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Re: (eternity) Eternity as a secure filesystem/backup medium (fwd)

>> The basic idea is as follows:  The fundamental eternity service is 
>> free to readers, and is financed entirely by writers.  The writers 
>> supply the disk space, the network bandwidth, and possibly pay for 
>> the software to support all this.
>It is clear that there are two diametricaly opposed models of payment
>mechanisms and who those costs should fall on; producers or consumers.
>I personaly have no faith in systems where the producers bear the burden of
>the costs since they have no clear mechanism to obtain the funds to finance
>the enterprise in the first place.

Assume the existence of a for-profit service provider.
The service provider needs to cover the costs of the service,
plus enough profit to make the effort interesting.
The prices charged need to reflect the costs (or be higher)
or the service provider can't make money and goes out of business.
So what are the costs, and who can be talked into paying for them?

1) Storage of information - Storage currently costs < $1/MB for raw disk, 
and getting cheaper by the minute, but sysadmins, lawyers, etc.
cost money and they're not getting cheaper as fast.
The costs of the equipment for permanent storage are probably about
10-50% more than the costs for storing for 5 years;
the costs of administration (assuming inflation is limited to
some small number) can be covered by an annuity.
Every technology upgrade or two you need to copy the archives to 
new storage media, and data that doesn't get accessed often may
get migrated out to slower or perhaps even offline media;
storage contracts need to reflect that retrieving data that hasn't
been accessed in a while may involve some delay.

2) Transmission of information - Roughly proportional to MB/time -
unlike storage, this one's not predictable, unless the provider and
author agree in advance (e.g. N free accesses per year, per password.)
So the provider could charge the reader for access, or use advertising
banners to fund retrieval costs (if that remains a valid model
for financing the web over the next N years, especially if the
readers retrieve data through anonymizers.)

3) Legal defense - This one's harder to predict :-)  
The current US climate is that service providers are relatively immune 
as long as they cooperate with subpoenas and court orders,
discourage copyright violators, and avoid having legal knowledge of
the contents of their sites, but that could change.

>Why should these two individuals pay to have their data dissiminated to
>anyone who wants it?  It certainly isn't going to improve their social,
>political, or professional standing since the server will anonymize the

If they want their names known, they can include them in the contents
of the data that readers retrieve, independent of what the server does.
(Of course, they can forge other peoples' names as well :-)
And they can use pseudonyms, with or without digital signatures,
and accumulate reputation capital under those nyms.
If they want to collect money from the readers, that's independent -
they may be able to include advertising, or may sell the decryption
keys to the data for digicash or information using some contact mechanism,
or they may just be publishing their manifestos for The True Cause.
Bill Stewart, [email protected]
PGP Fingerprint D454 E202 CBC8 40BF  3C85 B884 0ABE 4639