Starting a Democratic Revolution
The story behind cXc and Purple Cryptovoting. Founder Douglas James goes through the ideas that evolved into cXc and Purple.
I conceived of the grandfather system to cXc when I was 14 years old
I visualized each piece of media, like a video or picture or song, as a box. Outside of the box was a label which had the information about the media in the box, as well as actions which this box couls use into based on its type and what the creator wanted it to be used for.
The system I envisioned would allow owners of any media to make a label, this label would show information about that media, as well as allow them to declare relationships that this media had, like sibling content, or was available to make, like child content.
These relationships could be licensing, they could be a desired connection, such as a instrumental that is searching for someone to put vocals on.
The relationships could show the relation of one piece of data to another, such as same creator, or same parent.
This system would not store any data itself, it would be the system of labels, the protocols that declared relationships of media and information throughout the entire world.
These protocols would store the minimum amount of data necessary to show as much as needed about each piece of data. The system would then catalog this metadata for quick computation and distribution of information.
A network around the world would allow this information to be distributed freely and fairly, allowing a free economy of data to open up.
Fast forward to college.
Never forgetting about the original box system, I became obsessed with a platform that would replace US copyright law, which I tentatively called CopyHouse. I saw this as the way to let users have real control over their created media and meaningful information. This was the label system to the boxes I had envisioned.
I learned about contract law and copyright law, and found that the creation of a contract that was legally sound was actually quite easy. There are no laws specifying who can create a contract or what the contract must look like outside of a few basic elements (offer, acceptance, consideration, mutuality). Contracts don’t even have to be written, and never have to be registered.
I learned that copyright law was nothing more than granting you the right to sue someone if they use something you created without permission. Furthermore, registering a copyright is completely unnecessary to have “copyright protection”. Further furthermore, there is no actual protection against your copyright being used illegally, just a system of ramifications for the violator if you choose to take legal action against them.
I decided to create a system that allowed the owners of media to generate their own contracts, and have a real copyright through proof of authorship that never expired and could be easily verified. They could choose from clauses that were generated by the users of the system, modify these clauses, and piece together their own contracts. They could make these open, so that anyone could pay or complete some action to use the work, or make them closed and exclusive so that interested party would have to contact the licensee. The system also had built in offers, counter offers, agreement, and a system of arbitration.
I envisioned this system for creators of digital media like art, music, and photographs, especially musicians. I imagined a use case where a band could create a contract where people could pay money and receive the album for a discounted rate when it comes out, as well as write a contract that would allow a record label, or even individual users, to purchase some or all distribution rights for the album.
This system gives power to the creators, as they’re the ones to write the contract, not the record labels.
I changed the name of the project to Current X Change and registered Current X Change LLC.
The concept evolved when a map got introduced. The idea was always location based, so putting it on a map just made sense. People displaying contracts would post them on the map in their local area. People looking to fulfill a specific kind of contract would be able to search the local area for contracts of this nature.
For example, a musician that creates instrumental beats could put them up, and the rapper who purchases these beats could easily find them. The beat maker would have a contract about the use of the beat. The rapper could then counter-offer the contract, or agree to it. This contract may be money, a requirement of crediting, and may have limits of usage.
Each contract has permissions and restrictions. These permissions include what a person can do with the media, and restrictions can be anything, including geographic area, time, usage, or anything else.
This contract system didn’t stop at music, just like cXc Music isn’t all of cXc. I envisioned someone writing a contract to get their house painted. This contract would be an advanced “Craigslist post”. The user would select a similar contract from another user who had written one to get their house painted. They would then post it to the local area, and anyone could make an offer to paint the house. The owner would then review the offers and sign the contract digitally right on Current X Change. If something went wrong, moderators would choose who was in the wrong and this would be recorded.
Anywho, seeking counsel, I learned that the best thing to do was launch the bare minimum of the system, the MVP. I thought “What is the most benefit to the user from this application?” Putting painting houses aside, I decided helping creators get exposure was the biggest benefit. In developing this idea, I stripped the contract system away, and started thinking more about the unit of exchange. With the contract system on hold, I set out to design the curation system that would change the world forever.
I started to think about the algorithm that would organize all the at-best-categorized content of the internet. The first system I developed was called Rel (relevance) points, around 2013-14. Rel points would declare a content relevant to another piece of content. Users could suggest another piece of content as “Relative” when looking at one piece of content. Others could vote if this relation was true. People who declared relations deemed true were rewarded. A Rel score would then be used to display content suggestions when looking at one piece of content.
Relations took place in a family tree structure, as well as a more abstract similarity structure. In the family tree structure, curators could declare parent content (Holding elements used to make referenced content), sibling content (Same parent), child content, and more. Users could also declare more information about content, like how much they thought someone looking at something would want to see something else.
In 2016, I came up with a complementary system which became Purple. I decided each person should get a certain number of votes per day, and never be able to have more than this amount of votes, so no saving votes, use it or lose it. When they gave these votes to a piece of content, the creator would receive them in another form that they could save, vote, or trade.
The free votes are called Sol, meaning Sun, and the accruable votes are called Blue. Finally, a real-money token called Purple allows creators to receive money from the votes they received if they choose not to vote them.
The system became simplified into what it is today, a place for creators to share their creations posted on third party sites with the world, gaining exposure, creating events, collaborating, being heard. I knew that by creating a system with the most possible benefit, eventually I would have the opportunity to build it out into a better reflection of what I see as possible for empowering creators. cXc Music is currently being developed as a wonderful system to help musicians and listeners alike. Through proving the concept with cXc Music, we will be creating something great and foreshadowing something even greater.
These concepts of Relation curation of media, licensing, and creating Genius Contracts (I just made that up) that are the legal contract equivalent of Smart Contracts, are not lost forever. They are on hold while we see what a little universal love from Purple, cXc Music, and all cXc Mapps can do for our world.
For now, we are focusing on growing at a decent pace, incorporating features to cXc Music, and using what we learn to make the rest of the cXc apps awesome.
We will continue to design and progress systems of energy and expansion on this planet, charging forward with the solutions of love and light, freeing us from attachments to the old ways of control and stifling human nature.