Note: Last updated Oct 1994.
This announcement was made by Dave Kristol, AT&T Bell Laboratories, email@example.com:
Announcing a new mailing list: www-buyinfo. Information about how to subscribe appears at the end of this message.
Subscriptions will be accepted immediately. Contributions to the mailing list itself will be rejected until Tuesday, August 16, 1994, to make sure (slightly) belated subscribers don't miss the early discussions. Those who subscribe by August 16 will be notified when the mailing list "opens" for discussion.
The purpose of the mailing list is to discuss topics related to this vision:
Potential information providers would willingly make a vast array of information available on the World-Wide Web (WWW) if they knew they could get paid for it. The system should work like this: using your favorite WWW client program, when you select a hypertext link ("buyinfo link") that reaches a server that charges money for the information, the server informs the client program (via HTTP) that there is an associated charge and lists the available payment options. The client can give up, either because it has no payment capability or because the user chooses not to buy the information. Otherwise the client passes the server some information (via HTTP) that will enable the server to be reimbursed for the information. The server then returns that purchased information. If the client is designed in a way that the user can make money available beforehand (and with a suitable user-protection interface), a user could traverse buyinfo links effortlessly, and the financial details would occur invisibly. These components are required to implement the vision:
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