Joystream website

Monday, December 30, 2013

The Joystream Manifesto

Our Manifesto units out each the issues we believe are related to digital media platforms of their present kind as well as our proposed answer to those concerns.


We imagine that artwork, be it as literature, music, movie, games or performance, is a critical software through which societies establish a shared understanding of what is common information amongst all members. These expressions outline values and narratives that end up shaping tradition, religion and even public policy. It therefore issues deeply how it’s financed, distributed and paid for.

Digital media has turn into the primary medium by way of which such expression is distributed, and digital media platforms have become the important thing institutions organizing this exercise.

Unfortunately, as a result of network results, economies of scale, rules and political pursuits, we’re right now left with handful of massive establishments which set the phrases for the way this happens. They are almost entirely unaccountable to regular market and political mechanisms.

As a outcome, our stories, expressions and interactions are managed and filtered on their terms. This continues to generate an ever changing set of problems, be it inflexible monetization, censorship of controversial speech, inequitable sharing of gains with creators and audience, low platform innovation or lack of credibility with third party developers.


We name for an arrangement the place media platforms are accountable to the individuals they influence, that are primarily their users, be it as customers, creatives, third celebration developer or employees.

It is the absence of such accountability which is the fundamental supply of any specific problem at any specific time.


Our core thesis is that there are two primary challenges which have to be addressed to realize this goal, and that an acceptable application of up to date distributed systems expertise, including blockchains, sensible contracts and tokens, is the best means to take action.

The Wedge

First is the question of the way to create an alternative from scratch within the face of platform externalities which make any new platform almost useless, no matter any of its inherent characteristics. The strategy of doing this sort of bootstrapping has historically been largely an art, where success has rarely been reproducible.

We believe that blockchain tokens, earned by and issued to early participants, have been proven to be extraordinarily effective at mobilizing, integrating and motivating a global and dynamic group.

This has now repeatedly allowed nascent communities, like the Bitcoin community, to beat the preliminary community effect hurdle. There isn’t any certainty that this will be enough, however we believe this mechanism is as promising as something which is more likely to have an opportunity in a long time.

Accountability at scale

Second is the query of how to create and sustain accountability in such a platform when it truly reaches scale.

We perceive there to be two fundamental ways that participants can maintain institutions of any sort accountable: Voice and exit, in the tradition of Hirschman A. O.


Voice is the approach of making an attempt to enhance or reform the functioning of an institution from within. The effectiveness of this is dependent upon some capability to both share reliable info with different members, and have some impact on inside governance processes. Current media platforms present users no efficient method of doing both.

We consider that blockchains provide an organizational and economic infrastructure which may tackle both issues. The public, verifiable and immutable historical past of economic and administrative information, provides a superb foundation for users to understand the current and previous state of the platform. This permits anyone to make incontestable claims about relevant details and circumstances.

Further, blockchain tokens allow us to make use and control of a platform inseparable, giving users an automated seat at the desk in deliberating over platform level selections.

All that is required to establish, train or switch the capacity to participate in such activity, is the ability to sign messages with identifiable cryptographic keys. Perfectly dependable contracting provides a large, dynamic and unrestricted set of users the means of governing the platform. This can serve a wide range of purposes, corresponding to undertaking initiatives, regulating participation in numerous formally specified roles, and even updating the institutional rules themselves. This integration of reliable contracting into the financial rails offers an organizational infrastructure rather more according to our goals of inclusive management than the traditional jurisdictional trust primarily based infrastructure.


Exit is the strategy of completely ending participation in an institution in favor of both becoming a member of or creating an alternate. The effectiveness of this depends on prices of leaving, and either joining or creating another, all being low in comparison with the deprivation within the current institution. This is at present not the case.

By building platforms based mostly on free open source software program, open protocols and open knowledge — as is the case with Blockchain methods, one dramatically lowers these prices. Since customers management their very own knowledge, identity and property, they have a a lot easier time joining new platforms, and even taking their peers with them.

Open protocols and data will make multi homing interfaces ample, where users may not even need to modify, but as an alternative use a number of platforms concurrently, which encourages platform degree competition.

Even extra dramatically, reliance on open source signifies that all of the software capital of a platform can easily be reused, and for the reason that whole organizational state can also be public, entire ecosystems can be forked to create new alternative platforms with modified insurance policies and objectives.