Re: Caching Servers Considered Harmful (was: Re: Finger URL)

Rob Raisch, The Internet Company (
Mon, 22 Aug 1994 20:43:35 +0200

On Mon, 22 Aug 1994, Sarr Blumson wrote:

> Let's see how this goes if we substitute "book store" for "caching server"

Ummm, please excuse my flipness, but your argument is specious.

A bookstore cannot provide my content -- for no cost -- to thousands
(perhaps millions) of consumers.

> My flipness aside, there are issues here, but they are issues which are
> amenable to technical solutions. There are lots of authentication mechanisms
> for insuring that a publisher only "sells" to a "distributor" (cache) that she
> trusts, and to sign time critical material to that it identifiable as reliably
> as a newspaper is by the date on the top. If anything, our problem is
> choosing among the alternatives, which is a problem largely because the
> choosing may decide a lot of things about who get rich from this new
> technology.

I'm sorry, but I strongly disagree with you. The problems are not
amenable to technical solutions -- in the absence of the publisher.

The real problem with the Web and Mosaic and all the rest is that these
are publishing "solutions" designed by technologists.

Go and tell a publisher that everything they have known about control and
intellectual property is now wrong.

This is an old horse with me, as some of you will attest, but until the
publisher can be brought into this loop, we will be developing a
publishing architecture no one will use.

It's a lovely thought to imagine that what we build here will overtake
the real world with brushfire swiftness and that everyone must bow to the
egalitarian model of information distribution or be consumed.

Dream on.