According to https://brave.com/publishers/
- once you have accumulated $100 in contributions they email “the webmaster at your site” and the owner of your domain according to the WHOIS. I assume this is “firstname.lastname@example.org”, which I sure don’t have set up on my personal site.
- you have to “check your balance frequently and transfer funds wherever you choose”, which suggests that there’s no way to just say “send my my balance every month” and forget about it.
This whole model totally breaks down when you remember that there’s a ton of independent creators who don’t have their own sites, but instead post stuff on another site. Is Brave going to realize that I’m following this particular person on YouTube, that person on Tumblr, this other person on Deviantart, etc, etc? And are they going to ping them or are they just gonna tell the people who own the site?
The page where you sign up to receive payments (https://publishers.basicattentiontoken.org) makes it sound like they understand YouTube accounts and nothing else, and as a creator whos interest in pivoting to video is nonexistent, screw that, I’ll stick with Patreon and it’s opt-in model that just transfers money into my bank account every month as long as I have patrons.
I'd be surprised if this will be deemed legal, once more people will find out that there is a company collecting donations in their name and without their consent.
Contacting creators as soon as they receive their first tip may help. Otherwise it just looks like they're capitalizing on our content and keep the long tail of donations indefinitely, while also making it less likely that we get contributions from Brave users on other payment platforms, since as far as they know, they are already supporting us through Brave.
FWIW, you can create an account manually and withdraw with << $100 in your account. $100 is just the limit for them to notify you.
I'm surprised how anyone could think this was a good idea, or even legal. What wouldn't surprise me is an incoming class action.
But if the idea was to 1) create token and 2) YOLO and yeah, lawsuits incoming.
But it could be that they have good lawyers and that it is actually legal (although as I write it I don't believe that, haha)
If the tokens are valueless, then what is it they're offering? If they have value, how are they excused from usual rules?
In any event, the confusion is 100% our fault and we're working on updating the UI and language to be clear based on all the feedback we've gotten. We must do better.
Might I also recommend you update the language on the "tips" overlay itself to remove any implication the money is actually going to the creator when the truth is really that its being held by you, essentially in escrow, until they claim it... which they may never actually do. And even using "tips" to describe the process also seems rather misleading in this case too.
Also, automatically scraping a creator's profile picture and adding it to your own overlay to give yourself the appearance of legitimately representing them is incredibly misleading as well. So might I suggest you stop doing that too.
Thanks for your feedback and suggestions.
Needs a lot better way for them to contact creators, too. Probably they need some actual humans figuring out contact methods for a few years of growth instead of just assuming that "email@example.com" will get to the right person, and slowly building solutions for multi-user platforms based on the overall revenue of those places.
(Wedging into multi-user platforms by blocking their ads also has the problem of who's gonna pay for the servers if all the ad money gets siphoned off by Brave.)
I suppose the presumption is, once (if) Brave reaches critical mass, or gets enough press, there won't be a monetizing content creator on the web who isn't aware of it.
My apologies if you know this already. It's just that the "whois" email is not really telling the full story. Unfortunately, this is the best (only?) option they've got to try and contact the creator at this point.
I've heard of GoFundMe and don't have an account there, either. Now that they seem to be quite happy to take money from people making comics designed to "stick it to the libs" I kinda don't want to have an account there. They don't have a page in my name either.
"I don't want to do business with you, and I don't want to have an account so I can opt out of doing business with you" is, I feel, a valid attitude. Is anyone who hears about Facebook's "shadow profiles" happy to know that Facebook is tracking them despite them not using that site?
"Having a human find a contact method for a creator" is an option. It does not scale but how many times do I see people writing stuff here on HN that advises doing stuff that doesn't scale until you know it's worth automating it? If Brave wants their model to work they need to put the time into this kind of stuff. Hell, have the user who wants to pay a creator via Brave do it: "Hi! We don't have any contact information for this creator yet, and our automated methods can't find anything. Would you tell us how to contact this person?" And then not take money in the creator's name until they actually say yes.
What do you think the word active means?
I do understand the frustration though of those who don't see this. Brave could warn visitors donating when the content owner hasn't set up Brave Payments. Brave could refund said money back to the visitor if it goes unclaimed after a while. Just random ideas from someone who actually likes their attempt.
Even more workable is to be opt-in only. That's what I would do (to the point that I developed a protocol that's purely opt-in).
One of the items listed is looking into blocking all tips to unverified publishers altogether. We hear people's concerns and are going to look into it. In the meantime we've dropped all creative assets (photos) for unverified publishers and are also adding a clear alert saying unverified publishers are in fact not-participating yet in the program. Screenshots in the link. Thanks for your feedback and for caring about this being done properly.
So speaking as an alt-universe competitor, opt-in is the safest move. You can just as easily calculate an imaginary amount of money that would be collected and tell potential publishers that number (that was my plan, because of this exact scenario).
One more thing:
you should lawyer up.
You need a firm with strengths in consumer law, trademarks, charities fraud and trusts law, preferably able to opine across each of your physical HQ jurisdiction, the governing-law jurisdiction in your ToS and wherever Tom Scott lives.
My friend Mark had an accident and I think he needs help paying for it. Would you give me some money to help Mark pay for his medical bills? Thank you, I'll just put it in my bank account until Mark asks me for the it.
Trust me, I'm trying very hard to let Mark know I have money for him. I'm going to send a letter to his parent's house so he knows that I have money for him, but only when I get $100. In the mean time I'll just hold on to the money.
Oh Mark never got the money you gave me to give to him?
Well, you only gave me $75 so I never sent him a letter.
Well, it turns out Mark isn't on speaking terms with his parents, so he never got the letter.
Well, he has health insurance and didn't need the money after all.
Where's the money now? I guess it's still in my bank account. No you can't have it back.
i'm thinking about starting to accept money on behalf of Hollywood stars like say Tom Cruise. Once $10M is collected (obviously there is no point in bothering Tom with lesser sums) i will do my best to deliver the money to him.
We shipped a UI/UX that was confusing. We originally used checkmarks to denote creators participating in the program but did not have clear language or markers for creators not participating in then program. Many have pointed out the problem with that, which is helpful!
That's all being updated now and will hopefully roll out very soon. We've heard the feedback and will make sure no creator assets are used for non-verified creators, that it's clear non-participating creators are not in fact participating, and that any tips sent their way will not in fact reach them unless they choose to participate. We're also adding more clarification around what happens to funds "tipped" to non-participating creators.
We want it to be clear if Mark is part of Brave Rewards or not.
Brave is about to push up a number of hotfixes to our code that address people's concerns. You can read about them here: https://brave.com/rewards-update/
You'll see an express commitment to consider whether to completely block out tips to unverified creators/publishers. That's not a thing we could fix overnight but we're acknowledging it might be the best move and committing to looking into it.
Except the money goes back to the Brave user pool and ends up in the hands of creators who have opted to participate. Brave's hope is that every content creator will eventually register to collect what's theirs. Their business model depends on it.
Before judging, please read their materials (and examine their pedigree). It's pretty clear they are thinking much, much bigger than what you're accusing them of. This a Google level play, not some two-bit micro-transaction scam (if anything, it's a little bit too ambitious).
This all goes without even mentioning the huge privacy gains to be had for end users if their model works. I encourage you to have a look into that as well if it's a topic you're interested in.
Time will tell if they succeed or fail. But if they fail, at least they'll do so "while daring greatly".
Your UI really looks like Tom Scott has signed up to receive donations through you, not like you've scraped his photo and name off twitter and written a fundraising plea with zero mention that he's never heard of you and that you won't even try to contact him until $100 accumulates and then only half-assedly.
For most of us this is our first exposure to your model and UI, so that has set a very negative expectation. This looks like a scam and I'm now trying to figure out how to know if you've scammed any of my users without doing anything like installing Brave or signing up because your metrics probably count that as success rather than suspicion.
You're nowhere near them. You're in the same mental headspace as ICO scams because you're also promising that if we give your cryptocurrency a bit of money the riches will rain down for everyone. You need to radically change your rhetorical approaches to this PR disaster (not to mention this "feature") if you hope to start building trust.
These changes will make it very very clear when creators are not participating in Brave Rewards and will ensure no creator assets are being used.
In response to your other comments, I feel good assuming we're somewhere in the general brand feel of the EFF and Firefox. Brave has never once told people to speculate on the price of BAT (we get asked to do so about once a day and refuse because that's not what we're about). Also, yeah, we've shipped a browser used by 5m people a month around the world. There's a long way to go still but it's a start.
Thanks for your feedback.
That's laughable. Trust me, among the people who know about Brave at all, you're associated more with Dentacoin and Bitconnect than EFF and Mozilla. I expect you'll have a rude awakening when you're searching for your next job and people decide they don't want to hire a scam artist.
Thanks for jumping into the conversation. Also thanks for all the stories on HN over the years.
You most certainly can go door to door and solicit donations to a charity you have nothing to do with...as long as you actually fulfill the contract.
Your investors are rewarded by the cryptoasset price rising from more people buying the tokens than selling them.
Do you honestly not see the problem here?
And that's even before we get into the TOC which explicitly permit you to confiscate funds not claimed within 90 days for growth marketing use....
We've spent a lot of time discussing the feedback from threads like this and tomorrow a bunch of changes will go live. Please take a look at this blog post detailing them: https://brave.com/rewards-update/
If the person doesn't want to make money from their fans, that's their choice and it's not cool to possibly mislead fans into thinking the person is taking their money.
It's a pain for people to have to constantly monitor all the random sites collecting money "for them". New services are popping up all the time, how are people supposed to keep track? No, Brave is not going to be able to find the correct way of contacting everyone.
If your service is great, why not make it opt-in and advertise it? Patreon succeeds because people want to sign up and make money from it when they're ready to do that. I believe you're all trying to do their right thing and not take anybody's money fraudulently but this isn't the right thing.
We shipped confusing, poorly thought out UI, got a bunch of negative but really thoughtful feedback, and are moving quickly to get things fixed.
Or to couch it in the form of a GenX nerd reference: if you're taking donations in my name, you're telling me about them by putting a note to that effect in a locked filing cabinet stuck in a disused lavatory with a sign on the door saying "Beware of the Leopard".
Realistically, I would say it'd look a lot less suspicious if you stopped taking donations for people until they have actually opted in. I'm on Patreon because one of my fans said "hey I really wanna start giving you money for your comics, would you set up a Patreon?", not because Patreon found my stuff and set up a tip jar for me.
Also automate the payouts, if I have ads on my stuff then I get money every so often as long as I've accumulated more than the minimum payout, but I have to remember to go check with Brave? Come on, it can't be more than a couple day's hacking to give a creator the option to say "pay me every month if I'm above $minimum_payout". (And if this is a thing you can now set up to happen regularly, there are webpages that need to be updated to reflect this.)
You're taking money on peoples' behalf without their knowledge or permission.
What the fuck more is there to understand?
Here's the bright ethical line: don't accept any money unless you can be assured that you can provide it to the beneficiary. At least failing that, make it abundantly clear to donators that there's no reason whatsoever to expect the funds to actually go to the recipient.
The moral hazard is blindingly obvious: the worse you are at getting funds to where they should go, the more money you make.
This is going viral and it's time to talk to your lawyer about your personal liability in this clusterfuck.
Thanks for your feedback. We shipped UI that sent the wrong message about unverified creators. Understood. We're hustling to get fixes in place and talking more about what we can and should be doing.
You've made the representation slightly better, but this post still sounds like financial fraud.
> A change so that users may contribute only UGP-granted tokens to unverified creators, but can contribute self-funded and grant-funded tokens in any combination to verified creators.
This sounds reasonable, but you could also just not accept donations on behalf of people who haven't signed up for your platform. Why the hell should I as a creator be forced to waste my time opting out when you have no right to use my name to entice users onto your platform anyways? (not that I personally would have any value, I've never created anything anyone would care to donate for, I'm speaking hypothetically of course)
Furthermore, what if I have my own methods to donate to me and instead users of your browser see that I'm an unverified creator and donate through that instead? Now you've lost me donations I otherwise would have gotten. That sounds like serious lawsuit territory right there (though I'm not a lawyer, of course).
Presumably you'd be entirely happy if I made a fork of Chromium or addon that asked for donations on every Brave related site and personality.
I'd try and tell you via whois data (even when it's twitter and YT that doesn't have whois lookup for end users) when the amount passed $20k. I'd go with $100, but as it's a side project I can't yet add a system to manage smaller donations. It's on the todo list.
You can withdraw funds earlier if you ever happen to randomly discover I'm collecting donations for you. Otherwise I'll sit on it to help with development and hosting costs. Thanks.
Brave Co would be happy with this and would not resort to lawyers?
Thanks for your feedback!
I wanted to comment on the "fellow nerd" trope -- I don't see why it matters that you (or the majority of Brave) are nerdy. That doesn't mean you are somehow incapable of acting unethically or committing fraud. Many of our "fellow nerds" have broken the law. It doesn't diminish their intelligence, but it does reflect on their morality.
It's a non-sequitur.
As it says in the post, we're definitely planning to talk about whether to block attempts to tip unverified creators altogether.
I've seen some "very nerdy" people engage in some "incredibly selfish and shady" activities, so I can't help but laugh at that idea.
A company collecting charitable donations? No, that deserves immediate scrutiny. Your business model is beyond sketchy. You're approaching this with an affronted "but we're all nerds here!"
It doesn't matter if you're a nerd working for a crook, a crook claiming to be a nerd, or just a crooked nerd. But the business model has a smell and if you don't recognize it then you're merely complicit.
It's for the Greater Good™!
That's... a fascinating approach to monitoring the actions of companies. "This company contains people, so everything is probably fine".
I'm sure there's UI/UX stuff in Patreon that could be better. That doesn't mean they don't want creators to get paid. It just means there's room for improvement.
Oh, turns out Brave doesn’t have its own UA: https://www.ctrl.blog/entry/brave-user-agent-detection
What a dishonest product.
We shipped confusing, poorly considered UI and are hustling to get it fixed. Thanks for your feedback.
This is why the "move fast and break things" ethos is a terrible idea for anything more substantial than social media. See Robinhood, Theranos, etc., etc.
Brave is a startup with a small team earnestly building a new thing that combines a browser with a tipping system, with creator tools, with ad blocking... it's ambitious!
As it's a new thing, describing it can be messy sometimes. We're always working to make our language better and clearer though. Thank you for letting us know it fell short for you.
To address a point:
We know there's a lot of creators on a lot of platforms. At the moment, we've built support for creator channels in the form of web sites, Youtube channels and Twitch channels. When I joined this past summer I had the same reaction. "What about Tumblr? What about Twitter?" Each new platform takes time to write support for and we have a long list of features requests. We'll get there!
Relative to that complaint:
> Brave is a startup
... is not relevant.
> with a small team
> building a new thing
> that combines a browser with a tipping system, with creator tools, with ad blocking
None of these things are relevant to the complaint being offered. It doesn't require a large team to not solicit money in other peoples' names. It doesn't require an established product to not solicit money in other peoples' names. It odesn't require checking off all the boxes on your feature TODO list to not solicit money in other peoples' names. All it requires is to not solicit money in other peoples' names.
Bid on the exchanges for the ads you want to block. Then serve cat pictures (or whatever). The creators will get paid through the existing payment infrastructure and you don't need to build an entirely parallel, opt-in system that will probably never gain enough traction to be worth using.
It was such a great concept that would work all the way from first introduction to a hypothetical future where everyone uses this and nobody sees ads.
That said, it's better if it's someone other than Google doing it. Google only has access to bid on the Google exchanges, but a 3rd party can bid on AppNexus, private exchanges (WSJ), etc.
And until you write that support do you still take tips and send them to the whois account holder of the domain? Or do you block tips?
But acting dumb and carrying on is an inflammatory action, when your actions are ethically bankrupt -- an inflamed response is warranted and quite reasonable in this situation.
The fact is the original complainant, Tom Scott, and many others, find that practice abhorrent, and the response so far has been deflection or vague promises that the Brave team want to help content creators, whether they want the "help" or not.
The text on the page - as I see it now - says "Do you run a web site or are you a YouTube creator". I think that doesn't say "YouTube accounts and nothing else", since it explicitly mentions "web site" before Youtube.
"Hello. It looks like you are using WordPress!"
"Your domain is NOT using HTTPS.Uh oh! Your domain is NOT using HTTPS. You will need to fix that before continuing."
"The following error was encountered: SSL_connect returned=1 errno=0 state=SSLv2/v3 read server hello A: sslv3 alert handshake failure"
Why do I need to be using HTTPS before you'll think about paying me, Brave? I've been getting along posting comics on my HTTP site for an entire decade, and I'm really not interested in bothering to set that up. You are really not built with any understanding of the level of technical knowledge among people who make art, are you. And I'm unusually technical for an artist.
Oh wait there is a 'choose different verification method'. I can place a trusted file in my domain? Nope. Requires HTTPS. Or I can add a record to my DNS settings; let's try that... looks like I gotta wait for the dns to propagate, that's always fun.
I had ads on it just fine without HTTPS. I’ve had PayPal links without it, I’ve had Patreon links. Getting Brave hooked up is a giant pain in the ass compared to everything else I’ve tried.
Wait, but that's exactly what you're doing to Tom Scott by collecting money in his name after he's asked you not to.
I can set up PayPal donations by including a simple link.
I can set up Patreon donations similarly.
I’ve claimed my site with Google by putting a file in a hidden place. Worked fine over HTTP.
But Brave? Brave, I gotta get this ten year old site converted over to HTTPS. Or wait for DNS to propagate for half a day. All the while y’all might be “taking donations” for me that I’ll never see unless I get this sorted out. Honestly I’ve spent enough time on this that if I don’t see that your site’s seeing my DNS tweak when I poke at it today I’ll probably just see about making my site refuse to serve my content to Brave instead; I’m happy serving my stuff for free but not happy with y’all making money off of it.
Most creators are less technical than me and wouldn’t have even gotten that far, and if Brave was taking donations in their name they’d never get paid out. Which kinda sounds scammy to me.
(1) Any person who, on or in connection with any goods or services, or any container for goods, uses in commerce any word, term, name, symbol, or device, or any combination thereof, or any false designation of origin, false or misleading description of fact, or false or misleading representation of fact, which—
(A) is likely to cause confusion, or to cause mistake, or to deceive as to the affiliation, connection, or association of such person with another person, or as to the origin, sponsorship, or approval of his or her goods, services, or commercial activities by another person, or
(B) in commercial advertising or promotion, misrepresents the nature, characteristics, qualities, or geographic origin of his or her or another person’s goods, services, or commercial activities,
shall be liable in a civil action by any person who believes that he or she is or is likely to be damaged by such act.
Maybe the legal defense applies the same logic of consent in third-party tracking (third-party provides the service in behalf of the first-party, to whose terms you agreed by using its service. Even that may clash with laws like GDPR):
Brave, third-party, is providing a service to the first-party – the browser's user – who contracted it as a way to provide a best-attempt donation for the creator.
(If it's not obvious, I'm not privy to the details AND US federal and states' law)
The only legal way I can see to do what Brave currently does is to spam the hell out of creators (ah, growth hacking) when someone attempts a donation, but only take the money after the creator signs up.
I'll send you $20, if you agree to try to get $15 to the XKCD guy somehow.
If you accept this deal, have you broken the law?
It's possible that Brave has found some sort of loophole that allows them to do this, but I haven't verified that.
Expanding your point: banks haaaaate this kind of business model. They see it as a fertile breeding ground for chargebacks, which are very expensive to them.
Chrome Extension: https://chrome.google.com/webstore/detail/clearcoin-the-ad-b...
For example, consider http://www.vim.org, which hosts the text editor Vim. The author, Bram Moolenaar, makes this editor freely-available, and asks that any donations be directed to ICCF Holand, a charity that serves the Kibaale Children's Center in Uganda.
The Brave browser, as it stands now, inserts itself in the middle of this established reader/contributor relationship and now claims that it'll take your donations and administer them on Bram's behalf. The user who falls for this scheme then sees what appears to be _additional_ requests for donations (the _actual_ request). _At a minimum_, this inserted message sows confusion where there once was none. In the worst case, money that would have gone to the ICCF is now held in escrow by Brave, and may or may not be delivered, and if so, will go to Bram directly rather than to the charity he hopes to support.
This is just one example of how the browser intercepting and modifying what you see is a truly bad design (intentional or not).
The bottom line is that it will be much much much clearer that unverified creators are not participating in Brave Rewards and what happens to any BAT tips a user tries to send to one. We'll also not be using any creative assets at all from unverified creators like their Youtube images. In the post we also commit to looking into whether to block attempts to tip unverified creators altogether.
This, of course, is exactly the same model as many pieces of toolbar malware, with the genius addition that by letting publishers opt in to receiving a small fraction of the revenue, they hope to make it easier to accept the loss than to sue.
Of course they'll respond by saying that users choose to download and run Brave. But the long term financial success of the project is dependent on most users either not knowing or not caring that their browser is inserting ads into webpages and taking funding from publishers (and maybe "opt-in" to seeing replacements ads through some UI dark patterns, I don't know). Frankly I don't see any real difference between this and the average toolbar that promises to "add value" to the browser.
Brave has the worst business practices of any open source company I know of, and they're a blight on the community in general.
"Brave Software has announced that it is developing a feature allowing users to opt in to receiving ads sold by the company in place of ads blocked by the browser. Brave intends to pay content publishers 55% of the replaced ad revenue. Brave Software, ad partners, and browser users would each be allocated 15% of the revenue."
And here's a bit from Ars Technica's initial review of Brave:
"In practice, Brave just sounds like a cash-grab. Brave isn't just a glorified adblocker: after removing ads from a webpage, Brave then inserts its own programmatic ads. It sounds like these ads will be filled by ad networks that work with Brave directly, and Brave will somehow police these ads to make sure they're less invasive/malevolent than the original ads that were stripped out. In exchange, Brave will take a 15 percent cut of the ad revenue. Instead of using tracking cookies that follow you around the Internet, Brave will use your local browsing history to target ads."
Is that inaccurate? Was that accurate at some point in the past? I don't deny that I could be wrong and misunderstanding what Brave is trying to do, but I would posit that I have done due diligence here. This does seem to be the idea the neutral tech media has of Brave, like it or not.
To your point about the Ars Technica comments, my understanding of things from conversations since I've joined in July 2018 is that when Brave launched, they put out a lot of info about stuff they were _going_ to do, and one of those ideas was to replace ads. However soon after launch, a lot of folks in the company and outside of the company explained to management that this was a really stupid idea and would be scummy. So Brave never went forward with it though it was a talking point to journalists early on. You could argue that having an idea to do a scummy thing two years ago is very bad. I'd like to think it's good when startups listen to feedback and adjust their product plans accordingly.
So it's not exactly a baseless claim. I think between that ad idea, and this donation scam, I would _never_ use Brave nor recommend it to anyone. On top of that, it is blood boiling to watch you sit here and try to defend this scheme as a "UI problem" over and over again.
I would also like something like the easy user switching that chrome has, since once user would have one set of session tab logins (twitter, fb, google, etc), and another user would have another. firefox -no-remote isn't that smooth of an experience compared to chrome's user switcher.
I can't really speak to Firefox's performance issues though. I feel like they're just as good on rendering and JS speed, but the overall UI doesn't have the same "fast" feel that Chrome does. Chrome has also seemingly gotten slower for me too.
Still need user switching although, because sometimes I want to separate multiple google/twitter/etc accounts for example and still want the automatic url-based container activation.
If brave implemented containers although, I would probably use it because chrome works better than FF.
I don't know how MacOS works, but if you set your Firefox shortcut to firefox -P you can switch profiles by restarting Firefox. Granted, it's not as nice as Chrome, but it might still be of worth to you in some way.
You have to double click on your special shortcut with the command line option, and if some other program tries to open a url with firefox as the default browser with the -no-remote / -P command, then it will just not work if you have all users open.
While with chrome it's 2 clicks away and no edge cases making other apps opening urls not work.
The fact that you can't sync container configuration between devices is also a huge pain point, when you have a nontrivial setup.
I still use them, but I accept that I'm going to endure some pain now and then; I can't recommend Firefox containers to people who just want to get work done right now.
Mobile Chrome means zero extensions and ad hell, so Brave it is. Same Chrome engine and UI (swipeable tabs is something I miss in Firefox Android) and adblocking.
Have you tried it lately? I agree that it used to, but it has improved vastly. It's my daily driver now.
Heck, even just the one add-on that lets you sleep your phone while a YouTube video continues playing is well worth using Firefox. Such a basic functionality isn't enough reason to get YouTube Red.
And then, you have add-ons like ublock origin that give you the Brave-like functionality without all this brouhaha.
If you were wrong about Brave, your concerns about Firefox and Mozilla could be wrong as well.
It's end-to-end encrypted. Mozilla doesn't have the keys.
There's nothing wrong with the all-purpose heavily featured approach of stuff like Chrome and Firefox, and I get that other people like Sync, I just really wish there was a totally stripped down basic internet browser I could trust.
Do they? I just skimmed the source and could not find anything that hints at that (and implementing it the way you said it is makes for much more complex code..)
For the average user—think your uncle who's about to ask you tech support questions this weekend—using Firefox Sync is way better for their privacy and security than reusing the same password everywhere. And for those of us who have and use password managers, Firefox Sync is not on by default—unlike Brave's attention-tracking or Chrome's Google logins.
What exactly is your problem with an opt-in service?
You're right the business model is advertising, very similar to Google. However the key difference is that they're trying to enable ads in a way that is privacy focused. They don't let websites track you. The whole point is that there are client-side algorithms that decide what advertisements to serve you.
Aren't the Brave ads opt-in?
Apple seems like the only company that builds a browser that is not incentivized to collect ad revenue. I've been using Safari for everything for the past few weeks, and really liking it. The performance on Apple hardware seems better too, and there are some cool Apple ecosystem features built in. I'm a web developer so there are certain things I still need Chrome for, but in those cases I fire up a single Chrome tab and use Safari for everything else.
I am backing Mozilla each year with small donations and yet I am not using Firefox. I tried many times and I always return to Chromium (Brave on mobile and Chrome on Desktop).
So my solution is for Mozilla to fork Chromium and see what happens.
Not sure why you don't like Brave? You can turn off all of the crypto currency and advertising stuff. I think its a good idea personally. What is the problem in usurping googles ad business, exactly?
i found that post because the un-googled chromium author linked to it here: https://github.com/Eloston/ungoogled-chromium/issues/640#iss...
If a judge finds they've established themselves as a trustee, this argument won't fly. In fact it will make a quite spectacular and expensive thudding sound.
The trustee-beneficiary relationship arises from the situation and does not require a contract to be formed. If you are the legal owner of assets "for the benefit of" someone else, congratulations, you are probably a trustee.
Why does this matter?
Because trusteeship comes with a fiduciary duty. Fiduciary duty is a heavy burden. If it's applied to Brave it will create merry havoc: a pile of money that they cannot touch, under any circumstances. A pile of money that they must return, if it cannot be forwarded to the intended recipient. A pile of money that cannot be mixed with anything else in any way. The requirement to put the interests of the beneficiary ahead of their own. And on and on.
It's an attempt to be clever at marketing, to create an incentive to sign up. But as a legal situation it's a swamp full of unstable turd grenades.
... of course, I am not a lawyer and this is not legal advice. Maybe Brave found a friendly jurisdiction or a quirk in trusts law that they can squeeze through. But given the history of startups wishing that law doesn't real, I kinda doubt it.
1. Collects tokens from User A for the benefit of Website B
2. By design, loses track of who gave them which tokens
3. But somehow does not lose track of the tokens when it's time to put them into their own general ledger
4. Which they say they will do, mingling what are probably funds from constructive trusts into their own funds.
"Oh but it's OK!", comes the counterargument, "Our Terms of Service allow us to do this". The problem is that Terms of Service can say anything, you can sign a contract for anything, and still wind up as a trustee for a trust you created through your actions. And one thing that a trustee will be completely buggered by is appropriating trust assets for their own use. It's the kind of thing that the legal system enthusiastically tries to convert into glowing craters.
This whole scene is going to be extensively carpet bombed with popcorn, as a legal situation it is shaping up as disaster heaped high on hilarity.
Again: I am not a lawyer, but in Brave's position I would be looking for some.
I am not too familiar with how Brave and BAT (Brave Attention Token), so please chime in. Here's how Brave describes the BAT YouTube donations system: https://basicattentiontoken.org/brave-expands-basic-attentio...
From my understanding, users of the Brave Browser select which YouTubers to donate to, but they don't know whether the channels have opted in to receive donations? What does Brave do with unclaimed donations? Someone pointed out this concern in an earlier submission: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=15730661
Furthermore, OP said that they might not be following GDPR due to collection of YouTuber data (to assign donations). IANAL, anyone know how compliant this is?
That being said, I've been using Brave on Android since early 2017, and it's been great. I don't think the BAT stuff is in the mobile version, but I did see it on the desktop Windows version recently.
IANAL but GDPR refers to personal data collected from users. The only "Youtuber data" being "used" here is publicly gettable data from the Youtuber's channel.
For each Publisher URL receiving votes during a Calculation Period that is not a Brave Publisher by the end of that Calculation Period, the BAT corresponding to its votes will not be distributed at the end of that Calculation Period, and will instead be held in an Uphold omnibus wallet for no less than ninety (90) days thereafter. At that time, the undistributed BAT may be sent to Company’s user growth pool, which is a pool of BAT that Company administers to incentivize use of the Platform [..] Publisher Contributions will be calculated solely based on our accounting. Solely as a cost-recovery measure, we may allocate a certain amount of BAT contributed by Brave Contributors each Calculation Period toward our reasonable expenses incurred in facilitating Publisher Contributions. (https://basicattentiontoken.org/contributor-terms-of-service... section 4 "contributions")
Sounds very much like "we can redirect this from escrow if we want to".
And even without the clause, if they truly held it in escrow forever, taking money unasked without a way of returning it, is still a bad thing. Given this isn't the first "support creators" app doing this and getting publicly shamed for it, I have no idea how that went through.
In any event, the confusion is our fault and we're working on updating the UI and language to be clear based on all the feedback we've gotten.
Or, better for you personally: how about you hand in your resignation and retain an attorney?
Here's the thing: people who get away with this type of thing (sorry, "exciting and new crowdfunding option for creators", or whatever y'all prefer to call it) tend to get away with it only for as long as the targets of their "fundraising" are small-time creators who don't have the resources to pursue action against it. But sooner or later, even if only by accident, Brave's going to impersonate (sorry, "offer exciting crowdfunding options on behalf of") some entity that has resources, including lawyers, and it's going to end badly.
When that happens, a possible outcome is that they will suddenly "discover" all your statements on their behalf in this thread, and that's when it will end badly for you. Oh, that wasn't our position at all, oh, he wasn't authorized to speak like that on our behalf, oh, that's definitely not what we intended, we'll take action immediately to remedy that! The absolute best outcome of that for you is you get fired for cause. The worst outcomes involve you becoming the target of multiple legal actions.
I'm not an attorney and I'm not giving you legal advice. I will give you sincere personal advice: resign, hire an attorney. Find another job working somewhere that poses less of a threat to you.
As to why people will come after you, let me count the ways:
I know people who blog or create YouTube videos or whatever and are very careful not to monetize, because they're disabled and can't work but still need something to fill their days. But disability benefits are means-tested and income streams are constantly investigated. If a benefits agency decides that your scheme is providing income to a disabled person, congratulations! You just cut off their income, and they probably never even knew you existed. That's bad.
I have worked with several open-source projects that rely heavily on donations to keep going. They all have prominent things on their websites directing people where to go to donate, but you'd like to hijack that and instead send people to something the project doesn't know about and may not be able to collect on (especially given how often you flush the "donations" and how many hoops it seems people have to jump through, which many commenters have identified as something that makes them think this is a scam). Congratulations, you just took resources away from the project. And, for projects which use nonprofit foundations to manage fundraising, you just created tax issues -- what happens when the taxman doesn't believe the "we didn't know about them raising money for us" story?
And round and round and round we go. You're going to be hurting those people to make money. If you have a moral compass, it should be pointing heavily toward getting the hell out of there, as soon as you can.
Plus, crypto in general is in weird legal space to begin with. Lots of people can't afford to have you dealing in potentially unregistered securities in their names and without their knowledge or consent. In the US that could easily lead to federal felonies for them, because of what you did.
So, look. I've seen this pattern again and again and again. What Brave is doing is not a new idea. It's widely, roundly, solidly despised, both because it's an unwarranted intrusion on other people and because it creates such nebulous but frightening potential consequences for them. I've also been waiting for one of these crypto "fundraising" operations to finally go far enough that someone (either an entity with good lawyers, or a regulator) bothers to turn them into a smoking hole in the ground as an example to others. Maybe that's the ultimate fate of Brave; if it is, I won't shed any tears.
Thanks for your passion for creators and for those of modest means and with disabilities. The internet is awesome in part because it's a place where everyone and anyone can contribute.
Interest has dropped to 0, and they go to my shitlist with all the other crytpo-scam stuff prevalent these days.
Edit: Now that I've seen the screenshots of just how blatantly Brave pretends the creator has a profile and actively set this up, this is absolutely fraud. From further down in the comments of OPs original link: https://twitter.com/ummjackson/status/1076221401353207808
We'd love another shot at winning your interest. Thanks for caring about finding new ways to get creators paid.
I'm kind of confused as to why everyone here is up in arms. The UI denotes whether a publisher is verified or not. I never believed that Brave was trying to mislead me to where my donations were going. This feels like a simple misunderstanding.
It has a pretty obvious mark under the name if they are verified.
That said, I did ask the few people I know that have been using BAT. All three of them knew that there was a chance their tip wouldn't be received if it wasn't a verified user. So, from actual users, putting actual money into it, they understood how it worked.
Two of them specifically would only tip to verified accounts. The third said he saw it as an incentive to get the creators to join the platform, though he's also the most vocal and evangelistic about BAT.
It has a grayed out message and a link to learn more about what happens to unclaimed funds: http://se.ri0.us/2018-12-23-170628027-eb454.png
"Not yet verified" would, I think, imply to many people that they will in the natural course of things be verified, and perhaps even that they've asked to be verified.
It would be better to say "Bla is not a user and will not get the money you donate now, and quite possibly not ever", or similar wording. Or just (and this is, er, the obvious approach) not allow this at all for people who haven't asked for it.
No, it addresses the collection and processing of personal data no matter where it is collected from.
> The only "Youtuber data" being "used" here is publicly gettable data from the Youtuber's channel.
Which is personal data that YouTube has collected or created associated with services they are providing to the user. They are responsible for their collection and use of it, but that doesn't authorize third-party collection and use of it under the GDPR. Particularly, the GDPR definition of personal data subject to the rules it imposes does not exclude information which is “publicly gettable” from some other party than the subject.
Best thing to avoid that, as I said in another comment, is to quit and get a lawyer.
In that case, get your lawyer to google “passing off”. Just because a photo is publically gettable doesn’t mean you have carte blanche to do what the hell you want with it.
The answer appears to be "technically", and "sue if you think you're big enough".
We're pushing up fixes tomorrow that (we hope) make it a lot clearer: https://brave.com/rewards-update/
(Sidenote: Thank you for the Hedge Maze puzzles in the Keep. They were a gaming highlight for me last year.)
US criminal courts can order defendants convicted of fraud to pay restitution to their victims.
Thanks for caring about this being done in a respectful, thoughtful way. We'll keep trying to do better.