 2.0 - put it in the Road Map document.
Manu Sporny: We only covered a small part of the agenda today, which is fine - we need to understand which problems we're tackling in order to be successful at what we're doing. Let's set up another call for a week from now to continue the discussion.

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