Author Topic: A Libertarian Alternative to Patents and Copyright (DAC)  (Read 6867 times)

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clout

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Re: A Libertarian Alternative to Patents and Copyright (DAC)
« Reply #15 on: February 10, 2014, 06:05:03 pm »
There is no end date because the only way to exit your bet is to sell your position to someone else.  Thus the market price is always the rate at which you win or lose based upon your starting market price.

As far as an alternative metric:  "How much revenue has been earned directly or indirectly from the application of this idea." 

 

Can this be applied to tangible production? That is to say a company sells its product for free, and instead of accruing profits from consumer payments it gets profits from a prediction market on the utility of that product. The more of a given product the company supplies the greater the stock in that prediction market. I don't know if all the incentives are there to make this feasible, but the more I think about the implications of DAC's and the way that computers have and will continue to reduce the need for labor, the continuity of traditional economics systems dependent upon demand to spur production seems impractical given that a large majority of the worlds population will not have jobs or disposable income to create the necessary demand.

Offline bytemaster

Re: A Libertarian Alternative to Patents and Copyright (DAC)
« Reply #16 on: February 10, 2014, 06:17:52 pm »
Demand is what produces all value, opportunity to meet demand creates a profit opportunity.

A company heavily invested in a prediction market on the value of a product has to sell their position in order to fund the manufacturing of the product they are giving away.  Unless the perceived value of the product rises faster than the manufacturing costs, it would be the equivalent of Apple doing an IPO and then giving free iPhones away and paying for it with the IPO.   It isn't sustainable...

But what is sustainable is selling the items AT COST.  Whoever can manufacture it the cheapest with the lowest margins can make a small profit on the sale and a larger profit if the idea takes off.   The laws of economics do not change, all we did is eliminate the barrier to entry that intelectual property creates and thus increase competition and bring down prices while still rewarding inventors.
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Offline curiouser

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Re: A Libertarian Alternative to Patents and Copyright (DAC)
« Reply #17 on: February 14, 2014, 04:29:58 pm »
Hello everyone...this thread is near and dear to my heart and so has motivated my first post.  I just signed up yesterday, am happily mining PTS, and am very intrigued by the whole bitShares paradigm.  Thank you, Dan, Stan and everyone for creating this.

I have invented a radically different CPU microarchitecture.  While I am sure it would gather its fair share of skeptics and naysayers, a quite possibly larger group of those "skilled in the art" might agree that it is how future CPUs should be built.  So, it makes me nervous that my ability to profit would depend on being able to buy in cheap.  I have already "bought in" via many hours of my time and a fair amount of $, too.  By the way, I came up with this during a period of unemployment, so it is free of corporate entanglements.

Though I share in a dislike of today's statist IP system, it is what it is, and I have already applied for the patent.  How would this affect participating in a new scheme, and how in general would a transition be managed?

I like MaxPWR's ideas as  a concrete example of what could be done.

I would seriously consider using my invention as a test case for a new system...convince me!
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Offline earthbound

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Re: A Libertarian Alternative to Patents and Copyright (DAC)
« Reply #18 on: June 04, 2014, 09:33:50 am »
THE EPIC! :)

curioser: If you are awarded a patent for your invention, I don't imagine that should interfere at all with bringing it into any open-license venture. But I do not say this as a Lawyer(TM).

The reason (according to my understanding) is that you can formally deed the patent to the public domain (via some registering/public record keeping entitiy), or license the invention in some copyleft way, etc. e.g. grant to everyone the right to use and license the technology for any purpose, provided that anyone who exploits this license grants the exact same license to everyone else in turn. Therefore, anyone may implement or improve the invention in any way to create invention X, freely, and anyone else may in turn further the process to create invention Y, and so on.

Bytemaster: I wonder if there are good use cases for intellectual/media/art products having less friction in their development cycle than e.g. physical products? If so, I wonder if there couldn't be a scenario where e.g. an artist could get more "bang for their buck" (in the proposed setting) by e.g. having an "IPO" for a newly released work of art, then "cashing out" their own investment in the work if/when others "pick up" the work (or the work becomes popular) -- and then using that sale to further development of their own work? Because the thing about artwork (where it can interface so much with digital media) is the intangibility of it. People can assign whatever value they wish to it, totally separate from e.g. material questions in physical product/invention development. It seems to me that fact provides a potential vector for any art (released in the proposed scenario) to relatively quickly (or even phenomenally quickly) go up in value.

A sort of similar model is seen where folks who make very popular internet videos receive a cut of revenue from advertisements displayed in the same page as the video. It is simply because the video is popular that more page views are received, ergo more ads are displayed and the proprietors of those ads pay for the appearance of the same (and the owners of the page that display the video give the creators of the video a cut of that advertising money). (This is one way that YouTube works--and many people have made quite good money at this, where they've been so fortunate to produce "smash hit" videos.)

With your proposed alternative, where a prediction market pegs the value of e.g. an item of intellectual property (or "IP," be that a work of art or a description of an invention), the popularity element would be represented by whatever value the prediction market assigns to the IP.

Suppose releasing a music recording (a digital music file of a recording) in this model. What kind of factors would people weigh, in assigning that value in a prediction market? Well, possibly, for one, consideration of how much e.g. the song is circulating on the internet. Is the song incorporated into any music videos playing anywhere on the internet? If so, how many people are playing that video from so many pages every day? Or is the song freely distributed at any "vetting" web sites, where people go to download the latest freely-distributed awesome music? (However the heck anyone defines "awesome?") If so, how many times is that song being downloaded from so many free, public web sites? Or is the song being freely remixed or "covered" by so many artists? If so, how many artists, and how widely are those derivatives based on the work being distributed, and how much do people love them?

cob: I don't believe there can be any easy ways to track the value of a song in any objective way. I think that the thing which makes a prediction market work is that it is absolutely transparent about the fact that it is based entirely on subjectivity. Which, when it comes right down to it, I think is the honest way to go for any invention/enterprise/work of art. To my thinking, the entire difficulty of ventures based on predicted return on investment, especially where media is concerned, is this silly idea of controlling how and where information is disbursed so that creators of it can get their "cut." The thing about e.g. a printed novel is that it's much easier to identify and control who created that paper brick and managed to sell it to people for far more than the paperweight value for the reason that people happen to find something very meaningful in all the abstract symbols printed on those pages (that's an overly elaborate way of saying that people like to read it). For that reason, it's relatively easy to discover how much people will pay for said paper brick, and also prevent anyone else who doesn't have copyright on its contents from selling the same thing.

But the thing about digital media is that it is ultimately impossible (or very nearly impossible) to control how or where it is copied. It is for that very reason that it becomes more difficult to identify how much people are willing to pay for that digital media--if you can even get anyone to pay for it at all. Supposing you succeeded in getting someone to pay for it--how the heck do you prevent them from doing the same, or simply copying it wherever they want to and however they want to? Hello World! Here's an awesome song I got! Take this copy of it! (ad infinitum). You could do some (BARF!) copy protection cryptography shenanigans with it (which would require somehow chaining it to something personally identifiable about the person you sold it to--say, their credit card number, and the CPU/ethernet card MAC address of the computer they downloaded it to--which is what iTunes does, by the way), but the more highly valued the song, the more likely it is that someone will circumvent the draconian information control/dispersal measures you try to impose on it. The only thing that it is usually relatively easy to establish about digital media is where _the_ first copy of it appeared, or who created the artwork. That is especially the case in this proposed solution--where it is registered in a distributed blockchain when it is released.

If, however, it is difficult or impossible to tell exactly how or where digital media is copied, depending on circumstances, it can be relatively easy to make some reasonable guesses at how often that media is copied or used, if it becomes very popular at all. Hints about it will show up on the internet. And people who are really, really expert at monitoring the internet can make relatively well-educated guesses about how popular any given work of digital media is. This kind of information would be one factor weighed in an invention/artwork prediction market. Highly unpredictable human subjectivity would also come into play. If an artist tried to "pump" their latest artwork, and they found a network of fools/spammers who tried to make it appear as if the work of art had any aesthetic value for most people, where in fact most people think it's crap :) then people who are expert at gauging aesthetic value would not fall for it (which, to some degree, means _everybody_--where "everybody is a critic"--or in other words, most people wouldn't fall for that trick).

Speaking which--my repeated description of this as an invention/artwork prediction market--I don't think that was in bytemaster's OP, but I believe that is a real potential. I think this model would work for any kind of idea, however they are formally embodied: whether they be ideas for inventions, or ideas expressed as works of art.

Moreover, cob: how on earth could this idea, or any form of it, work in any way that is _not_ statistical? Even the ideas for valuation/prediction methods I gave here which rely on folks "hunches" (ability to gauge aesthetic value) are also ultimately statistical: it's just that it turns into statistics of who likes which works of art, and how much, and which "gatekeepers" have good track records of accurately predicting who will like which works of art and how much.

Double moreover :) where we are dealing with ideas of valuation, again, how could any practical implementation of value prediction models work without being statistical? Yo! Dealing with money! That means 1) Beans 2) People who count beans 3) People who are very expert at finding ways to count beans in ways you could never imagine (for which they endured years of grueling education to learn how to do), and yet those very imaginings drive the gross domestic product of, like, THE WORLD :)

Triple moreover please forgive me if I grill you.

MaxPWR: Your ideas give me food for thought. I wonder about the feasibility of "votes." I think MemoryCoin well demonstrated that votes as backing for real-world production/labor/value creation utterly stink. As much as our votes and non-votes for politicians and the politicians we didn't vote for but now wish we did vote for stink. I'm very skeptical about the idea that real-world value can be created merely with votes. There must be some kind of independent power that can run enterprising machinations entirely apart from votes. (And where politics is concerned, that power can and should be checked by citizens who call up their representatives and say "Hey! The fiscal policies that you are refusing to burn to hell kind of imploded the economy! Fix it now or you're fired!") That's a real quandary.

Maybe it could be solved with a meta-DAC that manages contracts and milestones? If agent A provably satisfies requirements of contract X, shareholders [A-Z] shall disburse to agent A funds Z. How in the heck do you manage that?

Which is all leading me to believe that some kind of model perhaps similar to Kickstarter, only using blockchain technology, might be an effective (or the only way?) to support an implementation of an inventions prediction market (where there is much more concern for creation of physical material goods).

Which further leads me to wonder if the scenarios I describe for a digital media prediction market are missing a lot of material reality--or, in other words, I wonder if digital media enterprising couldn't also benefit from some kind of Kickstarter-esque blockchain technology.

Good night. Or, more properly, good morning.
I think I'm not alone when I say I'd like to see more and more planets fall under the ruthless dominion of our solar system. -Jack Handey

Offline donkeypong

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Re: A Libertarian Alternative to Patents and Copyright (DAC)
« Reply #19 on: June 04, 2014, 04:32:21 pm »
This is a great thinking exercise. I love the ideas, though I'm not sure they get us close enough to solving this problem. Unless the entire economy or credit system operated within the blockchain ecosystem, I think some external enforcement would continue to be needed.

A lot of the transactional stuff can be handled through DACs. But when it comes to physical products, goods, food, personal property, etc., those aren't codable. You can create a title to something like a house or a car or even a supply contract for coffee or corn. You can mess up someone's blockchain "credit" or take away their play money. But as long as there are physical items, then there's always the chance of theft or broken promises, because people can always transact in physical goods on a human level. That, combined with the fact that greed is part of human nature, will keep the cops in business. The government may need a stiff kick, but there are good reasons to have a government and this may be one of them.

Offline earthbound

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Re: A Libertarian Alternative to Patents and Copyright (DAC)
« Reply #20 on: June 05, 2014, 06:13:50 am »
The thought strikes me that possibly one way to have a DAC reliably enforce terms of fulfilling contracts is by leaving that up to people as much as possible.

Example: entrepreneur X receives pledge from sponsors [A-Z] to each donate amount Y on fulfillment of the terms of contract Z, but the only way the contract can be verified as met is if some percent (say, 60%) of sponsors sign a transaction that verifies they consider the contract is met. The only part that the DAC handles is confirming what it can about the contract criteria (for example, if it was done by a certain deadline), and putting the multi-party statement that the contract is fulfilled into the blockchain (so that payment is sent to the contractor).

This way, sponsors won't even put up a promise to pay unless the entrepreneur can offer some promise of value and the requisite infrastructure to report or manage the development of that value with the sponsors. This way, it stays a pure prediction market: no sponsors will sign on unless they've got some compelling reasons to. Furthermore, an agreement about the subjective value of the enterprise is all "hashed out" in the real world. The DAC is simply mediating the agreements that people make in the real world, which hopefully is reflected in any kind of store/trade etc. value in the associated digital assets/shares/whatever (with the origins and situation of all this verifiable via cryptography/the blockchain).

If thoughts like these have been hashed out in some or many threads I missed, I welcome anyone to point me to them :)
I think I'm not alone when I say I'd like to see more and more planets fall under the ruthless dominion of our solar system. -Jack Handey

Offline donkeypong

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Re: A Libertarian Alternative to Patents and Copyright (DAC)
« Reply #21 on: June 05, 2014, 02:31:37 pm »
The sponsor idea could have potential. Also, if it was a purely voluntary association, the way the whole open source movement has become, maybe the rights owner could be persuaded to take less money to do things the right way. Dolphin-safe tuna and sustainable lumber started that way, too, and those have grown enough to encompass much of their industries. Dolphin-safe tuna and sustainable lumber are marketing things now, with conscious consumers demanding a product that bears a trusted third party seal of approval. Being voluntary, this system wouldn't cover all IP rights, and it might not be strong enough to prevent offline theft/fraud/black-marketeering, but it might get the ball rolling if people believed in the end goal.

Offline liondani

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Re: A Libertarian Alternative to Patents and Copyright (DAC)
« Reply #22 on: June 07, 2014, 06:23:55 pm »
Does anyone have another way to track the value of a new song? How could you bet on it? This is the key!

buying "shares" of it?

Offline Empirical1

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Re: A Libertarian Alternative to Patents and Copyright (DAC)
« Reply #23 on: June 08, 2014, 07:16:04 pm »
Does anyone have another way to track the value of a new song? How could you bet on it? This is the key!

buying "shares" of it?

Edit: I just gave a bad explanation of how prediction markets work and plus I see now the question is like 6 months old...

Probably best to look at all the information on Truthcoin if anyone is interested in prediction markets...

https://bitsharestalk.org/index.php?board=60.0

But basically we should be able to ask almost any question you can think of, and if there is a big enough market, bet on the outcome. The closer you are to being right the more the share price should move in your favour and vice versa.

« Last Edit: June 09, 2014, 01:49:46 pm by Empirical1 »

Offline bitsceptic

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Re: A Libertarian Alternative to Patents and Copyright (DAC)
« Reply #24 on: July 07, 2014, 08:40:56 pm »
The OP is very interesting and I'd like this discussion to gain momentum.

How would it work in the case of music? How is the "bet" won or lost?
This question hasn't been answered satisfyingly so far IMO.

There is no end date because the only way to exit your bet is to sell your position to someone else. Thus the market price is always the rate at which you win or lose based upon your starting market price.
As I understand prediction markets, there *has* to be an end date. A prediction ends when the event to be predicted takes place. The result should be easily verifiable by anyone after the event. These conditions are not fulfilled by the OP's proposition.

I guess bytemaster's idea will above all lead to speculative bubbles. The nature of such a prediction market reminds me of a pyramid scheme.

Even if it would work out, I fear that the viral nature of this approach rewards mainstream a lot more compared to niches than today's music industry does. The participant has a higher incentive to bet on mainstream than on the long tail (even if the participant is only listening to free jazz himself). The opportunity cost for discovering 'good music' in niches is much higher. I think there should be some kind of reputation system to reward those that pay a constant effort to dig up music that certain groups of people like. Maybe some kind of copy trading could provide those discoverers with a following and help the long tail to pay off.

But still: I doubt the functionality of such a prediction market.