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An idea around monetising “distributed” content

Mark Boas
Product / Project management and development. Focusing on making web audio and video accessible and media literacy with Hyperaudio. 2012 Knight Mozilla OpenNews Fellow.
・2 min read

Hi everyone!

(I originally posted this idea on the Grant For The Web forum and it was suggested I also post here...)

I'm busy re-applying for the grant, this time with a tighter focus – hyper.audio for Conferences.

Hyperaudio for Conferences will provide a workflow to create Interactive Transcripts for recorded conference materials – this is great for accessibility and internationalisation as transcripts can be corrected, translated, searched, shared, remixed, converted to captions and exported for inclusion in websites (using the Hyperaudio Lite library) or Wordpress (using our plugin). We'll also allow clips and remixes to be exported! All while respecting licensing that the conference organiser / talk author has selected.

The idea is that in exchange for allowing people to add Interactive Transcripts of conference content to their sites, we programmatically add a payment pointer to the head of the page the transcript is "embedded" in. Thereby creating a distributed way to collect payment for authors and organisers.

We'd do this by including the payment pointer code(s) in the export – the Wordpress plugin or Hyperaudio Lite library taking care of the insertion of the code into the head of the page.

It strikes me that this model may have already been considered somewhere on this forum (although I've yet to locate it), but I thought I'd put it out there just in case, as it might be relevant to other forms of content and so something that others could use or ponder on.

I'm especially curious to know if people have ideas about this and/or can think of any possible downsides or blockers :)

Best

Mark

Discussion (4)

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benhylau profile image
Benedict Lau

Hello Mark! Our project is also working on "distributed monetization of distributed content" so I'm happy to see your post. What this means is, we expect content consumption to be "distributed" (e.g. a reader is reading a replication of content on some social network they're on, or on a non-http protocol altogether, maybe it's printed on a piece of paper). Given that, how do we ensure the content itself is not tampered, and its original author can be rewarded?

Right now we are working on the content distribution part, in particular, to decentralized web protocols. Our project has a magazine component that will be published using our publishing tool. The tool is called Distributed Press and the magazine is COMPOST.

This line you said resonates, since I am starting to think on schema for exporting direct payment (such as a web monetization payment pointer) and signature information:

We'd do this by including the payment pointer code(s) in the export

I am starting to collect some existing initiatives that may be marginally related in this github issue. Would love to hear more about how you plan on approaching this problem in the future.

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maboa profile image
Mark Boas Author

Hi Benedict!

Your projects look very cool :) I helped with the Decentralization space at the Mozilla festival for a couple of years and am super interested in the distributed web space.

I hadn't considered the situation where somebody had printed a transcript on a piece of paper, although part of all this is to automatically credit content creators in line with the license they choose. Perhaps we could make it possible to tip those creators.

When it comes to exportable and "embeddable" web content I'm not sure if the license (to host content) can be legally contingent on leaving the payment pointer codes and algorithm intact although it looks like it could. Either way I would make the terms clear and hope that most people will respect the license. I don't think we can ensure it! (Although I'm guessing we could make it harder to tamper with).

I also hope that by automatically attributing the content creator(s) we make adhering to CC licenses as frictionless as possible, even when multiple authors are involved, (which is often the case when it comes to remixes).

As far as the mechanism for doing this is concerned, we'd likely use a Probabilistic Revenue Sharing technique in the case where multiple authors should be compensated.

Since our Interactive Transcripts require JavaScript to run we'd probably do all this on the clientside, although serverside is an option with Wordpress plugins.

Anyway those are my thoughts right now, thanks for your feedback – good to hear I'm not alone in considering this :)

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maboa profile image
Mark Boas Author

More generally the thing about adding a payment pointer "injecter" to libraries and plugins is that the the author gets paid in proportion to how much those modules are used by visitors to the site that they're used on.

Kind of obvious but pretty revolutionary at the same time. Especially as the owner of the website using the plugin does not have to shell out anything in advance (which could be a barrier to some).

I'm not sure if the stipulation to keep payment pointer code intact could co-exist with an open source license – I guess it could.

I suppose the issue would be when the website is already taking advantage of Web Monetization and doesn't want their payment pointer overridden!

I wish we'd had this mechanism available to use when we released jPlayer all those years ago – it ended up getting used by Pandora!

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maboa profile image
Mark Boas Author

More generally the thing about adding a payment pointer "injecter" to libraries and plugins is that the the author gets paid in proportion to how much those modules are used by visitors to the site that they're used on.

Kind of obvious but pretty revolutionary at the same time. Especially as the owner of the website using the plugin does not have to shell out anything in advance (which could be a barrier to some).

I'm not sure if the stipulation to keep payment pointer code intact could co-exist with an open source license – I guess it could.

I suppose the issue would be when the website is already taking advantage of Web Monetization and doesn't want their payment pointer overridden!

I wish we'd had this mechanism available to use when we released jPlayer all those years ago – it ended up getting used by Pandora!