[Melbourne-pm] Meeting Reminder (TONIGHT): Wednesday the 13th of February, 2013

Sam Watkins sam at nipl.net
Tue Feb 19 17:22:06 PST 2013

On Tue, Feb 19, 2013 at 02:50:26PM +1100, Michael G. Schwern wrote:
> On 2/19/13 2:11 PM, Sam Watkins wrote:
> > Michael G. Schwern wrote:
> >> PayTron
> > 
> > Good name.
> Thanks!
> > Would that include supporting free software authors?  I think it useful
> > to provide a "pay once, support many" feature, so e.g. I could donate
> > $100 to be spread somehow among the many project I'd like to support.
> That's the Flattr model.  I'm not particularly interested in that model
> but PayTron can be used to implement it.

It's kind of essential, good if you can implement it.  Few people can
afford to pay $20 to everyone they should support (in the free software
world), and no one wants to receive individual 10c donation.  I think this
issue is the single biggest problem stopping free software projects from
receiving adequate support via donations.

> > My take on how to do that, is just choose a random project from my list
> > and give the whole $100 to that project, that prevents people getting
> > annoyingly small donations, and tends to be fair on average when there
> > is a large number of supporters.
> Over a large enough set of people and projects, won't that result in
> projects getting exactly the same amounts they do now?

Yes, but at least they will get it in large chunks not individual 10c
paypal payments, and little projects won't be excluded.

> My strategy is to assume we're going to be penetrated, so simply not
> store incriminating data.

good.  although there may be legal requirements to store some data for
some payments, if you're playing with money across various jurisdictions.

> Even then, its possible some overzealous US Federal Prosecutor will have
> a beef with the idea that you can make "stealing" something legal by
> paying after you've stolen it.

well, you can say that this is mainly intended to support products which
are free-to-share, and rely on donations

> But this is all lawyer, security and crypto stuff best left to
> professional.  Its also stuff that's only a concern *after* it gets off
> the ground and successful.

it would be disappointing if it bites the dust due to issues like that
after you put in the work to make it successful.  but it's an unlikely
target compared to active piracy sites and systems

> I'd rather hear about what you might do with such a system.

pay for my free software purchases, perhaps support some websites,
perhaps give occassional donations to musicians that I like.

> I have an "embrace, extend, destroy" strategy which entices the
> publishers in with money

> "Destroy" is when the artists realize they don't need their traditional
> publishers any more

And you just went on the record with that!  if the publishers do their
homework they will stay FAR AWAY from you.

> > I think you should not take a cut.  Just allow people to support your
> > service if they choose, as they would support any other creative content.
> > Seeing as every user is thinking "thanks for this service", you'd be likely
> > to get plenty of support - even too much - that way.
> Steady income is important, both so the people behind the service can do
> it full time and so they can pay for reliable infrastructure.

If it's distributed, you don't need your own infrastructure.
Personally I think any big net-based engine that buys their own
infrastructure is doing it wrong, even facebook, google, etc. are doing
it wrong.  (And they don't even know how to monetise properly without
using 1950s style undirected advertisting!)

I also think it's better if you don't handle the money, can avoid a
whole lot of legal and liability issues that way.

> Do it right and the artists will be making WAY more than they could
> before both in terms of profit per dollar of sale and in terms of
> volume.  Did you know Kickstarter takes 5% of a project's donations?
> *TOTALLY WORTH IT* for the service they provide.

Well, I don't agree that it's totally worth it, the service they are
providing costs them nothing like that 5%, and they are making a killing.
I don't agree with taking excessive profit.  Anyway, I guess it's up to you
if you want to create a bittorrent-type distributed system, or a 'pirate bay'
type centralized system.  For me, I'd prefer to work on a distributed system!

But like I said, it's a great idea to work on something like this,
and a really great achievement if you can make it fly, regardless of
whether you take a cut or not - can help support Art on this planet!

Please consider, though - if you don't take a cut, you have a better
case for receiving donations to your service, through the service.
And you could then make it an open-source / community project, which
adds geek-cred.

You might find that the donations you receive (if you don't take a cut)
outweigh the cut you would have taken.  If you get too much donations,
you could ask the users to give them to an artist of their choice, instead.


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