Tuesday, April 27, 2010

How to make money and create free culture

So, many artists defend Copyright because they think its the only way they are going to get paid.  But Copyright is actually set up to protect distribution and not the artist.  So, in a copyright free world, how does the Artist make money?

MERCHANDISING!

You can merchandise what you create and say that your merchandise supports the Artist or the Author.  Here is how Nina Paley tackled the problem: instead of distribution through the usual channels she's distributing it through the audience.

She has made more from donations and merchandising spinoff products than any traditional distributor has offered before release. So this distribution model is good for many reasons.  It puts you squarely on the audience's side. Instead of telling your audience they should not share, you encourage them to share. You also need to set up the economic infrastructure that will make you the focal point for activity around the work.  So, instead of setting up an Intellectual Monopoly around your work (which pitts you against your audience) you let the work flow freely and take advantage of the one natural monopoly you have: attribution!  Audiences appreciate you creating the work and they will enforce it because you are on their side and they want to be on your side!  So here are my plans for releasing my campaign setting.

* My Campaign Setting will be released with a Copyleft Creative Commons, Commercial Share Alike license.

* I will make it very easy for people to donate to me.  My campaign setting will be good and people support good art.

* I'll provide self containers, not content.
  For instance, Nina Paley sells DVDs, T-shirts, pins, stickers, and other merchandising.  It also makes clear what percentage of the money goes to the Artist.  People want to know this! People will want to purchase merchandise connected to my campaign setting because they'll know how much of their money benefits me, the artist.

* I'll encourage commercial activity around my work, and give everyone a clear route to include me on the proceeds.

* I'll license my endorsement.

* Encourage all of you to get involved.  Make derivative works, copy the work, distribute it around.  Talk about my campaign setting!!


* Finally, I'll encourage remixture and reuse!  That's the point of Copyleft.  It's free culture for you to build on! :)

2 comments:

rainswept said...

I just wanted you to know that I'm reading & enjoying your ruminations on culture & copyright :)

Elton said...

You're welcome. :)

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