HighFidelity MarketPlace


#1

I would like to open a topic on the marketplace, or the potential for a marketplace to service High Fidelity.

If I heard right, Philip has passed the ball to us, the users, to come up with a marketplace solution, which is not surprising as this system is open source and some of the modules will be created by freelance developers.

The template seems to be to provide a database and web interface that allows users to upload stuff for sale, and let other users see it, buy the stuff, pay for it, and have it delivered inworld (or to their desktop where they can upload it themselves.)

Now I’m not sure if he meant the ultimate “HiFi Marketplace” as per SLMarketplace or similar where it becomes the primary system of buying and selling in HF post beta, or if he meant just for now to help you guys share your stuff. Maybe both, can I get a clarification on this please.

Most of you would realize the revenue potential of hosting the marketplace, I am putting it out there to anyone with some coding skills who would like to team up and develop such a system, please post your interest here.

This guy, Ilan Tochner of Kitely Worlds thinks he has it in the bag, he already has a functioning marketplace, sure he will offer a system, but he’s not a hiFi specialist, he provides content to different platforms notably OpenSim worlds. HiFi being such an open system many people could conceivably develop their own little marketplace, after all its just buying and selling digital downloads, already we can buy 3D objects from a number of places and upload them into HIFi, everything can be imported (after some tweaking) , anything can be created outside of HiFi, and its just a matter of time before there are dozens or hundreds of places where users can buy stuff tailored to High Fidelity.

http://www.hypergridbusiness.com/2014/06/kitely-market-to-have-delivery-to-high-fidelity/

What I am talking about is a place that specializes in HiFi, where there is never the question “is it compatible?” no need for 7 different download formats, just target HiFi users, from a HiFi users perspective.
Lets talk about this


#2

Firstly I think that a web based store rather than in in world store is a public admission that the world doesn’t work

What I want from a marketplace in hf is to streamline considerably the process from how the sl one works
I think every item uploaded should be tagged with meta data like happens with music.
This should contain the price, name, creator, usage, transfer rights box image etc
This should be dynamically linked to the store owners account. So any changes updates etc are rolled out automatically
The box image can be used to illustrate the item in the users inventory. and tags could be used to sort invent pants shirts or whatever
I would also like to have the opportunity to buy the shirt of your back as it were.
I’m not sure how relevant it is for hf yet but In sl I would like to be able to have the opportunity to buy the textures out of other builds if the original creator allows it kit use etc.


In-world meeting today at 2 PM PST
Going out Staying in Judas's Blog
#3

@Judas
Yeah sure there needs to be seamless commerce within the confines of the viewer, that goes without saying, but regardless of whether SL system is good or not, it provides the expected functionality, you can make stuff, and put it in a store and people can buy it. There is already currency in our viewer, so thats a given.
Granted there needs to be better tracking of property throughout hifi for more security but thats all another issue. You have some good ideas Judas and If the inworld buying and selling doesnt work right then yeah thats no good.

But you missed my point.

In real life sometimes we go to the shops and sometimes we buy things online,
Just like RL if the world is big enough (SL) then it becomes a massive mission to get all around and find everything, sometimes we want to go to the malls and sometimes we go to SLMarket because its more convenient.

In any and all virtual worlds and games there is the ability to buy accoutrements online (outside the game).
All of the content will have to be brought in from somewhere at the beginning, people will create external repositories of content and eventually sell it to hifi users, the open nature of hifi means people will expect to be able to get content from wherever they want and sell their own creations however they want. But once it enters hifi it probably gets registered, then perhaps any amount of meta data can be attached to it.


#4

Sounds like there is need to some in world shop where someone sells something.

Displaying products in a 3D environment is far superior than any display you could archive in a browser. (at best you could try to simulate the 3D experience in a browser)

I am not sure how to handle the ownership of the products in HF or how to do the credit transactions in HF.

Perhaps it is possible to fire up a web page after you click on an object for sale in HF where the transfer would take place ?


#5

I agree with @Judas that any in-world marketplace would be most beneficial as an experience in the environment. This would help engage content more readily rather than a static web page.


#6

Try-before-by, return, exchange. Make those possible.


#7

Great conversation. What we are thinking so far:

We will build some sort of marketplace (and/or tools for marketplace creators), that enables the following:

Things you see in-world (or worn on others) will have meta-data that allows you to quickly click through to a marketplace and buy your own copy (the ‘shirt off your back’ feature Judas was suggesting above).

Purchases can be made using credits (those currently earned by contributing devices as assignment clients).

Items bought at our marketplace will have meta-data that lets a person confirm that this particular copy of the item was in fact bought at the marketplace. So although people may copy things (and in a general sense that is not something we can stop), it will be quite clear when things were NOT bought through the marketplace, which will increase social pressure to buy rather than copy.

By running a single marketplace with a review process for putting things up for sale, we should also be able to reduce the incidence of “hey that person just copied my stuff and is now reselling it”, because we as a company can review submissions and complaints and manage the marketplace accordingly.

Our marketplace will be independent of the actual domains/simulators/servers, so you won’t need to use it if you don’t want to. But conversely, people will be able to say ‘I only want stuff in my domain that was gotten from the High Fidelity marketplace’, which should further help with rights, bad/griefing content, etc.


#8

@philip I think this is truly the breakthrough that is necessary. I think the meta-data concept will be the first major step toward content creator protections to which individuals can pursue in their respective localities if they wanted to push it further regarding infringement. This step represents the beginning of true content creator independence from open copy manipulation practices.

Like any system it is not perfect but this one I think will greatly encourage content to expand in a rapid format and attract the biggest possible set of consumers and creators.

Will this be an in-world experience or ported to a web platform? If it were in-world it would encourage more dynamic engagement of the content vs a flat 2d web platform. What are your thoughts?


#9

Thank you all for your input so far.
It is now clear that my opening post led you all astray, let me clarify my thoughts.

I was calling a distinction between regular inworld purchases and any other purchases,
firstly I visualized that the system must allow people to set up a store inworld and others can come along and buy stuff, as expected, this would be the primary method of buying and selling and be contained wholly within the viewer to maintain a seamless immersive experience. I never expected to replace this and this kind of system is a must. But is there not also the ability to buy stuff from other places?

So I drew 2 columns, one was regular inworld purchases from regular inworld stores and this would account for the majority of sales, the other column was all other forms of buying and selling goods from a separate catalog, such as a web store of sorts, and its this second type that I speak of when I use the word Marketplace. It may only account for 20% of sales.

Drawing from SL experience where we buy stuff from vendors inworld (normal) and also buy stuff from the SL Marketplace (Marketplace), this is the distinction I was using.

However Philip has used the word Marketplace do describe all goods sales inworld also, and judging from the fact that people are saying “nooo we must have an inworld system” people think I advocate an offworld system, no I dont, of course we must have an inworld system but in my mind this is not called a marketplace this is called an entire economy system, as opposed to a marketplace which is simply ONE or more catalogs or outlets where people can browse lists without leaving their voxel hut, an ancillary service to the general inworld stores.

So we have a semantics issue, different meanings for the same word.

It is now clear from Philip’s post that he envisages ALL legitimate sales to go thru a central processor where items are tagged and numbered and cataloged, which means any offworld “marketplace” (for want of a better word) will have to be registered as an accepted or trusted vendor and all items must still be cleared by the inworld processor before they are allowed to be set for sale inworld. Which is a great idea.

Philip said
"By running a single marketplace with a review process for putting things up for sale…~…we as a company can review submissions."
Clearly we have to wait for more direction before we start setting up systems because we dont as yet know the compatibility concerns.
For now we should build a simple web based exchange (because the inworld tools arent yet available, lets face the facts, we dont even have inventories yet) built on an honesty system during Alpha, where people offer objects in good faith (freebies) and other people take copies and offer a donation. Which is pretty much what Chris and Philip have already described.


#10

I think we need to face it that purchases in HF will be done via the marketplace.

This is unlike Second Life, where one business model is for shops on sims that pay towards tier and hopefully make profit on that region.

This is a very different concept and it’s important we get our heads round it from the start. The only reason to have a shop in HF is to provide a demonstration area, not have a sales location.

Once we accept this, we are free to look at all the other opportunities around (most of which are not available on Second Life and other platforms).

Anyway, just a small comment, at a time when I have family visiting and am unable to contribute fully.


#11

Shopping can be a very social activity and make for a good group outing. I often find people come in pairs or groups to check out product demos in-world in SL and obviously there are huge crowded in-world product fairs and the like where no marketplace comes into play. I expect the activity of shopping for virtual products will only grow as a popular social activity as more immersive technology arrives. I bet there’s a way the in-world shopping experience can be preserved and could still be under the protection of an official marketplace system.

If the item is officially uploaded in the market, maybe a special script in-world could allow an item to be purchased directly (basically acting as a networked vendor system) and sent direct from the market to the buyer. Whether through a rezzed object or a fancy third party vending system. The official marketplace service would still get its cut as it would be handling the transaction, and transaction would be included in marketplace stats and records. In-world buyers would have an added sense of security with their purchase knowing it was still an “official” purchase direct through HiFi.

Also, if one were to buy a custom Mixamo avatar or whatever third party personal use only/non-commercial asset from outside of HiFi and upload it for personal use, it’s not going to be on or ever pass through the marketplace at all, so I would assume server operators with official asset only rules in place would still have the option to allow usage of assets if in direct posession of the original uploader.


#12

Marketplace website is nice to find things. and because its not inworld for sale you need to buy from it. But for a good 3D world experience i keep saying shoping inside virtual world is more fun. and thats where sl got a bit wonky years ago. Whats more fun the walk in a street and go from shop to shop ? Inworld you can see the item in 3D to.
Afree with Judas to link perms information , price, perms etc. to the object. also maby good because it can be checked back later. when there’s discussion about something of that object.


#13

Assumptions

I note that the term ‘marketplace’ is a little ambiguous at the moment - in the context of my post, I’m referring to the Digital marketplace server that hf will run. A browser based webstore offering assets for sale would connect to this server, and I will call that a web-page based marketplace.
From what I can gather, it’s planned that all uploaded assets (be they personal/non commercial use or uploaded by the original creator for sale) are all uploaded via the Marketplace server, tagged, numbered and catalogued, so I’m working on that as an assumption.

Inworld stores or a web-page based marketplace?

Given the overwhelming choice of digital products that can become available over time, the SL model has demonstrated that a web-page based marketplace offers the quickest way to navigate a plethora of content. The issue here may be as simple as bandwidth and render times - perhaps it’ll always be quicker to display a small to medium sized jpeg than to display the real (sic) asset, because the asset will nearly always be a larger file size.
I think user’s actual preferences just need to be let to evolve. Plus, consumer choice seems like a good thing to offer, so at this stage, I believe there is a strong argument for both a web-page based marketplace and inworld purchases via inworld stores.
However, the lines could be blurred just a little by offering try-before-you-buy inside a web browser running 3D (e.g. WebGL). I’ve seen mentions of a cut-down, browser based ‘look in’ viewer that might fit the bill here. I think if people had the ability to log onto the web-page based marketplace during their lunch hour, load their avi into the browser, try on different clothes / hairstyles / animations etc and make purchases, we’d have some very happy shoppers, eager to get inworld when they got home!

Desirable features

As Blueman Steele noted, try-before-by, returns and exchanges should be possible. In addition, due to the high sales volumes that selling virtual goods can often generate, features like returns and exchanges would need to be automatable. I think these should be considerations at the requirement gathering stage for the meta data format.
@Philip: I think when Judas referred to the ‘shirt off your back’ he was referring to the ability to sell your already owned shirt to someone else - as with trans perms in SL. It always struck me that there could have been room for a third, highbred permission state in SL - you can have multiple copies in your inventory, but if you transfer the asset, all the copies disappear - best of both worlds! This idea also appears to leave one less permissions state to deal with at systems level design, which could potentially help simplify the overall permissions system?

Past experience with piracy

Past experience in SL with content creation has left me with a few points - I sincerely hope I don’t sound like I’m grinding an axe here - there are a number of years of pent up frustration behind these ideas that I’ll try to keep traces of out of my wording!

The starting point for me personally is to bear in mind that, in general terms, if an asset can be displayed / played on a client’s platform, it’s almost certainly possible to copy it somehow - I don’t believe there is a silver bullet solution to piracy. The best hf can attempt is to provide an environment where simply purchasing the asset is the easiest and best way to obtain it. A good analogy here would be iTunes vs Napster - until iTunes offered a comprehensive range of music cheaply and easily available, Napster (Limewire et. al.) dominated - not just because the tunes were free (although that helped, I’m sure), but because they offered the easiest access to the biggest range of music whilst the music industry tried vainly to hold onto outdated, pre-Internet models of distribution. My point being, that whilst piracy levels cannot and will not ever hit zero, I strongly believe that offering accessable and reasonably priced Digital marketplace front-end solutions whilst simultaneously putting obstacles in the way of less technically able users and providing an effective DMCA takedown process should go a long way towards reducing the problem.

Specifically, in dealing with cases of infringement, from a good many years experience as a content creator in SL, I have the following comments:

  1. The result of a successful DCMA takedown request needs to be effective! The SL procedure didn’t always (or in my case, seem to ever) remove all copies of the offending item from the entire grid - I could DMCA someone, the item would be removed from their inventory, only for the next person to turn up with a copy of the exact same asset, complete with matching UUID. This made the filing of DMCA requests pretty much pointless and left me as a content creator feeling highly disenfranchised.

  2. Once DMCA’d, an infringer can simply re-upload the copied asset and the process starts all over again. Again, the filing of DMCA requests becomes ineffective. Perhaps some sort of automatic hashing of the raw asset data on upload could help prevent this more obvious form of piracy - in this scenario, once an asset’s been uploaded, subsequent attempts by another avi to upload an asset with a matching hash would fail. Of course, any mildly technically competent infringer need only make minor changes to the asset’s data to circumnavigate this, but it would still present a hurdle that would make the legitimate purchasing of assets just a little more attractive as an option - after all, making even a small change to an asset will often require the installation and operational knowledge of specialised software.

  3. In the case where pirated items are uploaded to hf before the original creator does so, fair arbitration would entail going into SL to ascertain the identity of the original content creator. This presents obvious issues (are we 100% sure the asset in SL is the exact same one we see in hf for example?) and could equally also apply to assets from any source (Unity, TurboSquid, etc). This will also create issues w.r.t. the time spent arbitrating by hf. Moreover, not doing so could (and I’m treading carefully here!) be seen by content creators as not playing fair. /tiptoes gently back over any lines he may have crossed

On a personal note

I’ve posted as few times today, seems to be on reading these forums I’ve a lot to say and a lot of questions! Please let me add a caveat: all I’ve said is simply my opinion, at this point in time. I’m only just getting to grips with this fantastic project, so there’s a good chance I’ve spouted some complete bollocks. As a result, I’d really appreciate any corrections or enlightenment where appropriate :wink:


#14

I was suggesting that , if I see you wearing something I like, I could click on you and buy it rather than visit a market. The original creator would be payed and maybe the wearer would get a cut.


#15

I agree as I think it is critical that the experience be one that is relational to the environment your shopping in. This will invest the product much closer to the end user as they can virtually touch and see it to better represent a real shopping experience.


#16

I’m not actually enamored with an over-engineered anti-piracy mechanism that would, as its upshot, delete all copies instantly out of the entire HiFi world if something is identified as unauthorized. Some while back, Amazon got into serious trouble when they did something like that with their kindle ebooks system. There was some technical book that lots of people bought, which it turned out that the particular publisher didn’t really have the full rights to publish, so Amazon pulled it from the website, and also deleted all copies that people had purchased. They got sued for that, AND LOST, because in addition to the fact that people had legitimately paid money for the book, some people lost copious amounts of margin notes stored IN their respective copies of said book. One guy actually lost something like a years worth of hard work in the form of those margin notes. Some sort of comprehensive delete-all-copies mechanism is a very very bad idea!

That said, I DO agree that all makers of content should take care to make sure its very, very convenient to buy their stuff, and that its at a price that a lot of people will be willing to buy it, such that pirated copies will lose out over the convenience of buying it from the real, legitimate source.


#17

Please make sure whatever MP you create will track purchases forever … reason? It should give the purchaser the ability to re-download their purchase in case it gets lost or otherwise poofs from their inventory (or yours).


#18

This thread has been going for a while, but I just wanted to throw the idea out there of maybe using PGP or some sort of crypto-signing to verify that an item is “authentic,” or created by a specific user. Yeah you could just have the item call back to a database or something, but crypto feels more physical, don’t you think?


#19

Or maybe use a Bitcoin-ish blockchain kind of mechanism. Reportedly a lot of elements of Bitcoin’s underlying tech have been repurposed for other, non-cryptocurrency-related functions.


#20

Intressting @kevin. that fit in my permission thread nice to.