W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > public-webpayments@w3.org > December 2014

Re: Taking on Google/Apple? Re: Apple AppStore revenues - 85%+ come from games

From: Manu Sporny <msporny@digitalbazaar.com>
Date: Fri, 12 Dec 2014 14:37:46 -0500
Message-ID: <548B440A.9030001@digitalbazaar.com>
To: public-webpayments@w3.org
On 12/12/2014 12:03 PM, Steven Rowat wrote:
>> Having been in the entertainment industry (video games and music) 
>> almost a decade ago, I know that many of these organizations feel 
>> that a 30% cut is too much for effectively providing access to an 
>> online store with hundreds of millions of customers. If there was 
>> an standard way to do in-app payments over the web, I think they'd
>>  adopt that mechanism as well.
> The original focus of this group, AFAI recall, included a strong 
> statement of a goal that *individual* content creators (like the 
> person that wrote War and Peace, or the one that figured out that 
> E=MC2) will be invigorated and supported in an improved 
> equal-playing-field web payment system.

Yes, that's still a strong goal for the Web Payments Community Group,
that has not changed. It's principle #1 in our Design Principles document:


Keep in mind that many of the vast majority of the "organizations" I
talk about above are individual authors, or singer-songwriters, or 6
person game companies.

> In such an equal playing field, all creators of useful information 
> would have access to controlling the sale and (through ODRL for 
> instance) the copyright uses and resale of the information they 
> produce -- whether they are research scientists, bloggers, musicians,
> journalists covering a dictatorship, software engineers, or
> whatever.


> On reading Manu's response above, I must ask: has that focus been 
> lost?

No, it has not been lost, at least, not based on the sorts of work that
we've been doing in the specs/tech space in this (and the Credentials) CG.

> Is this impossible?

No, it's very possible... we wouldn't be working so hard to try and go
toward that future if we thought it was impossible.

> Is the group now only creating a structure for massive oligopolies 
> who aggregate content?

No absolutely not. We're creating technologies for anyone that wants to
use them. Individuals, bands, journalists, engineers, and yes, even

> I don't think the future of humankind will love it. I think it's 
> similar to the climate-change/fossil fuels transition. Very similar:
>  it's now widely recognized that even a mainstream investment model
> of the energy future points towards localized production in small
> nodes that contribute to the grid. I think the same thing will hold
> for the potential of human creativity -- a boy or girl in India with
> a smartphone and a new idea, a great idea, doesn't need Sony to
> broker them to Apple to broker them to us. Do they?


> Sorry if that's out of line; maybe what's being done at the code 
> level includes all of this. It's just that the last few months of 
> discussions seem to point towards what the existing major software 
> companies are doing, and how to help them, or at least not get in 
> their way.

I can understand that all of this is very hard to follow because it's
spread across so many meetings/groups. At this point in time, there are
as many as five teleconferences per week around web payments, some of it
is CG work, some of it is IG work, and it's all very confusing to follow
unless you show up to each meeting. Even then, it's difficult to follow
because the IG is just getting spun up and the CG is trying to figure
out what it's going to focus on next. There are many moving parts, so
let me try and distill what's happening:

1. The Web Payments IG consists largely of W3C members. These members
are by-and-large, commercial corporations representing the corporations

2. The Web Payments CG and Credentials CG consists largely of non-W3C
members. These members are typically individuals not representing their
corporations, but tracking and helping the work along from a personal
desire to see this stuff succeed.

The two groups are going to have different priorities because the
membership is different, but creating a level playing field isn't one of
them. As far as I can tell (and I've been to every single meeting across
both groups), everyone wants a level playing field and broad access to
this technology.

It's the job of this community, and people like you Steven, to make sure
that we stay on this course. Official W3C groups are influenced by
public comments. In fact, it's a requirement that W3C IGs like the Web
Payments IG respond to public comment.

So, thank you for saying something Steven. I still think we're chasing
what you want us to chase, and I hope that you will speak up if you
don't feel like that's whats happening either in this group, or the Web
Payments IG.

> Somebody (I can't remember who) once said: "Money is like blood. 
> Large pools of it are a bad idea."

Love the quote, had not heard it before now.

-- manu

Manu Sporny (skype: msporny, twitter: manusporny, G+: +Manu Sporny)
Founder/CEO - Digital Bazaar, Inc.
blog: High-Stakes Credentials and Web Login
Received on Friday, 12 December 2014 19:38:12 UTC

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