Ryan, I mention DRM only as a comparator, as an example of ideology driven technology – “We don’t care how much it costs, but you WILL find a way to make music and movies uncopyable!”. Of course, if you have unyielding faith that DRM is a fundamentally sound proposition then any detractors will be seen as doing so from an ideological standpoint (instead of one informed by computer science) – you cannot afford to recognise the possibility that DRM may be a flawed proposition.

If you similarly start from a belief that it must be possible to enable recipients to be charged for the ‘content’ they receive, and HTML5 can provide a standard means of doing so, then you have started from an unsound proposition (one informed by copyright – an unnatural and unachievable constraint on the reproduction of intellectual work).

Just as there was plenty of well paid work in the development of umpteen DRM technologies, so there could be well paid work in the development of content charging/licensing technologies.

However, not all software engineers are mercenaries happy to be well paid to waste their time attempting what they know to be impossible. Making a computer intelligent is possible. Making information impossible to copy is not.

There remains plenty of scope however, for standard ways of expressing monetary exchange agreements. And that’s exchanges of work for money rather than liberty for money.

I’d check out http://www.replicounts.org for one avenue to explore – as something that indicates what kind of payment system might one day be appropriate to incorporate into HTML.