In partnership with Creative Commons and the Mozilla Foundation, Web platform Coil has announced the launch of a $100 million fund in support of efforts to develop alternative business models for online Web content.
Funded entirely by Coil, the Grant for the Web program aims to address major problems associated with today's Internet, including the increasing spread of mis- and disinformation and a host of privacy concerns, by enabling content creators and software developers to advance open standards for alternative online business models that benefit the public. To that end, the fund will promote Web Monetization, which was developed by the Interledger W3C Community Group as an open standard for monetizing Web content with the larger aim of encouraging innovation in interoperable, open-source payment systems.
To be managed by Loup Design & Innovation, Grant for the Web will award grants ranging from $1,000 to $100,000 over the next five years in support of projects that contribute to a privacy-centric, open, and accessible Web monetization ecosystem. At least 50 percent of the funds will be designated for openly licensed projects, and special consideration will be given to creators whose projects promote a vibrant commons; increase users' autonomy, privacy, and control over their own data; and promote diversity and inclusion.
"When I was starting out as a developer, the openness of the Web gave me incredible opportunities to learn and grow," said Coil founder and CEO Stefan Thomas, who previously served as chief technology officer at enterprise blockchain solutions provider Ripple. "It's so easy to create on the Web, but when it comes to earning money, people are mostly stuck with app stores or large content platforms. With this grant, we hope to tip the scales in favor of an open, native way for creators to be compensated for their contributions to the Web community."
"The Web's richness and diversity comes from its individual creators: writers, coders, musicians, podcasters, app makers, journalists," said Mozilla executive director Mark Surman. "But in the current Web ecosystem, big platforms and invasive, targeted advertising make the rules and the profit. Consumers lose out, too — they unwittingly relinquish reams of personal data when browsing content. That's the whole idea behind 'surveillance capitalism'. Our goal in joining Grant for the Web is to support a new vision of the future. One where creators and consumers can thrive."
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