Publishers, which can range from large online companies to students posting class notes, must pay Wave Systems a $25 annual registration fee to use the WINPublish component (WIN is Wave Interactive Network) of the service. From the service's home page, anyone who wants to publish their material can upload it to a Wave server, which then encrypts and sends the content back to the publisher for posting.
Wave intends to establish a directory of Wave-enabled sites and products for sale, according to company President Steven Sprague.
To purchase online content created with WINPublish, prospective buyers need the WINPurchase browser plug-in. The free plug-in will be available for download and use starting on October 8, in order to give prospective publishers a month's jump to get their material online.
With the WINPurchase plug-in, users can open a Wave account by sending in a credit card number and indicating how much money they want to transfer. The plug-in allows a user to view a data "envelope" that displays the price and a brief description of encrypted material.
Every time a user makes an online purchase of Wave-encrypted material, the transaction is recorded on Wave's servers and the account is debited. Account holders indicate to Wave when they want their accounts replenished.
Accounts must have a minimum of $20 and maximum of $1,000. Wave earns a commission on each sale.