[fc-uk-discuss] Towards a Decentralised Publishing Model
crosbie at cyberspaceengineers.org
Fri Apr 7 12:42:06 BST 2006
> From: Tim Cowlishaw
> FYI: an interesting blog post from Simon Waldman about the best way of
> reconciling interests content producers (ie publishers) with content
> aggregators (ie Google News ;p). Thoughts?
Let content aggregators aggregate away scot free. They are promoting the
artists. If they can make money from free culture they deserve every penny.
If I take a copy of RedHat Linux, burn it to a DVD and put it in a leather
bound box for which I charge $100, why on earth should Red Hat see a single
cent in royalties? If I have added value, the added value is entirely down
to me and not RedHat.
The idea that content has intrinsic value has come about entirely through
copyright. It is extremely difficult to deprogram this concept out of
The artist creates value by creating valuable art. The creation is the work,
not the art. You reward the creation. The art is the product. Distributed in
the form of copies, each copy has no value given zero manufacturing cost
(except under copyright). In free culture terms the artist would almost pay
someone to promote them by proliferating copies, not charge someone to do
so. An aggregator adds value to the art by selecting it. If they provide an
attractive selection that attracts an audience willing to tolerate
advertising then they deserve 100% of advertising commission.
The artist is paid by people who value their work, their art, who are
interested in seeing the artist produce more. While copies of the art may be
made freely this does not preclude sale of copies or of packages containing
them. If you value the copy of art you pay the manufacturer/supplier of the
copy. If you value the art itself, you pay the artist.
This includes aggregators. If the aggregator considers particular artists
are highly attractive to potential audiences then they have an economic
interest in incentivising those artists, i.e. voluntarily paying them. Where
is the law that says "Thou shalt not pay an artist lest they become fat and
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