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Re: Standards Making 101

From: Joseph Potvin <jpotvin@opman.ca>
Date: Tue, 8 Oct 2013 11:20:25 -0400
Message-ID: <CAKcXiSqNEUW6u7bHh=f6BhxkQP9_ta8SMOhb844bQxi12=9wOw@mail.gmail.com>
To: Charles McCathie Nevile <chaals@yandex-team.ru>
Cc: Kingsley Idehen <kidehen@openlinksw.com>, Web Payments CG <public-webpayments@w3.org>
RE: "I question your legitimacy in assuming a mandate to impose them"

No such assumption made.  Just engaging a discussion by sharing my concerns
and rationale on a list. Sorry if it might have come across as if assuming
some mandate to impose anything. That's opposite to how I function.

Joseph


On Tue, Oct 8, 2013 at 10:47 AM, Charles McCathie Nevile <
chaals@yandex-team.ru> wrote:

> 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<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<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<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<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<http://www.openlinksw.com/blog/~kidehen>
>>>> Twitter/Identi.ca handle: @kidehen
>>>> Google+ Profile: https://plus.google.com/**112399767740508618350/about<https://plus.google.com/112399767740508618350/about>
>>>> LinkedIn Profile: http://www.linkedin.com/in/**kidehen<http://www.linkedin.com/in/kidehen>
>>>>
>>>>
>>>>
>>>>
>>>>
>>>>
>>>>
>>>
>>>
>>>
>>>
>>> --
>>>
>>> Regards,
>>>
>>> Kingsley Idehen
>>> Founder & CEO
>>> OpenLink Software
>>> Company Web: http://www.openlinksw.com
>>> Personal Weblog: http://www.openlinksw.com/**blog/~kidehen<http://www.openlinksw.com/blog/~kidehen>
>>> Twitter/Identi.ca handle: @kidehen
>>> Google+ Profile: https://plus.google.com/**112399767740508618350/about<https://plus.google.com/112399767740508618350/about>
>>> LinkedIn Profile: http://www.linkedin.com/in/**kidehen<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
>


<http://goo.gl/Ssp56>
Received on Tuesday, 8 October 2013 15:21:14 UTC

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