incubator-general mailing list archives

Site index · List index
Message view « Date » · « Thread »
Top « Date » · « Thread »
From "J. Patrick Bedell" <>
Subject Re: [PROPOSAL] InfoEng --
Date Fri, 25 Aug 2006 02:09:07 GMT
Hi Ian,
   Thanks for your reply.  In brief, the answer to your final question
is that information currency is a representation of property rights to
the underlying information.  However, information currency is not
designed to restrict the distribution of the underlying information in
any way - it is simply necessary for the information currency units (
each of a form like


) to be kept secret until the ICU is transferred in an exchange.  The
<sid> element contains a URL for obtaining the underlying information
- there's a longer description in the I-D at

 I believe that the idea of representing information with financial
instruments is new, which is why I have explicitly disclaimed patent
rights in my proposal (and on, for over a
year).  The software that I've released makes it possible for a server
operator to allow clients to create financial instruments representing
the information created by the clients.  The clients holding
information currency can then trade it in a way that is similar to
other financial instruments, without necessarily restricting the use
of the underlying information in any way.  This work is an effort to
implement a software invention that, I hope, will benefit open-source
   The company that would operate the ICWS server (or, realistically,
a future production-quality information currency server) would play a
role like the underwriter of stocks.  However, instead of property
titles to a company providing legal rights to the physical property of
the company, information currency is a property title to an individual
unit of information, which does not by itself grant any rights or
impose any restrictions on the use of that information.
   A primary user scenario is where the developer of open-source code
gets (for example) 100 information currency units for each of their
commits to a Subversion repository using icsvn.  Each set of ICUs is
distinct, representing the specific commit that was used to generate
the IC series.
   Then, if a user of the software wishes, they can purchase the
information currency units corresponding to a particularly valuable
unit of information, making it possible to compensate developers in a
new way.
   There is no guarantee that the server is authoritative or
trustworthy, or that the commits aren't simply garbage - but financial
markets for information currency will, I'm sure, handle these issues
properly.  Eventually, it will be possible to consult prices for the
information currency associated with specific units of software to
determine the value of that underlying software.
   Essentially, this is software to allow a server to maintain
tradeable property rights that are held (initially) by the creators of
information.  The property rights do not inherently restrict use or
redistribution, and are not intended to, but simply make it possible
to manage information in a new way that is under development.
   I hope this helps.  Thanks again for your feedback - I really appreciate it!

   J. Patrick Bedell

On 8/24/06, Ian Holsman <> wrote:
> Hi.
> on the initial read, I wasn't exactly sure what it was this service
> was doing.
> although I think I know what a financial instrument is, I've usually
> only seen them
> applied to their regular things.. stocks, bonds, futures, options,
> etc... not information.
> so I was a bit confused.. who exactly would use this? (a company name
> would be great here
> if there is one) and an example of what would be traded.. (are you
> talking something like DRM here?)
> Is this software to trade property rights? or to buy futures on a
> income stream on a piece of information?
> regards
> Ian
> --
> Ian Holsman
> it's about the medicine
> ---------------------------------------------------------------------
> To unsubscribe, e-mail:
> For additional commands, e-mail:

To unsubscribe, e-mail:
For additional commands, e-mail:

View raw message