Payment models for an Open Source world

from the pass-the-hat dept.

An interesting segment on National Public Radio's All Things Considered on 29 August 2000 describes some attempts by artists to use the Internet to sell their work directly to their audiences. Look for the segment on "The Street Performer Protocol", which compares some of these efforts to high-tech busking.

One of the challenges for applying open source concepts to IP areas other than software is: how do creative artists like writers and musicians make a living? While this piece doesn't directly address the issue of copyright, it does show that artists like author Stephen King are pushing the envelope a bit, and blazing the trail for others who want to offer ideas and creative works through advance subscription or auction. It's an idea that might catch on.

Program segment description from the NPR web site:

The Street Performer Protocol — The Street Performer Protocol is the name of a system posted by two computer security consultants a couple of years ago that offered musicians a way to make money selling records in the rapidly-changing digital world. Their proposal amounts to setting a virtual hat on the virtual sidewalk to collect money from fans. That's literally what Stephen King has done with his online book, "The Plant." King just posted the second chapter after more than 3/4 of the 150,000 fans who downloaded the first chapter last month sent him a dollar each. Now the British progressive rock band, Marillion, is offering a similar proposal to its fans: "send us money to record our new album and we'll send you a copy – plus a bonus disc – BEFORE it hits the stores." So far, the band has raised more than 100,000 pounds. NPR News' Rick Karr reports. (7:30)

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