Fw: Bounty Server, Revisited.

Rohit Khare (khare@w3.org)
Wed, 27 Nov 1996 13:59:08 -0500

> From: Petro <petro@smoke.suba.com>
> Subject: Bounty Server, Revisited.
> To: cypherpunks@toad.com
> Date: Tue, 26 Nov 1996 03:42:32 -0600 (CST)
> Cc: alex@suba.com
> Reply-To: snow@smoke.suba.com
> MIME-Version: 1.0
> Sender: owner-cypherpunks@toad.com
> Precedence: bulk
> I have started drafting a proposal statement for the Bounty server.
> This is where I am at right now. I need as many comments on this
> as to the way it will work as possible.
> I am posting this from petro@smoke.suba.com because that is my
> primary account rather than snow, which is only for cypherpunks. Sorry
> for any killfiles this sneaks by.
> Please reply to snow@smoke.suba.com or the list. Thanks.
> Bounty Server, The proposal:
> Version 0.1
> Abstract:
> This proposal is an attempt to outline a system for awarding cash
> payments for the creation of new technologies without the overhead
> or ownership associated with conventional systems such as contract
> or work-for-hire, or employee-employer systems.
> The objective is to actually bring this system online.
> Background:
> There is a lot of software floating around. It basically falls into
> 5 catagories: Commercial, Shareware, Freeware, Gnu (and other
> "Copyleft" schemes) and Public Domain.
> <Need to fill this in, but at this point we all know what the 5
> are>
> It is the "Copylefted" software that interests me at this point.
> is quite a bit of high quality "Gnu" software, and at least one
> operating system based on the GNU mentality (linux) however there
> is a dearth of _enduser_ tools such as mail and news readers for
> the more popular end user operating systems, word processors and
> graphics editing software, easy to use Graphic Design Software (TeX
> is NOT easy to use) and easy to use Cryptographic software.
> In order to get these kinds of tools, especially the Cryptographic
> tools widely deployed, there needs to be a reason for someone to
> invest the time and effort into polishing the user interfaces and
> designing them for the average internet user to operate. Figuring
> out new algorythms is fun. Being on the cutting edge, or flipping
> the bird at Governments is fun. Doing something that has already
> been done isn't nearly as sexy, yet to deploy the kinds of tools
> we want _today_ and promote the development of the kings of tools
> we will want tomorrow, there needs to be some sort of mechanism
> in place to pay programmers to make these tools.
> This mechanism (IMO) should be "market" driven, it should allow the
> community of users to decide which projects should have priority,
> and which shouldn't.
> This mechanism should be as flexible as possible.
> This mechanism should be as simple as possible, and as easy to use
> possible.
> Originally I proposed this to apply to software, but I don't see why
> it should stop at software. Initally the server will be restricted
> to software, but I hope that this will work out, and be expanded
> further.
> The proposal:
> What I am going to attempt to do is to set up a "Bounty Server" where
> someone can iniate a "bounty" on a peice of technology. The initator
> will write up a set of specifications for the technology, and an
> award to be paid to the developer. They then post it on the server
> send their initial "bid" to the organization.
> This is the "bounty". Other people can add to this bounty, allowing
> totals to add until someone claims that bounty by providing proof of
> development to the initiator of the bounty. In software terms they
> upload the software to the server and notify the originator of the
> and the server operators. Other technology will be figured out as it
> becomes necessary.
> Originally I was going to put the stipulation in that the software
> must be Copylefted. I decided that that wasn't really necessary, but
> rather simply desired. To aid in that desire, I am going to build in
> an initative to releaseing the software "copylefted".
> To get more specific:
> A bounty is considered to be posted when the initial payment is
> by the bank, and the specifications (discussed later are considered
> enough to avoid interpretation problems.
> The initial bounty contract gets posted to the WWW server, (possibly)
> a "developers list" of interested people, and (possibly) to an
> appropriate UseNet Newsgroup.
> Once the bounty is posted, other people can "bid up" or add to the
> and their contribution will be added to the total bounty as well as
> "name" (email address) added to a list of contributors (unless they
> request not to). The amount they gave will not be listed. It isn't
> important. At this point contributions and initial bids will be
> accepted by credit card, check, money order, and possibly ecash
> (e-cash will be taken at some point, but it really isn't important
> at this point since almost no one uses it.)
> The first developer to upload a _working_ package to the server will
> be awarded the total bounty, minus "brokerage" fees (discussed later)
> "First" will be soley determined by the time stamp of the server. As
> as the package is uploaded, the initiator and the server adminstrator
> will be notifed, and the bounty marked "claimed". If the package is
> accepted by the initiator, the bounty will be marked "closed", the
> package moved to an FTP site for distribution (if Copylefted) or
> moved offline if not (archived copies will be kept for legal
> more on that later). At that point a check for the developer will
> be cut (or ecash mailed if that works out).
> The Server Adminstrator will also do an cursory check to make sure
> there are no obvious copyright violations.
> In the event that there is a conflict between the initiator and the
> developer, the claim will go into adjudication. The server
> decesion is final, and he will make every effort to settle the claim
> fairly. Adjudication will incur an additional fee (see the fees
> Writing the bounty:
> The bounty specifications should include the following:
> 1) Target Operating Enviroment (i.e. Operating System for Software,
> whatever for other technology)
> 2) What the desired technology is intended to be used for (i.e. a
> Word Processor, a Hardware RNG etc, whatever)
> 3) Desired Characteristics of the technology--specific features
> of the technology. It isn't enough to say that you want a
> word processor, you must specify minimum features you wish this
> technology to contain (i.e. WYSIWYG, Postscript output, Outliner
> 4) Desired "quality" level: Proof of Concept, Alpha, Beta, Release
> 5) Copyright status desired--whether the software will be owned by
> initiator of the bounty (in which case it is unlikely that anyone
> else will contribute), owned by the programmer (well someone might
> be that magnanomous), or "copylefted".
> 6) Where the initiators money is to go if the bounty is not claimed:
> I will provide a short (8 or 10) list of charities that the money
> will go to if the bounty is not met. This is to keep the initiator
> honest, as well as the server. Each contributor will also get this
> choice.
> I am sure that I am missing something here, and I will need some
> assistance in fleshing this out, as well as a couple of people to
> different specs as examples.
> Adding to the bounty:
> The bounty will be considered added to when the deposit clears and
> is credited by the bank.
> A person adding to the bounty will also be allowed to choose from the
> list as to where they would like their money to go if the bounty
> expires.
> Fees:
> The Organization will get 2% of any bounty where the software or
> Technology that is copylefted. 20% of any other scheme.
> Adjudication will incur an additional fee of 2 to 5% depending on the
> difficulty in judging the claim.
> All interest that acrues belongs to the Organization, and will be
> to defray any costs, or to provide for additional bounties should
> be an apprecialble excess.
> Status:
> At this point in time I am (obviously) still in the process of
> the procedures. I have registered a Domain Name (bounty.org) and I
> a couple promises off assistance in certain areas. As well, I have
> a server to start off with.
> Where I need help at this point:
> Legal issues. Any lawyers want to talk to me about this?
> Comments.
> I will be working on this, revising it, and soon I will be putting it up
> www.bounty.org.
> Postmodernism is the refusal to think--Ron Carrier
> Deconstruction is the refusal to believe that anyone else can either.
> Revolution and War are not murder unless you lose. This is a basic tenet
> of civilization.--Jim Choate on the cpunks list.
> --- end forwarded text