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[liberationtech] WC3 and DRM

Jonathan Wilkes jancsika at
Fri Jul 26 14:17:52 PDT 2013

On 07/26/2013 08:06 AM, Mitar wrote:
> Hi!
> On Thu, Jul 25, 2013 at 6:15 AM, Nick<liberationtech at>  wrote:
>> But his wider point that everything sucks if it's designed with
>> advertising as the only business model is fair, and an important
>> issue. DRM cannot be a fair and reasonable solution, needless to
>> say, but it is a pity there isn't more imagination from businesses.
>> Because advertising isn't, either.
> So, what it is? What good business models we know? It is easy to say
> "this is not a good business model", but let's show better ones? So,
> an example from the article: how can one award an author of the book
> for the effort of writing the book?

See the paragraph on "Live at the Beacon Theater":
* digital video of a one-hour special, the kind of thing the W3C says 
needs protecting
* completely DRM-free
* distributed through his website for $5.00
* artist asked politely for people to pay to support him for the effort 
of writing/directing the digital video
* earned $1,000,000 from sales, which was enough to pay all costs, 
employees, himself, and have
so much money left over that he donated $280,000 to charity:

There are plenty of examples of well-respected writers, musicians, and 
doing the same, whether its funding beforehand or politely requesting 
core fans
for payment after the work is produced.

I'm sure your next question will be how authors who do not already have 
a reputation
go about getting paid to write/compose/etc.  But that just shows that 
the question you ask
is misleading, because under the old-school publishing system authors do 
_not_ get paid
for the effort of producing content.  Publishers give advances to a 
small minority of authors
who they predict will have enough sales to turn a profit.  Of course the 
vast majority of
that minority do not, which is why, for example, in the music industry 
those advances go
directly to pay the expenses of the record label, for stuff like 
marketing, PR, distribution,
etc.  It's only _if_ that artist has a few very successful albums that 
they can then renegotiate
a contract that actually rewards them for their effort with money that 
they can live on.  So
you get a modicum of superstars on the backs of all the other artists 
who make next to

Like you, I'm curious to get some references to studies or stats or 
ideas for new sustainable
business models for non-superstar writers/performers/etc.  But it should 
be understood that the
historical point of reference-- business models built on 
copying/distributing costing greater
than zero-- gave (and continues to give) next to nothing to most of the 


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