Series: Best Crypto Video Discussion Of 2020 #3

By BitcoinGordon | BitcoinGordon | 26 May 2020

Thank you for reading the first one (big assumption).

Thank you for reading the second one! (assumption #2).

Watch the video:



This post is about 4:00 to 6:00.

This little chunk of video makes one of the profoundly important points and I agree, and I disagree; both with strong opinions.

Most likely, every time I refer to Roger Ver, I'll begin with some sort of preface that I have a lot of respect for the guy, and much of that comes from the fact that he shows a measure of respect to others and embodies humbleness in the midst of being a prominent figure in crypto. 

Contrary to what many may believe, it is actually very difficult for someone to be a maximalist to any single cryptocurrency and ascribe to an anarchist/more extreme Libertarian world view at the same time. If my following were large enough to trigger more than 1,000 screaming Libertarians at the same time, this would already be where the flame wars began. But, here's the cool thing; I agree on some very important points with the Libertarian perspective where I disagree on many of those points when it hits their typical brand of anarchy. It is actually not a "can't we all just get a long" political or economic view, but more of a Libertine, anti-all-establishment point of view. Once someone's view is about being against something else, instead of standing for the things they care about, we find more of a systemic rebellion, which is actually a whole new brand of statism. I don't want to hammer on about this too long, but somewhere in the deep storage containers in my brain, I have this wish for the real leaders in crypto like Roger, to understand where they could grow immensely by rising above some of their heroes of intellect and economics. But, it is very unlikely because it leaks into so many aspects of a world view, a house of cards would come a tumblin' down.

Let's lean in to the real topic here. Roger is, in fact, like a grown-up, SO rare in crypto, interested in the positive goals of BSV, to be a good iteration of Bitcoin upon which you can build cool stuff. This leads to his next harsh criticism of why BSV is the wrong place for DeFi and Apps in general; they want too much control, and they want to charge licensing and royalties for everything that is built on their BSV blockchain.

Roger uses an example of being forced to pay a royalty for a product he designed that violated a patent for a specific way a doorknob turns. He is adamantly against people being able to protect intellectual rights and earn a royalty via licenses. In extreme use-cases where someone has patented something that is either so over-valued, or is common knowledge or use, or in many ways isn't even their own, I totally agree. But, when it comes to protecting intellectual property where an original idea is the very thing that is going to sustain one's livelihood, that is where I have a problem.

Come along with me, young thinkers and Libertarians alike! Yes, that was a jab, but it's okay; it was a humorous one, and not fully intended. What I hope is that you can keep the same open mind that guides your philosophy, to hear what may need adjusting in order to fully match the truth.

Open source is inherently excellent for things that benefit from open source. The greed-driven aspects of Capitalism are bad; I am 100% in agreement with this. I also believe that there are two important things which are both true, and neither resolve the issue; you cannot legislate morality, and you must have rules, often based on some measure of agreed morality. It is actually just as true in economics as it is in societal tasks.

Many Libertarians will argue that there should be no laws, and what one personally ascribes to should be their own moral code. The list of issues with this playing out in reality is a mile long, but in general this is why many who believe themselves Libertarian are in reality Libertine, rebellious, anti-establishment less as an ideal and in many ways more as a cause, and for some the desire to intentionally cross the legal line. We can see a streak of this in Roger later when he gloats about how much in favor of Silk Road he is. I'm not here to complain about that. I still admire Roger even where beliefs may stray.

I believe in freedom. I also believe there is a universal moral code, and I equally believe that there is a massive variance of this code from country to country, social and political groups etc. Not all things are permitted everywhere, and not all things are beneficial to a person, but to some degree or another, all people have to follow a moral code that they believe in, and if the law of the land conflicts with this, they have to decide which costs are worth paying in freedom and ideals. I see Roger as someone with the strength of character to stand up for what he believes, and I admire that even in ways I don't agree.

Getting down to the all-important topic of protecting intellectual rights; it really does matter. Many will cite the freemium business model, and some think having an upgrade path is too high a price, believing that everything that benefits the common person should be free to all. The idea of charging a license for something that is protected, in order to charge a premium for access, use, or white label use is evil and should be opposed. It is the reason that almost all people in crypto believe all beneficial software should be open source and they believe Napster did nothing but good for all persons everywhere.

Where do I draw the line? I don't find it hard to find a balance. When intellectual property rights gets overtly immoral and unethical, is when someone acquires licensing to a common drug that costs $.01 per pill, and suddenly it is increased to $300/pill. You have sick people who cannot afford their medication. That is insane greed and the very worst thing offered in Capitalism. Horrid. Equally disgusting is the copyright of common language phrases with the SOLE PURPOSE of predatory threats to sue anyone who uses them. Likewise to copyright claims on photographs. It is one thing for a person to say that they took a photo and uploaded to earn royalties, and thus to make a claim if someone uses it without permission. It is another to bait people knowing that most online bloggers and content users require free resources and many are not even aware they are sometimes supposed to pay a royalty as a right to use. But, in the worst case you have people who do not forgive the use even if it is taken down, but their business model actually is designed to go after people and force them to pay or be sued, perhaps lose their online revenue stream. There is no question this is inexcusable and there must be means to protect individuals from this. I have no doubt, like Roger, there are reasons for concern that CSW would be exactly the type of person to go after anyone who did not pay the internet-BSV-blockchain toll.

I actually come from the music industry. I have been involved professionally from multiple angles, as Composer and Producer, as Mastering Engineer and Audio Software Developer, Studio Owner, and even Record Label and Publishing Company. If anyone can speak to the good and bad of this industry, it is I.

Agree, disagree, there is a lot of bogged-down red tape idiocy and greed greed greed and I hate every bit of it. I do. But, I also believe that there are certain needs both for Songwriters, of which I am one, and Recording Artists, of which I also am one. I have earned from record distribution (albeit very lean checks and long bouts in between!!!) in royalties, and I have earned as a Songwriter from many of my hundreds of published songs, again as a licensing royalty. 

Radio stations (that thing before the internet, still sorta there in satellite and other weird stuff) earn from advertisers much like TV and Cable (those things before Netflix and YT). The music in between commercials and commentary is what draws the listeners who then decide to eat where restaurants plug their special, buy tires from the place that had a 30 second spot in between song segments. The Top 20, 50 and 100 lists are the most licensed and rotated songs, and are the largest advertising pull on attention span, so the record industry is largely fueled by what the majority believes is cool and anti-establishment, and is almost completely promoted and distributed by the establishment, performed in clubs, restaurants, small businesses and on air by the establishment.

The Singer-Songwriter and Recording Artist rarely enter into the music industry with the intent to sell-out and become part of the establishment. The serious musician wants to share something of their talent and their soul with followers who resonate with their abilities. But, the only way to get paid other than a Subway and a hat to collect loose change, is through royalties. 1 song rotation may = $0.12, and this is collected through non-profit agencies which technically are a racket in and of themselves. They take a heavily-biased sampling of actual playlists and also mostly go by top rotation to collect and distribute royalties. Record sales do the same for the Recording Artist, and yes the writer and artist can technically be the same person or group. Without licensing and royalties, neither the writer nor the artist have a paycheck until we get into the potential for touring live. What fuels the live performance? Brick and mortar venues, again promoted on... you guessed it, radio, tv, cable, internet. Sales aren't just for the seat, but include t-shirts, memorabilia, CD's (that thing before iTunes) etc. Again, every shirt and coffee mug is also licensed, or guess what, there is no contract with an official company that can afford to make said shirts.

A free and open market, in concept, does not mean that it offers zero protections from competition, but it provides a framework that most people can handle following. If you want to make something truly innovative, you're going to need the funds to grow that into a reality. There are those who take this to the extreme, namely Gates/Microsoft and the like, who to this day want to own some variant of the platform so that the entire world has to pay a royalty... next stop globally mandated vaccination without liability. Think I am okay with that? Not a chance. I love freedom. But, I also have the desire to include, within that set of free rights, the ability to successfully grow a business. 

Now it gets more interesting. I have my own line of audio software that the industry (a very small niche) uses to produce records. I spend my own time and money, in the thousands of hours, in the thousands of dollars, to make graphics that pop, to make sound that is better than my competition. I risk my livelihood on the chance that I will do a good job and I will sell enough of my software to pay bills and work on the next program. As soon as a new audio plugin goes out, there will be illegal cracks that people can download for free. In the early days, everyone who bought from me were individuals in the hundreds whom all knew one another, and myself. I didn't have issues with theft because as a community, we all knew one another and they all saw the value in paying for my plugins. Once someone cracked the software protection, my sales dropped around 98%, not unlike most altcoins. How steady do you think my software production schedule is now? You guessed right. Who suffers other than myself? You may have guessed right again; my loyal customers of more than a decade. Who did it help for a small group of greedy people to steal my intellectual property? It is actually theft, but we've all reasoned ourselves into grabbing something that was not ours online at one time or another. We may have thought about it, or we may have done so without rationale. 

There are extremes. In the early days, should Adobe really have grown into today's giant by selling Photoshop for $650? Did you even know it used to cost that much? Now, they are lucky if you pay $9.99 for a monthly subscription model.

What about being the first in line to buy the new version of Windows? Now, at most you can pay for a physical copy for what, $30? Truth is, most of the software giants of today would not exist, nor would their innovations, if they began in the current environment. Gates would have at best, $5-10 Million in the bank, and many would say that's a darned good thing.

Somewhere in between, I believe, is a fair market. If someone does something innovative, the crowd values their generosity in one form or another, if they give some element away for free. People hate licenses, and people hate spending where there are free options. Open source resolves a myriad of problems and is great for solving advanced issues by the means of the wisdom of the crowd (of which there is less evidence every day lol).

If you don't believe in royalties, then the next time you go to a restaurant make sure to explain that to your server when you refuse to pay them a tip. It's the same thing. The service industry has a billion models of licensing built-in to the framework and most people don't think of it. How does that work? The owners of the establishment are licensing out the use of a portion of their space, for which they pay rent, to a server who works for them. That server is given a section, and they are paid a very small hourly fee as a guaranteed minimum in case business is slow. That server essentially earns a royalty from customers who make up the difference in what a server must earn to survive, and in turn that is paying for the owners to afford that area of property, of which they owe rent. The cost of food and part of the value in cooks and servers, dishwashers and equipment leases are paid from a retail up-charge on food and drinks, but without essentially renting out space and buying the value back in a royalty paid to the server, no one would have any restaurants to attend. Some countries charge a table fee on top of whatever the customer may choose to be generous with towards their server.

People are able to build careers out of YouTube and Twitch channels, and they like having access to their fans who get to enjoy their channel for free. Most are not truly thinking about what happens to the free model if the advertisers go away. The establishment that is so hated, is covering the cost of those who are adamantly against it. The model breaks if everything that appears free on the surface, truly were free.

Now, the balance.

I also strongly agree with Roger that there has to be a line for insanity and greed not to cross. You are going to find that if any validity in my position exists, it is going to come down to human nature every single time. If every person knew exactly what the right thing was to do all the time, and every person was responsible enough to follow the code of ethics that 100% of every other person believes in, then yeah we wouldn't need any laws, rules, or protections on intellectual property. I am 100% with Roger and others, when it comes to greed in the free market. It is a real issue. It really ruins everything that is simultaneously necessary in that market. If anyone believes there should be an online store where people can buy goods with Bitcoin Cash, then they also believe that store should be allowed to earn in crypto, and those BCH-backed workers should be allowed to earn BCH for their work, and that represents a form of cash value. Sorry, but if you believe in protecting your blockchain, your brand, paying people in your coin, you are in conflict with yourself if you also think everything intellectually should be open source and free. But, yes oh yes, CSW absolutely without question crosses a line when he speaks of wanting to cripple the use of BSV with licenses and patents. This is the beginning of the end of freedom and the start of extreme, bogged down bloated disgustingly controlling greedy nasty gross regulatory nonsense.

Anyone who believes that a reasonable set of rules is the same as wanting to control everything doesn't fully grasp economics; they just don't. And, I find it scary that the majority of the crypto world is largely run by people who have millions of dollars in assets that help their projects grow, and don't understand they are operating under economic models. There has to be a fair middle ground where people are able to protect the results of their work and investments, and they are also allowed to define where that line is between free and fair.

I happily give my music to you via online streaming for free, with the hope that first, the platforms that store my music and allow it to be streamed pay me a tiny portion of the licensing money that comes from advertisers.

Remember: no advertisers, no platform.

Someone is ALWAYS paying for free content. If I gave all of my audio software away for free, and took what is absolutely proprietary of my own design, my thinking, my thousands of hours of testing, and instead of giving the awesome products to the market (some free most paid), it would not only devalue numerous aspects of what it can accomplish (because many people would do a terrible job with the open source concepts), but I would never have been able to afford the risk of following through with my ideas to begin with.

If there is a way that crypto operated for free, since we're talking about the evil of licensing and patents, then BCH should be the first to offer their Zero-Free blockchain. What? Someone has to pay for the electricity to run the network? Didn't think of that... charge a fee. Wait... someone needs to pay for plane tickets to go to conferences? Darn didn't think of that either, I guess someone needs to earn off the minting, staking, mining, transacting, market value trading etc. Sometimes hypocrisy is lost between the cracks of a solid business model plagued by mixed messages and individuals who are truly lost in understanding the big picture of the very industry that supports them.

So, let me offer a few nuggets of wisdom:

If you are involved in a cryptocurrency token/coin project, you are NOT just a tech company. You are a company, meaning you DO have marketing responsibilities. You are also a commodity, or a security, or a store of value, or a utility, or perhaps some vague combination of them all. If you are doing this all for 'free', it means you are actually footing the bill in one way or another, because unless you are paying $0 on electricity, computers, and your doing all the coding for free and somehow not out of your parents' basement, then you are a remarkable operation that needs to share with the rest of us how you get by creating imaginary money on the internet without spending any real or imaginary money to do so. Congrats! For the 99.99999% of everyone else, the honest truth is you are making money that transacts, and we can call it a myriad of other things. If BSV wants to make something others can build on, a part of that will need to include a monetary structure that pays for the use of such a utility, but it doesn't have to be direct patents or licenses. Some things could be voluntary, and others could be worth the concept of paying something to unlock certain features or intellectual properties.

I am 100% with Roger on having an issue with people who want to use ideas of freedom to control and monetize everything. Trust me, I would NOT want to live in the world where CSW defines the rules. What a tragic mess that would be. But, I also want to see a world where people can earn from the fruit of their labors, and often it is the individual with the great idea and talent who actually gets hurt, not the big over-bloated greed-driven specters of industry who always find new ways to get paid. We need better definitions of the rules that exist, and that actually needs the great minds of Libertarianism to step outside of their comfort zone just a tiny bit... just enough to help build a framework that allows enough freedom for free-minded people to feel free, along with a monetary structure that isn't simply in plain denial of what it stands for.

Balance ends up providing opportunity to people who do innovative things in greatness, and offers the individual the right to opt-in or out, while also choosing to support things they admire.

It is not an easy task, but it is one that many are just now thinking about when someone like Gordon points them out. Thank you for making it this far!

Please share and most importantly; watch the video!


... and for now, Crypto Gordon Freeman, the Free Man, Crypto Super Hero out.

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Hi! I'm Gordon Freeman (I hear they made a likeness of me in some video game... totally unrelated... or...).


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