Buyers will completely determine price in any system we'd want

Very happy to be wrong about everything in exchange for an even better system. In that case let’s hope I am wrong.

The apparent preconditions for a system we’d want and which would continue to be useful would be:

  1. Complete anonymity.

  2. Unmetered unconstrained bandwidth, which we provide by owning the the physical elements of the

  3. No ability to coerce attention- any system where attention can be coerced isn’t a free system- its a system of exploitation.

A natural consequence of this system is that buyers will completely determine price. They will pay when and if and only what they feel any content or experiences are worth. They will pay after-the-fact and mainly to encourage future works. This will be a system that will have universal open access as there would only be disadvantages to trying to restrict or enclose as that would limit exposure in a global system where there would basically be no distribution costs and no marketing costs. Since there would be no ability to coerce attention, content would be found through honest search and trending. This would yield something much closer to true cost than the collusive supplier price fixing we have today. In such a system trust is actually possible. Having no ability to coerce attention anything behind a paywall would get ignored. This already happens to an extent with entities like Pirate Bay and Bit Torrent.

The Alternative
The alternative is pay per view cable with ads. Which, since it has ads, is not a free system as we aren’t the customers. It’s a system where our money and attention are used against us for unlimited exploitation. The ads, and sponsors mean it it is not a free media/medium and it is meant to exploit us which is obvious from experiences as its content is infomerical-propaganda and will only become more so without end. Its a cancer, the continued existence of which will the end of any alternatives.

The Choice
Now we are either moving toward one of these systems or the other. I don’t think we can stay in the middle long. We either have free media or mediums or we don’t. We either have systems that serve us honestly with transparency, privacy and openness or we have the other side with coerced attention, censorship, spying, secrecy… torture, loss of habeaus corpus, disappearing- nuclear war.

Scare tactics
There is scare tactic propaganda out there, remember how quick they are to tell you that defiance of their content regimes is jail and unethical. Those would would return us to paying thousands of times too much for a song i.e., pay for a whole CD when you only wanted one and pay thousands of times too much for the one song with the price of reduced diversity and quality- they also continue with scare tactics even though they’ve been paid off many times over for any useful service they ever provided. For instance, “you won’t have movies” or “they won’t be quality.” Maybe the special effects would drop for a time and @Russell it would be less about “Campbell’s Monomyth” and at least we really would would be the hero and not simply “the protagonist.” Real time effects are already out and that will get to the point here it can run on a lap top so any dip in big budget effects would drop off.

Look at the current console market. That system is broken completely. It would be better for game makers if end users simply traded their used games for free endlessly which they already do. But they have the worst system where Game Stop turns the games for almost full price repeatedly they are already squeezed but there are some ok games. The Xbox One experiences shows the public will not let up on them- system isn’t good enough as it is. In the early computer games market the games were of higher quality but there was rampant trading. Those companies were trying to stop the trading they were still healthy companies- more of them relative to the size of the market. The quality and diversity of the games was better. The useless anti-piracy console enclosure tactics lead to Game Stop. And console games were a huge step down in many ways. Think of the decades of console save game conventions

Artists don’t make less under the current system in music where the free swapping has always been hilariously grossly understated. They made next to nothing under the old system with rare loss leaders. Anything would be an improvement. iTunes came about because of the background of trading. Remember how loud the useless labels bragged when later under iTunes that got some tiny bit of price control back. They should never ever have that nor any ability to do any marketing. The public doesn’t to be abused by stupid premium games or any of that nonsense. It needs to be a pure buyer’s market. And with a functioning internet these old extreme rip off business models won’t be speech but will be absolute felony illegal some mix of Ponzie and revived gouging will recognize them as crime and censorship.

Because of its collusive scale, Walmart offers a hint of the improvement already. You can buy something, and take it back with no questions asked for full refund. Note, this is with tangible goods. Yes, these changes would be continuation of a huge and increasing revenue reduction reduction for an industry and many firms within it. But that’s been the nature of the net and something which collusion is trying to stop in the name of social uselessness. Something on the order of 100x revenue reduction for industries in transition on the net. But in this case this is something we desperately need and want. These firms and industries sold us out, recent revelations have been making more people aware just how much they’ve been part of a noose around the public’s neck. Also this isn’t like the car or plane come after trains. Trains didn’t disappear, cable, telecom and sponsored media will disappear but be replaced with economies that actually work for people vice sending them into an accelerating downward spiral.

So it will be a pure buyers market. And its not a question of buyers and suppliers coming to a mutual agreement on price. On the other hand its a virtual market with almost zero manufacture or distribution costs.

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Warren, I love that you’re thinking outside of the box. But I’m starting to get a little fed up with you talking about subjects you know nothing about and have done literally no research into. You learn by researching subjects yourself and by listening to people who actually do certain things for a living.

I don’t know what you do for a living, but I’d very much take everything you say to heart, if I knew what that subject was.

Some special effects can be done on a laptop, sure. Those are almost always what’s called clean-up. Some minor 3D work can be done. The problem is that it’s extremely time consuming. There’s a reason why huge VFX houses have to hire 300 people to work on a film, and then fold as soon as the movie finishes. it’s a race to the bottom. The time for the work isn’t valued or appreciated, so their budgets get cut over and over. And things happen on deadlines.

The rest of the process costs money. I don’t know how you can disillusion yourself to believe this isn’t true. Decent cameras cost a ton of money. They’re rented. Rental houses have a PHYSICAL ITEM that is needed by production.

Locations COST MONEY. Physical property that is needed to tell a specific narrative. You can write a story around the locations that are available to you for free, but then everyone is going to be telling stories in their parents’ living rooms.

Production SAFETY costs money. This year, a grip was killed by a train because the team thought it’d be good to cut corners and not request a permit. She was trapped on a bridge and was KILLED BY A TRAIN. Other departments are working with high-voltage power systems, or working from cherry-pickers, or use heavy duty power tools.

Good glass for cameras COSTS MONEY. They’re precision-made. They fore a niche market, so the price goes up. Again, PHYSICAL ITEMS that exist in the REAL WORLD that will abide by supply and demand.

There are people coordinating production days because if you waste just 2 hours, that can cost tens of thousands of dollars, if not more, because you’ve rented A LOT of equipment. You’re managing A LOT of people. That’s completely negating people’s time (aren’t you obsessed with people not having their time stolen?).

Who care about visual effects? It’s a drop in the ocean of the budget to create a movie. Let alone the 6-12 episodes for a series.

tl;dr, Stop yammering on about subjects you’re not educated in. Get educated, or listen to people in these industries before pretending that you’re coming to them as a savior to free them from the binds of their master. Not everyone is trying to con you.

We don’t have to go back to the old models, and I’d love to find new models that work better in consolidating where money goes. But you’re delusional if you think all of this can be done for free, and that people would be willing to risk hundreds of thousand of dollars so you, the entitled, can think you DESERVE to pay what you want.

Good lord…


Thank you for putting this so well. It needed to be said. It’s gone on for too long.


While we may be in the age of real time special effects if you can afford time on a render farm I think I counted over 400 people on Kung Fu Panda 2 in the credits. Definitely I am with you on all that. The point is to avoid hurting people further not make it worse. And on that front tone matters a lot.

Still, I don’t think this means the end of good lives for creative people. I think its a new beginning with more and better opportunities. It would be huge if they would embrace the change and not have to resist it feeling like it means they get crushed. If you not buying it as liberating them from people who are take their money then I guess it means you think the industry is already too lean. I have no answer. But I heard recently that the Epagogix people think that the huge sums spent on lead actors don’t really change the gross much when the film hits the recommended points in their models. If that’s the case, there is money right there that could be spread under a system change. By their calculations with the right plot/narrative it doesn’t matter if its Tommy Lee Jones or Tom Cruise.

But isn’t this what a level playing field would look like? Machiavellian games (which he apparently didn’t fully accept himself,) artificial scarcity and the puffery industry will hopefully be out of the question. If there is such a thing as a free market and if it’s a good thing it is one that is under the full control of the end user and in the full service of the end user. Balance was never a 50%/50% split between buyers and suppliers as that would never yield fairness for new comers, its not a level playing field. Even as suppliers are in the customer chain, fair and free markets are owned and controlled by end customers or end users. I still see it as a revolution in value and quality where the interests of buyers and sellers are in alignment rather than at odds for the benefit of sponsorship. We never needed enclosed monopoly manipulated markets. This doesn’t have to rule out supportive economies of scale. But then idealism is a problem and the transition is an issue.

So Russel what would you do if you had to help people transition to such a model. What is the plan B or C and are you 100% certain they couldn’t be better than plan A?

I’d be interested to know what plan B is too…lol

This is unsubstantiated opinion. When demand is the only part of the scale, value drops to 0. It’s possible people will pay, out of the goodness of their heart, enough to make the art worth it. Or, the only reason people give money in the first place to things like Radiohead’s “pay what you want” model is because it exists WITHIN a paradigm of already-existing models. There’s a frame of reference. If that’s the only model, the frame of reference disappears and I would guess (my opinion) that people would slowly move to 0.

No, a level playing field is not telling artists “You can’t accept sponsorship money, you can’t place advertising in your work, you can’t charge for your work, you have to pay for the entire thing by yourself, and you have to accept whatever someone is willing to give you for it.”

I can’t speak for other entertainment, but you know what that equation is going to get you in film/tv? Really shitty 12 minute arthouse films and doc-style reality television. And a lot of the work will look almost identical because the toolbox available to them is going to be the size of a ******* thimble. Case-and-point, go look at the amount of music videos that are shot on Canon 5Ds are of hot girls walking in slow mo on the beach at magic hour (right before sunset). That what happens when budgets drop to $1000.00 for a an entire music video.

Can you be more specific? I’d love to answer that question. Plan A being what’s currently happening?

I’ll assume you mean Plan A is the current system. This is stream-of-consciousness, so I’m probably not being completely thorough. There’s gonna be a lot of “I’s” and “Me’s” in here:

I would say artists need to be more responsible with selecting sponsorship. A company teaming up with a concept or cause they agree with and paying for an artist to create something to gain exposure is fine by me. I don’t have problem with the system, but I do take issue with deception in advertising. So accepting that as part of the model is necessary because there’s no way to even start a film/tv project without existing capital. This also goes for wealthy individuals willing to put money up, which is basically the current system for 90% of movies. Those are traditionally your Executive Producers.

Create a model where crowdfunding can be accepted through cryptocurrency, and those addresses are considered investors. Carve out part of your budget to investors and pay them back depending on the success of the work. Allow them to stay involved by implementing a voting system with the tokens. 1 token 1 vote (so people who invest more have a louder voice, but not necessarily a say creatively). Use services like Counterparty or Mastercoin as something akin to shares. Incentivize people to promote the project (if they tell people about it, it’s going to return the more), and allow them to transfer those token to others if they lose interest or don’t like the direction of the work. Probably currently illegal in the US, but I think it could be massive for artists.

In a system where sharing films/tv is inevitable, accept that we’ll hit a point where it’s impossible to track who’s sharing, then decriminalize it. There’s no way to control that. But also accept that those works will be monetized by advertising, sponsorships, and placement ads. The best consumers can do is not consume those things to show their disagreement.

All forms communication involves “subconscious coercion.” From an ad with a beautiful woman selling makeup to a discussion about Kanye’s new album to that argument you had with your spouse about the color of the couch you’re buying. I say, deal with it. Beyond implementing Thought Police, I don’t foresee a way around this system. Do your best to find new systems that don’t require their involvement. But don’t ever expect to ban it.

Build a system where donations are requested before and after viewing. Have that system make clear there are minimum donations and include a breakdown of the reasons for the price. Display minimum donations amounts to make it clear that different work has to be valued different. 1 music track ≠ 1 album ≠ 1 episode of a show ≠ 1 season of a show ≠ 1 indie movie ≠ 1 VFX spectacular film. The all-you-can-eat models of Netflix and Amazon are highly, highly subsidized and will just create a new centralized place that will control artists, same as the studios.

Films have it the toughest, because they’re one-offs, and can’t really benefit from merchandising (apart from children’s movies and the major players like Star Wars). Most people don’t want an action figure of Philip Seymour Hoffman in God’s Pocket.

But TV shows have an ongoing incentive. Like musicians, they act much more like a service. Shifting payment from the front end to back end isn’t a drastic change. If you want a series to continue, you pay for the next one (or in the case of this BitTorrent series, the whole next season).

It’d be amazing if there was some cryptographic way to prove ownership of a project before it starts so there’s some assurance as to where they money is going. Also, creating smart contracts to distribute donations/payments to the parties involved, like points on a film. Possibly using Counterparty tokens attached to the address as a way of determining who deserves what.

EDIT: I wonder if there could be a system for vendors to pay into the network, then the group has to release the funds as a group. So nobody can without someone’s funds without withholding their own. That was off the top of my head. Maybe there’s a million problems with that.

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If we do the network correctly this will hopefully be irrelevant :wink:

What are your thoughts about shorts that lead to a potential series and then a feature? There is a potential for building a reputation here that people can get behind.

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I think we should try some of these ideas with the documentary… It’s an experiment. It’s a new science.


They’re not a bad idea. And they can work. 99% of the time, they go nowhere. Although when they do, they’re often swooped up by a studio. Then they get shelved and usually don’t come out, unfortunately. Just being held out for when they feel the market is primed for something.

Making a short to show the potential for something happens a lot too. Basically using it as an advertising vehicle for a longer project. Very common when shopping for financing. Or, some folks will do what’s called a rip-o-matics, where you take scenes from existing things (movies, tv, music) to show off tone. Most pitches involve ripos.

The problem isn’t artists/creative people, it’s the suits who act as middle men. It’s the large corporations who have political power and influence who are the problem.

The systems we come up with should empower the artists/creatives to make even more money but without the leeches (middle men).

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@luckybit I couldn’t agree more.

@russell just need a bit to read and see if I have any response. Thank you.

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I’ve had time to reflect on what @russell said. I see that he wants a nice landing for the people in the film business. I want that for the employees too. Who wouldn’t?

But the employees aren’t the issue and a soft landing can be found for them. The issue as in the "DRM is the reason for being for MaidSAFE, threat is the ideology that says addressing corruption and broken markets will cost jobs. Sorry, permanently breaking the DRM regime will help create legitimate livelihoods and help protect our liberties. I’ve noticed DRM can’t be protected with out scrapping our liberties and that shows up in very concretely in the lobbying efforts and sponsored bills of the firms that benefit from it.

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I don’t believe in DRM.

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Thank you.

Sorry man but this statement makes zero sense. There are more things that affect demand and supply than the paradigm of quid pro quo vs non quid pro quo. There’s quality of work, subject mattter, what is being expressed, who is expressing it, how well the artist is known and their given reputation, all kinds of stuff. There’s a whole lot of free art on the net but even within that people usually gravitate towards specific kinds and qualities. So no I don’t believe you do have to require people to pay in order to create demand for your work or have it be of value.

Why? BEcause you can’t crowdfund or manage your money effectively? Because you can’t market or involve people in the creation of your film or stream? TV needs to die anyway. If people want a higher quality production they’ll bloody well volunteer and/or donate coin to produce it. The fact they aren’t means it really isn’t of value. Let people create their own stuff. The ore they create the more involved they’ll get in raising their production budgets and the higher quaioty creations will be produced. Let people create because they WANT TO not because someone pays them to do it.

Seriously why are film companies not crowdfunding their productions? If it’s so hard to product a movie as you claim why aren’t film companies crowdfunding and asking their backers what they want done with their money? Why even go ahead with a production if you can’t get enough backers? Isn’t that kind of like saying you’ll produce a movie when you KNOW it’ll flop at the box office? Crowdfunding makes erfect sense as it would save money and allow a production the ability to get a feel for their prospective audience. It would also make it easier for them to develop a relationship with their fans, release trailers, garner feedback and make adjustments to the film based on that feedback.

Also shooting in your basement doesn’t make a bad film. Bad acting and writing makes a bad film. I’ve seen movies that had multimillion dollar budgets that were utter and complete crap (ex. the transformer movies had mediocre writing at best and just got worse with the sequels.) And I’ve seen youtube videos that were ******* epic because they told a story well. And lets not forget regular theatre. Or what about tv series like the original Star Trek which had a low budget and was bade back in the day with no special effects and yet had amazing acting and writing. Even to this day it’s an awesome show. Point is you don’t need shiny special effects or a huge budget to have a good show and if you have passion and produce good work the shiney will come.

Disagree, but don’t have time/energy to explain it more. Moving on…

The original Stark Trek per episode budget was ~200,000 dollars, and that was in 1966. The “donation” community can’t even manage to pay the guy who created and maintains GnuPG $25,000 in 2015.

The crypto community can’t pay the guy who maintains cryptography security. Shouldn’t that be the best case scenario? (I get that these systems are all in their infancy. I do)

Not saying the old system works, but the soley donation model is weak at best.

They are. And they’re being criticized for it. Rich filmmakers are crowdfunding films that they could finance themselves but don’t want to bother assuming the risk. So they’re transferring the risk to obsessive fans. It’s, like, all the rage.

\Star Trek appeals to a wide variety of people. GnuPG is only of interest and importance to those interested in crypto and/or Linux users. Also I didn’t even know about such stats. And 25 grand a year isn’t bad for a single individual via donations. Try living on less than 10 grand a year and maybe you’ll get some perspective on the matter. If he wants more donations maybe he should try improving his marketing. I never even heard of the guy let alone how to donate to him.

No since the crypto community is largely an open source community, a gift economy. And gift economies believe in honoring what one gives rather than has. Furthermore ttthahe crypto community is reletivistically small. And the person you meonntioned isn’t well known. So you’re expecting just because one is interested in crypto that one a) has disposable income to spare. b) knows the guy to donate to. c) Knows how to donate to him. d) cares enough about the cause to donate to him. That’s making a lot of assumptions.

Actually I didn’t know that. Again a case of the word not getting round. But again who cares about making a rich corporate richer. What about a guy trying to get off the ground? Or a community trying to produce a project? What about someone without money trying to raise funds for their project. How many cases of that are there?

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