Free, just the way you want it
- I-names can be free
- While so-called "global" i-names cost money, there are at least two type of free i-names, and I expect the large majority of i-names issued will be free. First, "community" i-names, which are delegated from a globally rooted organizational i-name, will, in most cases, be free. (Of course, it's up to the delegating community to charge for them if they wish to.) Then there's the wide open frontier of i-names that use a cross reference as a root, which enables a fully distributed P2P and/or DNS-based community root system. (This may also give you an idea of how completely open-ended the protocols are.) All that said, the current (limited time fund raiser) offering of 50 year global i-names for $25 is, IMO, a very good deal.
- No governance required
- But most civil society finds a certain amount of governance to be useful. It's a good thing that people in this country drive on the right side of the road and that murder is illegal. In the online world, mailing lists like to limit posts from trolls or advertisers and K-12 forums like to limit (e.g.) sexual language. The Identity Commons is proposing an identity-based governance framework that enables member communities to decide for themselves what rules they will allow for inter-member and inter-community communications. For example, while a community may limit unrequested outside advertising (spam), it may allow - and even encourage - intra-community advertising. XDI-based negotiation mechanisms will enable communities to define their rules (XDI contracts) and their i-broker (such as 2idi) will enforce these contracts.
Our open APIs and open source vision are aimed at giving people 100% control over their personal identity information. It distresses me that there's so much misunderstanding out there. At the same time, it's understandable, given the identity systems proposed so far (e.g., Passport). The bottom line (IMO) is that we're really on track to creating the identity services framework that will enable anyone to use it however they want to use it. That's simply the way it should be.
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