Resalable Digital Licenses (RDLs)

-- by Mike-E-angelo​
RDL? No, not a Romanian Deadlift as a former colleague recently joked (a good attempt, I admit).
RDL -- pronounced "Real Deal" 😁 -- stands for Resalable Digital License, which is the 100%-centralized equivalent of an NFT (non-fungible token). Where did I get it from? I made it up. Well sort of. Since what we are selling here does not involve a blockchain or any of its technology/design, I wanted a more succinct and direct term to describe what it is that is being sold.

Resale Value

To me, the novelty that NFTs introduced is resale value. Digital licenses have been around as long as software itself. Usually, when you sell "something" via software, it usually involves a (digital) license of sorts. What's been missing up until NFTs, however, is the quality of resale and reselling one of these licenses to another party on a provided market.

You Don't Need a Blockchain

NFTs introduced this quality of resale but then also tied along this whole blockchain apparatus which many people find complicated, and perhaps even unnecessary.
Along such lines, starbeam.one simply asks: "hey, why don't we keep the resale thing, ditch the complicated blockchain, and see how that goes?"


What does the license allow you to do? As we are in alpha. the rights assigned to each RDL are very simple and plain:
  1. 1.
    The right to view associated generated content for personal use. Personal use means the following unless explicitly directed by the selling artist:
    1. 1.
      ✅ Personal viewing
    2. 2.
      ✅ Personal printing via printer
    3. 3.
      ❌ No public sharing
    4. 4.
      ❌ No commercial use
    Every RDL has a generated website that is produced specifically for it during the publishing process. This website is then pushed to Azure and is protected by the license. Only the account holder with the license in their possession may access the generated content that is specifically produced for it. No other account can see the content for that license. More details may be seen below in the next section.
  2. 2.
    The right to sell the license to another party on the provided secondary market. Each resale transaction results in royalties being paid to the original, creating artist. At the time of purchase, the purchaser selects how much to provide in royalties by way of selecting a variable percentage, the range selection being 10-90%. As such, the royalty % paid to artists is not fixed but is a variable amount over time on a per-purchase basis.


Here are several identified benefits and differentiating factors RDLs have over NFTs:
  1. 1.
    Protected Content. This is probably the biggest. By default, content you purchase on starbeam.one cannot be viewed until you have purchased an RDL to view it. Much like a traditional (non-resalable) license, the RDL acts as a key to access the content that the artist wants you to view. In contrast, NFT's are publicly exposed and crawlable. This design flaw makes NFTs exploitable by projects such as NFT Bay which simply allow you to browse and subsequently download+store the assets being sold.
  2. 2.
    Stable prices and subsequent earnings. RDLs are not associated or bound to a volatile, unregulated asset that can be traded (and manipulated) on a public exchange. It is tied to a virtual currency -- The Flare -- which is simply a fancy way of saying a digital USD dollar. The price never fluctuates (except for inflation 😁), which means when you sell something then you realize that value in a completely stable manner. This makes both prices and the subsequent earnings stable and predictable over time.
  3. 3.
    Reversible Transactions With a centralized design, there is total control over the transactions that occur within the system. This means that when something undesired happens (which turns out that it happens quite a lot in the NFT space), it can be reversed. With a decentralized design, this is not possible and is a major reason why NFTs are constantly bombarded with scams/spam to steal your value from you.

Finally, a Nit

The aspiring writer/artist in me cannot help but offer this final parting blow. Consider the name:
Non-fungible Token
Notice first the negation non-. This is cognitive debt. Even though you are wrapping this in an acronym, every time you state this "thing" you are asking someone to first think of something ("fungible") and then think of "not that." Seems a bit inefficient, doesn't it? This is one of the reasons I set out to rename this thing that is being sold, being as direct and explicit as possible.
There is also the matter of fungible. What does that mean? As in fungus? Mushrooms? Are drugs involved? Based on the irrationality we see in the resulting market and usage of this thing, it seems and feels quite possible that this is indeed the case.
In conclusion, stay off the drugs and stick with the RDLs kids. ✌