recursive auction markets in software

Adam Back aba at
Fri Aug 8 15:06:14 PDT 1997

[re connection problems to -- Alex is running with the
Stronghold 1.4 webserver -- what you're seeing is a bug in it.
Presently Alex is going to go back to 1.3, unless C2 comes up with a
bug fix version.  I really should put up a note to this effect.  I'll
do that.

It's still usuable as it's an intermittent bug, and all you've go to
do keep clicking on the reload button in your browser, and it'll get
through after a few tries...

	http//        ]

tzeruch wrote about legal problems which could happen if eternity is
used to sell, or distribute copyright software:

> The legal problems still need to be resolved.  As long as no copyrighted
> material appears I think things will be fine, but when MSwhatever appears,
> someone is going to say the eternity server is like an illegal cable
> descrambler or make up something very similar to ban them since they
> aren't merely forwarding the content from alt.anonymous.messages - if
> encryption is an envelope, the eternity server opens it.

The argument that it is a USENET message being forwarded after
reformatting may not help that much, -- we'll see how it works out.

If there were lots of eternity servers it would be better.

> Otherwise, you could simply post the plaintext to an alt group.  If
> that doesn't happen now (why?),

I dunno.  It could be for a number of reasons, you'd have to do a
survey of the warez d00dz that hang out on IRC channel #warez to see
why they don't do it.

I guess it's because they find easier to trade with DCC commands in
#warez.  I had a look at a #warez session in progress some time ago,
and the trades were going down every few minutes.  Take a look.
Especially games trades but also high price DTP and photo retouching
stuff.  You'd see `trade quark-Xpress 8 for registered quake' or
whatever come up a few times, and then it'd stop, and that handle'd
say thanks I've got it now.

IRC is less main stream, and these folks don't like the lime light
because they know that their 'warez trading habits are frowned upon by

Another reason is that why should they bother, what's their
motivation?  They aren't making money from it I don't think, they're
just after copyright software without paying for it.  It's probably
just that the most efficient market for leveraging what they have got
copies of via trades is on IRC right now.

Another class of pirate is the Chinese (it is Chinese who do this
yes?) who make CDs full of commercial software and sell it way under
market price.

Perhaps that class of pirate would take off if the net bandwidth was
up to it.  Their next problem would be to control access to their
anonymous eternity page to allow themselves to get some money from it.

Perhaps eternity servers could be set up to charge for downloads and
pass back money to the anonymous poster.  But then how do you stop
someone else reposting it and charging a lower price?  Well you can't.
But that's all what recursive auction markets are about.  The reaches
a point of diminishing returns, and the user can buy freshly released
products more quickly from the first non-copyright abiding software
reseller, or they can buy it more cheaply if they wait as the price
falls over a few days.

Eric Hughes apparently gave a talk at a hacker con some time back
about UIPS `Universal Internet Piracy Service'.  I think his ideas
were to explore the financial aspects of trading system for illicit
software.  He wasn't planning to put up a distributed document store,
but to have an distribution medium were there was a continuous flow of
information.  As long as the information could still get through in
the face of hostilities from copyright police, it was doing it's job
and the software could be traded.  I don't think he's released
software yet, and I don't think there's any papers available on the
net, but it was still an active idea last I heard.

> then adding an encryptor and decryptor isn't going to change it,
> otherwise simply post the encrypted text, and the passphrase in the
> same message, or the encrypted text, the secret key, etc.  Except
> that the URL interface makes access more convienient.

Yup.  Actually it'll be much more convenient because it will disappear
out of the news spool presently, and the eternity servers might get to
the stage where they keep a virtual raid file server implemented by
exchanging documents from their caches, and can archive the most
popular stuff.

So because it's more convenient it's even less defensible as it's
providing some part of this service.

See the post about building a distributed dejanews replacement for
another approach to this problem which is probably more defensible.
Might turn out to be a better way if your suspicions prove correct.

Have *you* exported RSA today? -->

print pack"C*",split/\D+/,`echo "16iII*o\U@{$/=$z;[(pop,pop,unpack"H*",<>

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