TheRationalStreetPerformerProtocol

Version 3, 88.72.241.161 am 2.2.2007 12:40

Erweiterung des StreetPerformerProtocol

http://yoyo.its.monash.edu.au/~pfh/rational.html

The Street Performer Protocol was proposed by Kelsey and Schneier as a way of generating private funding for public works. It is particularly relevant to the production of information goods.

One objection that can be made about the Street Performer Protocol is that contributors do not seem to gain a reward (in terms of production of the public work) in proportion to their contribution. This means that it makes sense to freeload, and just wait for other people to put up the money.

In this web-page I propose a variation on the Street Performer Protocol in which it is rational to contribute money towards the production of the public work. I call this the Rational Street Performer Protocol. This protocol evolved out of discussions in the Melbourne University Information Economics group.

It is useful to think of these kinds of protocols in terms of providing a service for money, rather than creating a public work with a certain value. It is hard to pin down the value of a good with zero production cost.

The protocol is designed as round that is repeated many times. After several rounds it gains the property that it makes rational sense to contribute, although even from the first round contibutors are guaranteed to get their money's worth. This means that it is more suitable for repeated works. Some things it would be useful for are:

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