I have been thinking and talking about this quite some time now: A «free culture» organisation. So it’s time to get something on paper: I’ve started writing the business-model. As I think for our organisation transparency is a very important value, and as a wise man once said: «Release early, release often. Given enough eyeballs, all mistakes are shallow», I want to share my current view. Hereby I invite you to bring on new ideas, to correct mistakes, to steal my ideas and make an even better organisation.
Currently there is a system of escalating fixed copyright fees. Copyrights are gathered from artists by for-profit companies who will try to use their monopoly on a cultural work to gain more money. The business-model that used to serve as a system to unite artists with consumers changed into one that hires lawyers to ban every case of fair use and reuse to both artists and consumers.
This system where every year new charges on other forms of media are collected is an untenable situation and innovation is required. This should not become a political discussion. It is easy to use the current system to provide artists with a valid alternative. They should not give away copyright on their work, but should be encouraged to manage theirs with support provided by a non profit organisation.
Free culture is defined by two clauses:
§1: Free culture has free artists which are free to do with their work what they want
§2: Free culture has free consumers, which are allowed to share, remix and reuse
Free culture in current legislation has been achieved already. Creative commons licenses are the perfect tools to co-act with current copyright laws.
Our main goal is to provide non-exclusive support for any artist who wants to make a living without relying on fixed fees. A secondary goal is to provide other businesses with music on the fly without having to pay fixed fees. An ambitious but intended side-effect should be that sharing of most files become legalised.
Business form: NPO (not-for-profit organisation)
Initial products :
- mobile band specific applications for android platform: mobile applications for fans to follow their artists. Applications may contain microblogfeed, streaming audio of latest recordings, tourdates, chatbox, etc…
- custom music (~recommendation) for other businesses
- support your favourite artists: become member of our organisation and pay a flat membership fee. By pressing buttons on artist websites, blogs, etc… you can support that artist. At the end of the month this flat fee will be transfered to all the artists you supported that month.
- Free support for artists:
- Assigning to netlabel
- Selling music on itunes, jamendo and other online music stores
Policy statement and vision
We solve a problem
Today if an artist wants to record his music in Belgium/Europe he has a binary choice: or he joins the only copyright management firm, or he doesn’t. We want to be the first of hopefully many organisations that supports artists in a new alternative way that doesn’t want to be evil nor exclusive for both artists and consumers.
The biggest question-mark with culture is to define what it is. Obviously the Mona Lisa by Leonardo Da Vinci is culture. But if we browse with an image search engine through the results of the query «Mona Lisa», few of them are the original work by Da Vinci. Are these remixes of the original work culture?
We like to think they are. Remixing and reusing are both part of our contemporary culture. In the end, all work is in some way derived from other work and by not allowing reuse of your own work you’re blocking cultural innovation.
-Pieter — Follow me on identi.ca