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                                ChequeMarcs
  Michael A. Piva                               mpiva@gpu.srv.ualberta.ca
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What in the world are ChequeMarcs?

  Well, simply put, it is an idea I came up with after reading Amiga Report
4.13.  A while back I remember thinking to myself...  "Very few people
actually register shareware programs.  In fact, I'm one of them.  That's
not very good but I just don't have the spare money, nor do I want to put
up with the hassle of figuring out how many DM's are in a Canadian dollar
or mailing away a cheque.  The fact that's I have have bad experiences in
the past does not help either.  wouldn't it be nice to just TRADE programs
over the internet?"

  To clarify this...  say I develop a shareware game and decide that people
can register it for $20.  Later I download a game from the Aminet (written
by Bob) and I love the game, however, it's only the first level and Bob
wants $20 for me to register it.  But, say Bob has played my game and
really likes it and wants to register it as well.  Wouldn't it make more
sense for me to TRADE a registered version of my game for a resistered
version of his?  This way, no money would be involved and it all can be
done over the internet.  It would be EASY and SAFE.

  This is where ChequeMarcs come into play.  Jonathan Gapen wrote an
interesting article in Amiga Report talking about shareware developers
using E-Cash.  Well, let's forget regular money altogether and create
ChequeMarcs.  In the above situation, what if Bob loves my game but I don't
care for his?  The trading system won't work then.  If Bob wants to get a
registered copy of my game, he just pays me 20CM.  This 20CM now does me no
good in the REAL world but I could spend my 20CM on another shareware
program.  Or, I could save my 20CM and wait until someone else registers my
game so now I have 40CM and can now afford to register Fred's great new
utility (which costs 35CM).

  The great thing about this system is that involves no real money and
still stimulates shareware development.  After all, I'd be much more
willing to develop shareware programs for the Amiga if I knew that it would
give me credit to register some of my favorite shareware programs.

The Needs: (What do we need to start using ChequeMarcs?)

  First, we need a group of people to organize the project (I've come up
  with the general concept but I am FAR from qualified to work out all the
  tiny details myself).  This is my main focus for now.  If you want to
  volunteer please e-mail me at mpiva@gpu.srv.ualberta.ca

  We need to set up some sort of online bank to handle the "money" (and, of
  course, people experienced with security on the Internet to protect the
  "money" from hackers).

  Then we need to advertise ChequeMarcs to the Amiga shareware developers,
  convincing them of the benefits of using such a system.  Note to
  developers: I'm not asking you to ask for ChequeMarcs instead of regular
  money but use them as an alternative.

The Problems:

ChequeMarcs, like all innovative ideas, are not perfect right from the
start.  There are some obvious problems with my idea.  Some of these
problems include: if there aren't any ChequeMarcs in existence right now,
where will they come from.  If you earn ChequeMarcs by people registering
your programs, how do you earn ChequeMarcs if you're not a developer.  I am
aware of such problems but I believe the idea is still a good one and these
problems can be solved.  I already have a few ideas to solve some of the
problems but I would rather discuss such things with the Organizing Team
first.

Why "ChequeMarcs"

There's a few answers to that question.  Obviously "Cheques" and "Marcs"
are forms of money.  The term "Checkmark" has definite Amiga connotations.
So, I put them together and got "ChequeMarcs".  Also, I personally think
that "ChequeMarcs" is more of a creative name than something like "AmiCash"
or "AmiCredits" or something similar.