Digital Goods' Position Paper for W3C:
Founder and Chief Scientist
Digital Goods, Inc.
Three fundamental problems of the Digital Era can be addressed with one
fundamental solution. (We should reshape digital policy debates, preserve and
protect the digital commons)
Three fundamental problems are growing exponentially and
compounding each other.
- Copyright Protection as valuable information
proliferates, information creators are threatened.
- Privacy Protection as digitalized personal information
proliferates, personal privacy is threatened.
- The Crisis of the Patent System as e-business method
patents proliferate, independent inventors, the new economy, and patent system
itself are threatened.
ever-more digitalization, bandwidth, and computing power means more
Recommended Strategies: exploit rather than suppress copying; create a
convenient, fair and secure.
consumer-friendly persistently protected passalong, pay per use, and
other rights-protecting compensation models.
ever-more cyber-people and ever-better tracking technologies
make privacy protection practical and profitable, not onerous
turn personal information into consumer-owned personal property,
then let individuals set their own terms (the Personal Information Trust)
ever-more-burdensome bilateral licensing, litigation, and royalty
Recommended Strategy: put a new-age digital infrastructure in front of
augment litigation and bilateral negotiations with:
- collaborative multilateral deliberation (IP Security Council)
- automated disbursement of copyright and patent royalties
A Common Solution:Generalized Infomediary Architecture
A generalized infomediary architecture
Provides compensation for Copyright Holders
Cleanses, anonymizes, and adds value to personal information
Supports privacy protection and one-to-one
Lets patent holders replace multilateral deliberation and
Adversaries would become allies.
Consumers become privacy-protected copyright holders (of personal IP)
Copyright holders benefit from copying and receive compensation
Marketers have access to qualified and willing consumers
Patent holders have an efficient forum for mediation and compensation
Privacy advocates could wield carrots instead of sticks
Policy makers could make things better instead of worse
An infomediary architecture (1992)
SoftLock's US Patent 5509070, filed 1992; issued 1996:
A centralized DRM service that
- Provides persistent protection
- Exchanges access rights for payments
- Disburses royalties to copy-right holders
2001:the Model Proliferates:
- 2001: Users, Digital Objects, and Digital Monitoring Technologies
- More and more personal information becomes trackable.
- A huge research opportunity
- A huge marketing opportunity
- A huge threat to personal privacy
2001:Many new businesses, many new patents, many new lawsuits.
- Bilateral litigation, bilateral licensing,and bilateral royalty disbursements
do not scale.
- The road to simplification
- Replace many-to-many architectures with a spoke and hub
architecture (or a spoke and cloud architecture)
- Hub-and-spoke or hub-and-cloud architectures do scale!
- Use the same architecture to disburse patent royalties
- Use the same architecture to anonymize and add value to
- Atop the same architecture, establish an Intellectual
Property Security Council to establish and implement the rules
much more efficiently than the courts
- Use a Rights Management Language and a Social Forum to
express, arbitrarate, negotiate, and implement compensation rules
for all parties.
- We can create a system that creates and serves common
- Personal Information Trust
- Copyright Payment Clearinghouse
- Patent Payment Clearinghouse
- governed by an Intellectual Property Security Council could
adddress three fundamental problems
- Copyright Protection
- Privacy Protection
- The Crisis of the Patent System
- Solutions are within reach.
- And help develop solutions.