Supported by the Web Monetization Standard program of Mozilla’s Grant for the Web, we are prototyping a lightweight e-publication system that cryptographically binds each secure publication to its provenance and payment information. An electronic book, a magazine, or a comic can be published in a secure digital form containing information about its authorship and authenticity, and optionally also information about revenue-shares or other royalty or non-profit commitments. The “self-sovereign” identifiers used to literally and figuratively “sign” the works can be public or private or somewhere in between, at the discretion of the parties involved. These options include various kinds of notarization, indexing, and discovery methods for different kinds of publications (including Rebase networks and traditional DOI-keyed databases). The resulting publications can be sold conventionally or “previewed” using a WMS plug-in, offering a third option between paywalls and completely free access.
This project will make it possible for end-users to identify the provenance and integrity of content published in “Content Capsules”. These contain a small amount of content, like a tweet or a social media post, digitally signed by its author and optionally registered onto an immutable, shared registry. They can then be disseminated across the Web, on social and messaging platforms both centralized and decentralized. The project aims to develop the necessary infrastructure and basic applications for these capsules by integrating existing technologies that allow signatures to be controlled by Self Sovereign Identities, and access registries through dApps.