W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > public-webpayments@w3.org > October 2013

Re: Standards Making 101

From: Charles McCathie Nevile <chaals@yandex-team.ru>
Date: Tue, 08 Oct 2013 16:47:23 +0200
Cc: "Web Payments CG" <public-webpayments@w3.org>
To: "Kingsley Idehen" <kidehen@openlinksw.com>, "Joseph Potvin" <jpotvin@opman.ca>
Message-ID: <op.w4m4o9vdy3oazb@chaals.local>
On Tue, 08 Oct 2013 00:21:50 +0200, Joseph Potvin <jpotvin@opman.ca> wrote:

> Kingsley, At risk of taking a web-payments thread off-topic, let me reply
> very briefly:
>
> RE: "echoing a view that has zilch to do with architecture and everything
> to do with philosophical and political views"
>
> 1. The very idea of this community working on a P2P web payments
> architecture is intrinsically political,

Hmm. It certainly has an impact on society, and in that sense I agree…

> and is probably driven by variety of philosophies that find common cause
> in such a result.

On that I am as sceptical. I am equally sceptical that those who are
working on EME are all trying to ensure that all Web content gets locked
down under the DCMA (although I believe that is a goal for some).

My goal is to make it possible to use the Web to make payments, without
delivering all the power to one gateway player.

The risk is that a temporary monopoly emerges - like Google has a
temporary monopoly in some services and Apple has a temporary monopoly
in a class of device in some countries.

But rather than setting up the technology to simply prohibit people from  
choosing to use a monopolist, we should set up monopoly regulation to  
ensure that a monopoly is constrained in its ability to extract monopoly  
rents and to restrict the introduction of competition.

(I also believe that the ability to control usage of data that is freely
spread is one likely strategy for enabling technologies I really want to
use. I certainly oppose some things that are done with that ability, but
not on technical grounds.)

> 2. Your comfort with the thin edge of the DRM wedge permitted into HTML5  
> on the grounds that you would not expect it to be hammered in much
> further later on is not apolitical. It's a political position resting on
> a philosophical belief.

I don't think so, I think it is a political judgement resting on a
judgement of politics and technical possibilities.

> 3. Technical standards bodies deal with the negotiation amongst
> philosophical and political views all the time.

Yes. In general, successful standards manage to provide a technological
underpinning for whatever god or evil or smart or stupid things people
want to actually do.

When unelected unrepresentative technical people step into the role of
arbiters of good taste (Yes Mr Jobs and your walled gardens, I am looking
at you too), or good law, enforced through their own code, they are
usurping the role of citizens.

I'm not a fan of DCMA (OK, it stinks almost as much as the USA exporting
it through dodgy treaties imposed on smaller players through market
bullyboy tactics that would be illegal if they were applied domestically).
But nor am I a fan of disporportionate response, killing the village to
save the village, or waiving the rules for "our" bastards.

Laws should be fixed by lawmakers. Otherwise we invite them to become  
hackers, and apply the law of code. I believe recent history shows that  
didn't work out so well either.

> RE: "The fears you raise are purely hypothetical. "
>
> For me to respond with tangible examples would run of off-topic for this
> list, but let me just say that if I'm being accused of following things  
> to their logical conclusions, I plead guilty.

Good. That's part of what we aim to do here.

> If I'm being accused of raising issues unrelated to the tangible
> operation of a consistent, fair and open WWW, I plead not guilty.

Except that you are trying to decide what is fair for everyone, rather
than how to implement the set of things that people are trying to do, so
politicians and polities can make, enforce, evaluate and change the laws
they work under.

I don't recall any attempt to determine whether I wanted to be represented  
by you, so while I don't question your good intentions I question your  
legitimacy in assuming a mandate to impose them.

cheers

Chaals

> Joseph Potvin
>
>
> On Mon, Oct 7, 2013 at 5:01 PM, Kingsley Idehen  
> <kidehen@openlinksw.com>wrote:
>
>>  On 10/7/13 2:36 PM, Joseph Potvin wrote:
>>
>>   Kingsley, FWIW I share the view of the EFF on this matter.
>> https://www.eff.org/deeplinks/2013/10/lowering-your-standards
>> "By approving this idea, the W3C has ceded control of the "user agent"
>> (the term for a Web browser in W3C parlance) to a third-party, the  
>> content
>> distributor.
>>
>>
>> It hasn't done any such thing. I say that because there are many kinds  
>> of
>> HTTP user agents (or clients). Today's Web browsers are just a sampling  
>> of
>> a user agent then went mainstream via Mosaic and Netscape. The ubiquity  
>> of
>> these user agents doesn't make them the only kind of user agent capable  
>> of
>> providing UI/UX interactions with HTTP accessible resources (data).
>>
>>   That breaks a—perhaps until now unspoken—assurance about who has the
>> final say in your Web experience, and indeed who has ultimate control  
>> over
>> your computing device."
>>
>>
>> This has zero effect on the ability to interact with Web Resources. I
>> doubt any Web Browser vendor would be silly enough to conflate DRM with  
>> the
>> fundamental functionality of their particular kind of HTTP user agent.
>>
>>
>>  RE: "The fact that is could be used in certain ways by OEMs isn't a  
>> knock
>> on the core concept."
>>
>>
>> You are referring to it pejoratively, and for reasons that ultimately
>> conflate DRM technology with the philosophical and political views of
>> organizations such as FSF etc.. We should never conflate things because
>> whenever we do the result is boils down to the "freedom paradox" i.e.,
>> who's freedom is justifiably the purest etc..
>>
>>
>>  And FWIW, I share the view of the FSF that the core concept is  
>> "defective
>> by design".
>>
>>
>> That's my point! You echoing a view that has zilch to do with  
>> architecture
>> and everything to do with philosophical and political views.
>>
>>
>>  Keeping this reply in context of web payments, surely it's going to be
>> essential that both autonomous vendors and autonomous purchasers have
>> ultimate control over what software runs and does not run on their own
>> devices.
>>
>>
>> Yes, of course.
>>
>>  If this is not the case, then the final say on the web payments  
>> standard
>> and any reference implementation will rest with the dominant device  
>> OEMs.
>>
>>
>> Of course it won't.
>>
>>  The web payments community will merely swap obvious control by PayPal
>> and Credit Card companies, for undeclared and hidden control by device  
>> OEMs
>> and their business partners. In that scenario, I'd stay with the  
>> regulated
>> financial institutions. Want an example? Many on this list who have
>> purchased a laptop in the past year or so have a WindowsOS embedded as
>> firmware -- it used to be we just had to pay the "Microsoft Tax" and  
>> then
>> install our OS-of-choice. Not now. If MS chooses to differ in some way  
>> that
>> gets in the way of clean operation of the web-payments standard, we'll  
>> have
>> to differ with them -- the mother of all IE6 headaches. If an  
>> unauthorized
>> "fix" is circulated, and to implement the fix you need to circumvent
>> something on that laptop, that will be deemed criminal act, and the  
>> creator
>> of the "fix" will be deemed to be facilitating criminal acts.  It's  
>> quite
>> nuts. Here's another example:
>> http://gigaom.com/2013/09/26/seriously-samsung
>> -sorry-european-roamers-but-the-new-galaxy-note-3-is-region-locked/
>>
>>
>> The architecture of the World Wide Web ensures we never end up down  
>> such a
>> rat-hole. The fears you raise are purely hypothetical.
>>
>>
>> A few years ago during public consultations about pending Copyright
>> legislation in Canada (where I am) I outlined the general hardware  
>> control
>> problem presented by DRM. Here is my submission:
>> http://www.digital-copyright.ca/documents/Copyright_Potvin_4jul08.html
>>
>>  In a free market society, it's basic that we each own our devices.
>>
>>
>> In a free society people choose their freedoms i.e., the "freedom  
>> paradox"
>> doesn't deprive anyone of their freedom.
>>
>>
>> Links:
>>
>> [1] http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=84wJlDC8--o -- BBC Documentary about
>> Freedom .
>>
>>
>>  Joseph Potvin
>>
>> On Mon, Oct 7, 2013 at 1:49 PM, Kingsley Idehen  
>> <kidehen@openlinksw.com>wrote:
>>
>>> On 10/7/13 11:09 AM, Joseph Potvin wrote:
>>>
>>>>
>>>> DRM involves encrypting content, and only giving out decryption keys  
>>>> to
>>>> vendors who contractually agree to disallow the users/owners of  
>>>> computers
>>>> from having any control.
>>>>
>>>
>>> I think that's a very narrow interpretation of what DRM (Digital Rights
>>> Management) is all about. There's nothing about DRM that implies it  
>>> will
>>> become conflated with the notion of a User Agent. It's simply  
>>> functionality
>>> usable by a user agent. The fact that is could be used in certain ways  
>>> by
>>> OEMs isn't a knock on the core concept.
>>>
>>> If we took this approach to other standards where would the World Wide
>>> Web be today?
>>>
>>> Let's keep DRM and and its potential uses distinct :-)
>>>
>>> --
>>>
>>> Regards,
>>>
>>> Kingsley Idehen
>>> Founder & CEO
>>> OpenLink Software
>>> Company Web: http://www.openlinksw.com
>>> Personal Weblog: http://www.openlinksw.com/blog/~kidehen
>>> Twitter/Identi.ca handle: @kidehen
>>> Google+ Profile: https://plus.google.com/112399767740508618350/about
>>> LinkedIn Profile: http://www.linkedin.com/in/kidehen
>>>
>>>
>>>
>>>
>>>
>>>
>>
>>
>> --
>> Joseph Potvin
>> Operations Manager | Gestionnaire des opérations
>> The Opman Company | La compagnie Opman
>> http://www.projectmanagementhotel.com/projects/opman-portfolio
>> jpotvin@opman.ca
>> Mobile: 819-593-5983
>> LinkedIn (Google short URL): http://goo.gl/Ssp56
>>
>>
>>
>> --
>>
>> Regards,
>>
>> Kingsley Idehen	
>> Founder & CEO
>> OpenLink Software
>> Company Web: http://www.openlinksw.com
>> Personal Weblog: http://www.openlinksw.com/blog/~kidehen
>> Twitter/Identi.ca handle: @kidehen
>> Google+ Profile: https://plus.google.com/112399767740508618350/about
>> LinkedIn Profile: http://www.linkedin.com/in/kidehen
>>
>>
>>
>>
>
> <http://goo.gl/Ssp56>


-- 
Charles McCathie Nevile - Consultant (web standards) CTO Office, Yandex
         chaals@yandex-team.ru         Find more at http://yandex.com
Received on Tuesday, 8 October 2013 14:47:58 UTC

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