W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > public-webpayments@w3.org > May 2015

Re: The Payments Architecture within which a Web Payments Architecture occurs

From: Adrian Hope-Bailie <adrian@hopebailie.com>
Date: Fri, 15 May 2015 12:31:03 +0200
Message-ID: <CA+eFz_KQf6xDCLYL-MNPRUOSTkBSdx3XxjCAP757=uruO8ojsA@mail.gmail.com>
To: Manu Sporny <msporny@digitalbazaar.com>
Cc: Web Payments CG <public-webpayments@w3.org>
"While it's important to liaise [with] the UN, ITU, and ISO, let's
not put them in the critical path. That's the point I was making."


On 15 May 2015 at 07:50, Manu Sporny <msporny@digitalbazaar.com> wrote:

> On 05/15/2015 12:51 AM, Joseph Potvin wrote:
> > Some respectful challenges to Manu's comments:
> Some respectful responses follow. :P
> > RE: "Regulations and formal law are reactionary beasts."
> >
> > Litigation, generally yes. But there are indeed lawyers whose writing
> > of civil code is similar in context to writing source code. Your
> > under-estimate the realm of law.
> We're talking past each other.
> I said that in response to what you said here:
> > The W3C has no workable choice but to take as given what payment
> > systems are deemed to be in law, and how the governance of payment
> > systems are regulated in law.
> Melvin raised the point that the laws as they stand today aren't clear
> in some of these areas and it's very difficult to get a regulator to
> provide an opinion on a software system that's not in production.
> So, what you're saying doesn't cover us in the way you seem to be
> implying, but perhaps I'm misunderstanding.
> We know the regulatory stuff is difficult because we've tried to get the
> regulators to say how they'd regulate some of the new payment systems
> that are being created. In most every case I've personally experienced
> (and we've written to 50+ regulatory bodies asking for a formal opinion
> on some of these systems) they've refused to provide anything that even
> closely resembles a binding opinion even if the system didn't violate
> any law.
> It's not that I underestimate the realm of law. It's that we have real
> experience doing what you're saying we should do and the outcome in
> almost every case where there was no legal reason we couldn't do what we
> were trying to do was: "What you're doing /seems like/ it's legal and
> within regulatory parameters, but we still reserve the right to bring
> legal action against you later."
> My point is that even if we go through the pain of getting a legal
> opinion, it's not really worth much unless the legal opinion finds that
> we're clearly violating some law somewhere. We're already pursuing the
> "find out if we're clearly violating a law or regulation" route by
> engaging lawyers to tell us if they think we are. However, the best
> answer we can get back is "No, we don't think so, but that doesn't mean
> you won't see litigation."
> > RE: "To be clear, the WPIG in no way, shape, or form is going to do
> > something that willfully violates known regulations"
> >
> > But what of the obligation to make sure the WPIG is effectively
> > knowledgable of the underlying global-level foundations of the
> > relevant laws and regulations?  For example, has the WPIG assessed
> > its work in relation to the UNICTRAL Model Law on e-Commerce?
> > http://www.uncitral.org/pdf/english/texts/electcom/05-89450_Ebook.pdf
> No, we haven't done that yet as it would be premature - there is no
> solidified Web Payments Architecture yet.
> Can you recommend a lawyer that will do good pro-bono analysis of how
> that document relates to the Web Payments work? Better yet, do you think
> UNICTRAL would do an analysis of the Web Payments Architecture against
> all their relevant documents and provide a binding opinion?
> We'd happily take them up on that if they were willing.
> > (BTW -- that comes from 1996. I think you'll argree that it was
> > rather forward-thinking for its time, if we set aside the assumption
> >  or bias that IF it's a UN org, THEN it must be slow and
> > bureaucratic.)
> You can be forward thinking /and/ slow and bureaucratic. :)
> > RE: "Theoretical architectural concerns, legal theory, and
> > regulatory theory rarely enter the discussion unless it's clear that
> > not thinking about them is going to create a deployment problem."
> >
> > Manu, that's like saying to a bridge engineer: "Theoretical
> > mathematics concerns, physics theory, and systems theory rarely enter
> > the discussion unless it's clear that not thinking about them is
> > going to create a deployment problem." Uhh, ya well, good luck.
> That's not what I mean. Clearly, applying science when solving a problem
> is important. I prefaced the statement above with this:
> > In general, W3C Working Groups care about solving real problems, real
> > interoperability, technical excellence, and serving the needs of
> > everyone that uses the Web.
> The point being that W3C prioritizes solving real problems first and
> theoretical problems (aka non-existent) second. You seem to be raising a
> number of theoretical problems "what if regulators ding you?" rather
> than pointing out real problems like "you're violating BIS FPMI
> Principle #21, and that will result in X happening".
> Your point that we need to be more aware of the legal and regulatory
> landscape is taken. However, I think the group knows that and is
> counting on the lawyers in this group and the IG to point out when we go
> astray.
> Asking for us to analyze some 250 page legal document to become aware is
> not going to have the desired outcome because:
> 1. We are not lawyers.
> 2. It requires far more bandwidth than we have.
> 3. It has little to do with the technology being created, or if it does
>    have something to do with the technology being created, no one has
>    been able to clearly articulate exactly how and in what way.
> > RE: "We should be very careful about suggesting that we put something
> > in the critical path, like waiting on changes in UNCITRAL or ITU, to
> > make progress.
> >
> > As mentioned, AFAICT everything being sought under the W3C WP IG is
> > nicely accommodated the complementary standards, so this FUD about
> > "waiting on changes" is a red herring.
> You said this:
> > The thought I'm attempting to underline is that a Web Payments
> > Technical Architecture must point to an explicit external source
> > that provides a generic Payments Achitecture, preferably one provided
> > and maintained by a genuine global standards body, or something that
> > in effect serves that function.
> A generic Payments Architecture document does not exist. I don't count
> that BIS document you pointed to as a "generic Payments Architecture".
> Since that document doesn't exist and it's not in W3C's purview to
> create it, it seemed as if you were suggesting a 10 year initiative to
> create that document so that W3C could refer to it.
> > RE:  If the creation of the Web took that path
> >
> > Um, actually, it did as you well know. It's called the W3C.
> No, it didn't. One of the reasons the W3C specifically steered clear of
> ITU and ISO is because the standard cycles were so painfully long and
> the process was closed. The W3C Process is setup so that we can make
> rapid progress, in view of the public, driven by implementations, not
> lawyering. While it's important to liaise the UN, ITU, and ISO, let's
> not put them in the critical path. That's the point I was making.
> -- manu
> --
> Manu Sporny (skype: msporny, twitter: manusporny, G+: +Manu Sporny)
> Founder/CEO - Digital Bazaar, Inc.
> blog: The Marathonic Dawn of Web Payments
> http://manu.sporny.org/2014/dawn-of-web-payments/
Received on Friday, 15 May 2015 10:31:32 UTC

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