About the Author

I wrote software for 20 years, then left the field in 1986 to start a well-known AIDS medical and activist newsletter, which I have published for the last 20 years. In software I was best known for writing about the programming language FORTH, and for developing CommuniTree, an early tree-structured bulletin board.

In AIDS I ran into the issue of how to fund online publication, in a world of huge differences in peoples’ ability to pay. Smart-accounts started as an idea for a code to allow anyone to purchase, subdivide, and share an online subscription of any size. During the last three years it evolved through several steps to become potentially a general instrument of commerce.

I still publish AIDS Treatment News, a more-than-full-time commitment, and therefore cannot write the smart-accounts software or start a business myself. So my role is to describe the idea, which others can develop with or without my involvement. My main goal is to help artists, writers, and activists, including those in “developing” countries, make a living from their work.

John S. James, 2007-03-22, Philadelphia