Since the introduction of zaps on Nostr in February, the total number of zaps has surpassed 750,000, according to Nostr.band statistics. This remarkable figure clearly demonstrates the effectiveness of the value-for-value model. Whether it's a single developer contributing to open-source development or a part-time content creator, this model proves beneficial. However, the model faces challenges when it comes to teams of content creators with fixed production costs. This is where aggregating sites like Substack, Patreon, and OnlyFans come into play. While they offer paywalled content, they also take a significant portion of the revenue share, exerting control over distribution. As these platforms grow, they gain more control over the content and may even remove creators who don't adhere to their arbitrary rules.
Nostr has already addressed one aspect of this problem by allowing creators to own their content and preventing expulsion from the platform. However, there is still a missing piece: the ability for creators to set their own price for their content and provide access to users accordingly.
An attempt was made to implement this model on yalls.org by paygating content and unlocking it once users paid the lightning invoice. However, a major issue arose due to the multiple steps required to unlock the content. If it takes more than one click, users are less likely to proceed with the additional effort of scanning a QR code and making a payment. Nostr has successfully tackled this problem through the NIP-47 Nostr wallet connect feature. By linking a wallet to a client just once, Nostr clients enable one-click payments without having to navigate away from their current screen.
This led us to contemplate the idea of allowing anyone to upload premium content such as images, videos, long-form text, or music and enable users to purchase them through zaps. Utilizing Nostr events significantly reduces the complexity for creators using their self-hosting lightning node. Additionally, this makes it easier for Nostr clients to implement the feature quickly.
The content itself would be hosted by a service such as nostr.build, nostrimg.com, or nostrcheck.me. Only authorized users who have paid for the content can access it using NIP-98 HTTP authentication. By leveraging existing NIPs and the familiar zapping process, we were able to integrate paygated content while maintaining its security.
To put our thoughts into action, we implemented this end-to-end and created a demo site, https://zapgate.link/, to showcase how it works in practice. Anyone with a Nostr key using the NIP07 extension can upload content, set their price, and provide the lightning address where the funds will go. Users can simply click to unlock the content and consume it.
Over the past few weeks, we have witnessed numerous developers sharing their ideas and even creating demo sites for paygated content, such as https://www.zapit.live/. We would like to coordinate with all developers and contributors to establish a standardized approach to implementing zapgated content. This will enable Nostr clients to easily adopt and benefit from this feature.
We welcome feedback on this NIP or any aspects we may have overlooked. If you are interested in co-authoring this NIP, please do not hesitate to reach out to us. We value collaboration and aim to create a unified solution that will benefit the entire Nostr community.
Demo site: https://zapgate.link/
NIP proposal: https://github.com/Egge7/nips/blob/zapGates/XX.md
Demo video: https://i.current.fyi/help/ZapGate+Demo.mp4
Reach us on Nostr
Egge - npub1mhcr4j594hsrnen594d7700n2t03n8gdx83zhxzculk6sh9nhwlq7uc226 Starbuilder - npub1mz3vx0ew9le6n48l9f2e8u745k0fzel6thksv0gwfxy3wanprcxq79mymx
Amazing! This is a great tool, not sure which relay you're posting but make sure you charge for posting too
thanks. Yes. will look into.
Looks great, you might want to go with the tag u for url/uri as it'll get indexed, we went with that after discussion for nip-98
Good point and thank you for your feedback! We looked at NIP94 when we started this and it uses a „url“ tag. Probably would be a good idea to agree on a single standard for url/uri…
This is an excellent project but it can lead to a can of worms. At the least, please add a checkbox to make sure that the poster who is charging SATS for the uploaded content is allowed to do so, so that other people's copyrighted materials are not downloaded and made available for SATS collection at your expense. I know that you will have the signed keys for the person who will use your site to upload such materials, but anyone can create keys, including bots that will post and mine SATS on your site. So, somehow, you need to create a mechanism on your site that states that people are uploading either their own work or they are not stealing and selling stuff from others. Somehow those checks and balances need to be ensured.
After payment, how long does the purchaser have access to the content?
I think of OF girls sharing zapgated pictures, only to be screenshotted and have fakes charge less or nothing. Premium articles copied and pasted on uncensorable copycat accounts. People charging sats for other peoples copyrighted material.. What's the solution?
Should the purchased content be consumed within a vacuum? I'm just trying to think of how you enable the content creators to make a living off posting their content here while curbing the copycats from purchasing their content and reselling it cheaper to undercut the content creator... the creators won't want to be here if that's what's inevitably going to happen.
Centralized content platforms can crush copycats and ban them from the platform, not sure how easy that'll be on nostr protocol. I just know that If I wanted to charge for my content, I'm not going to post it to a site where fakes or hustlers will undersell the content I posted moments after I post it. Sell a picture to one guy for 100sat and he screenshots it and sells it to 100 for 10sat each.
The success of the protocol depends on how well we enable the content creators to be empowered and rewarded through proper incentive systems, while simultaneously ensuring that we aren't creating a honeypot for scammers to steal and undersell the content we hope to see posted there.
This to me presents itself as one of Nostr's biggest challenges ahead imo
All good points, I guess that is a risk regardless, with Nostr. Someone could take paid photos or content from other platforms and put them on Nostr for sale too.
This would at least get them in the spotlight on Nostr and you'd be relying on users on Nostr to pay the ppl they follow because they want them to thrive and keep posting content.
Certainly presents risk either way.
It also raises the bigger issue, what risks will relay operators face in the future. Will people try to DMCA takedown content from relay operators? It would be wack-a-mole, but doesn't mean some won't try.
Those are very fair points and have been an issue for creators long before digital content. It really does not matter how sealed of an environment is, because in the end people can extract the information and share it else where. It still is an unsolved problem.
But ZapGates add a very interesting thing to the mix: signatures. Because of the way the protocol is built every post is signed by the creator and copy cats are easy to spot as long as the public key of the original creator is known. The event also can not be republished without the pay gate in, because the protected url is part of the signed data. As is the payment target.
This does not protect against people willingly consuming stolen content, but at least makes the integrity and „realness“ of a post verifiable