A Project with Paradoxical Goals

ATP Proposal Cover 

Coalition for Electronic Markets

CEM is a coalition of industrial partners whose goal is deploying a techno-social solution to the electronic property issues of electronic goods; property composed of bits instead of atoms. See No Silver Bullet Reconsidered for conceptual background.

Based on the experience outlined in the following chronology, the climate is not ready for deployment of a full solution to the electronic property problem. CEM activities have concentrated on finishing Superdistribution: Objects as Property on the Electronic Frontier, which is now (Jan 1996) with Addison Wesley for publication. Future CEM activities will depend on the extent to which this book accomplishes its climate-changing goal. Also see Electronic Property, Economics, and Superdistribution: Objects as Property on the Electronic Frontier.


June 1993 CEM formed in response to an ARPA TRP solicitation as a coalition of major industrial, financial, academic and governmental institutions.

ATP Idea Proposal CEM submitted this Advanced Technology Program proposal to the U.S. Department of Commerce in Fall 93. David Fisher, Program Manager for ATP's Software-related programs, adopted the revenue collection emphasis of our proposal in the white paper below.

ATP White Paper David Fisher wrote a white paper on goals and structure of the ATP Component-based Software solicitation.

Announcement Commerce Business Daily Spring 1994 Also see public workshops regarding 1994 ATP solicitations.

Abbreviated Proposal Acceptance June 1994 CEM submitted an abbreviated proposal that was ultimately accepted. CEM's member institutions, our abbreviated proposal, and the full proposal we submitted later the same summer, won't be available until the status of our proposal becomes clear, hopefully this fall.

Abbreviated Proposal Response from NIST Regarding the abbreviated proposals NIST received

Aug 4 1994 CEM's ATP Proposal

Aug 30 1994 Telephone call and fax from David Fisher. CEM's proposal was chosen as a semi-finalist. Oral interview in two weeks.

Sep 26 1994 Telephone conversation with David Fisher. CEM's proposal was not successful. Details won't be available until an oral debriefing in a week or so. No revenue collection proposals were funded in this solicitation.

Sep 28 1994 Rejection letter from NIST with brochure on the ATP Focused Program on Component-based Software, and a list of projects funded in this solitication. Same envelope.

Nov 10 1994 Oral debriefing via teleconference; David Fisher and Mike Nowak of NIST.

July 21, 1995 Outlook on Commerce Department Funding The American Institute of Physics Bulletin of Science Policy News Number 103: July 21, 1995

April 22, 1997 Focused Program In Component-Based Software Supplemental Information for Program Competition ADVANCED TECHNOLOGY PROGRAM 97-06 (bjc: Do I have the stamina to go through this again?)

Related Material

Remunerating Authors and Publishers in a Digital World by Richard Hill, June 1995 This paper explores the question of how the creation and distribution of intellectual property subject to copyright protection can be assured if digital media are used to create or to distribute the work. An analysis of copyright issues related to computer software is used as a starting point.

No Silver Bullet Reconsidered by Brad Cox. Published in the November 1995 issue of American Programmer by Ed Yourdon.

Planning the Software Industrial Revolution by Brad Cox; IEEE Software Magazine.

Software's Chronic Crisis by W. Wayt Gibbs; Scientific American Sept 1994 contains interviews of Brad Cox, David Fisher, and others (this article has been removed because of copyright issues).

Cyberspace and the American Dream A Magna Carta for the Knowledge Age; Release 1.2 // August 22, 1994

Maintaining Privacy in Electronic Transactions MS Thesis by thoth+@cmu.edu.

Recent dialog NTIA Intellectual Property email list.

Superdistribution? Brad Cox September 1994 Wired Magazine Ideas Fortes article. Response from Dave Birch, Hyperion; United Kingdom, with a press release announcing their Digicash venture. Subsequent email from Paul Rickett and a Letter to the Editor by David Herschman, with my response included.

Out of Control, The Rise of Neobiological Civilization by Kevin Kelley CEM's approach was also discussed in Kevin Kelly's book. The link is to three pages OCR'd from a faxed copy. It contains OCR errors.

Electronic Frontier and Electronic Property by Brad Cox Links to articles on related topics

Superdistribution: The Concept and the Architecture by Dr. Ryoichi Mori The original article

Toll Booth, by Robert L. Scheier PC Week article about a system by Peter Sprague of Wave Systems,The world is abuzz with talk of the torrent of data that will roar down the "information highway." But nobody has figured out how to charge customers for the information they really want, rather than making them pay for every bit and byte that either pours out of a broadcast service or resides on a CD ROM. A similar article was published in Forbes Magazine on 10/18/93. Here's further information about Wave Systems investors provided by Sprague during our meeting in New York this spring.

DigiCash by David Chaum

Stray Bits






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