Complimenting the Granularity of Digital Consumption

How the Safe network helps content creators and why content creation on the network will change the concept of intellectual property going forward.

Would love feedback! :slight_smile:


Excellent article! As an artist I personally appreciate having this being put into perspective. I do understand many of the underlying workings of maidsafe on a basic level but having new approaches or models laid out is truly amazing . I’m not a professional marketer, or salesperson although content creators these days have to learn as much as they can handle without the content suffering. So frictionless sharing, payment, everything including your explanation in the article is paramount to an artists success so. Thank you!


Awesome! You’re welcome. This one was really fun for me to write! Having been an artist myself and hoping to get back into it, this topic is fun to think about.

While I purposefully framed the context around artists, this concept can be applied to any form of intellectual “property”.


Nice article @ioptio too bad that you don’t have a CentUp or I would have donated some coins

I hope that what you talk about is like this: on Vimeo

What I would personally like, is if I make a song and sell it for like €1.
That, that €1 could be split up like.
20% for me
20% producer
20% mixer
20% mastering boy/girl
20% the rest of my lazy band, I’m getting 20% cause I’m the loud mouth lead singer
If I would want to change the %, the other parties have to agree

So everytime somebody would buy our song, the people who helped to create the content get their auto-payment. But I’m probably describe an app (or Ethereum contract) instead of a feature that’s on the network.

I think I know the answer but I’m also wondering if things like Deckbound card game. Every card is a bitcoin transaction would be possible with Safecoins.


If the content is widely consumed, the network will suggest a smaller donation while more niche content will have a larger donation suggestion to support the creator.

Didn’t know this feature, that’s extremely useful.

Since the cost of distributing content on the Safe network is minimized to the cost of uploading the content to the network, the original creators are less burdened and can pass the savings to the fans or followers of their work.

This remains the challenge for independents with large file sizes. I thought about this 3 years ago and imagined a public service where you could upload via fibre connection at a reasonable price. I’ve yet to see anyone offering this.

The cost of the original creator’s upload of a file being so minimal in combination with having an optional watermarked filing system for authenticity underlines the importance of fan appreciation of intellectual and digital content.

I pay $60 for $150GB which is one of the better plans available in Australia. Upload speed and bandwidth caps are the great stifler’s of progress I think.

Maybe in that kind of environment where the price of access is practically zero, making such costs optional to consumers would be a viable strategy so that fans and followers could have more freedom to judge for themselves the value.

Again, bandwidth is where the costs lay.

Once the line between creators and consumers is finally direct by default and individuals on both ends have more freedom of choice, this will enable the conversation of intellectual property to be able to shift towards a more productive outcome.

Nicely put

The more an individual supplies resources to the network and earns Safecoin for contributing, the easier it is to justify paying those earnings forward to others supplying valuable content whether it be educational or entertainment.

I hope this is the great ice breaker to humanity deciding to share stuff.

Watching the Safe network emerge into it’s own sustainable economy will be a really exciting phenomenon to witness

Nice article Paige, seems well suited to some syndication :sunny:


Very good article @ioptio. Thanks, had me getting very excited about the things Chris mentions, plus…

@chrisfostertv you didn’t mention the intriguing watermarking. If this is as ingenious as other parts of the invention it could be…

Well, perhaps I’m dreaming here but what would be really really cool, would be a way to embed watermarks that are invisible except to the network - or rather, which cannot be removed once applied (e.g by pixel or bit/byte editing).

If that one was cracked - has anyone read all those patents? - it would gaurantee credit to the first uploader, the creator. And SAFE would become the dominant content delivery platform overnight.

I can imagine with encryption and some clever merging this could be done for all kinds of content, and make it impossible to falsely mark content unless you have the original unmarked copy. Even then, if a dated watermarked copy is already in the network, the first marked copy could always be identified and used to eradicate later marking from the network.

Probably just my fantasy, but wow!

I know nothing of the watermarking. The patent only has one reference and it’s a link to a third party patent.

@ioptio said: The option to tag publicly shared content with a public watermark of the original owners Safe network ID will give people options for raising funds from consumers on a programmatic, peer-to-peer basis.

Paige has been having drinks with David in Troon, she probably knows all the secrets, but is just teasing with this :wink:

Yeah I’d say so :smile:

1 Like

But as has been mentioned elsewhere the first up loader is not necessarily the originator. I hear the starving artist comments but artists given the chance will do their work for free if it means they have an audience- although the amount should be enough to allow them to do their best work, its not necessary the amount be above zero, not relative to making sure we get rid of bullshit supply side networks and economics forever. Suppliers have rights? What rights? If that seems extreme, it can’t be far off from the optimal attitude. No more enclosure ever, that needs to be ended, it doesn’t matter if the usual suspects can’t make profit- absolutely trivial. Free flow of info must be categorically prioritized over this other stuff.

Granularity of payment… pay wall mechanisms, and keeping all content from being aggregated and bundled ad free? Content needs to be at the public domain rate and payment can be for the promise of future works.

The Artists’ Road to Serfdom: The Commoditization of Creative Content

This is the net result of commoditization: there’s no premium for commoditized capital, labor, goods, services or content.

As I noted in Our New Robot Overlords & The Third Type of Capital, profits flow to whatever inputs are scarce.

Unfortunately for musicians, writers, filmmakers and others producing creative content, creative content is no longer scarce: it’s been commoditized and is now available in unlimited quantities for $10/month.

The model is simple: unlimited content for a few bucks per month.This is the model of music services such as Spotify and Pandora (which offer advert-supported services for free) and iTunes Radio, Amazon Prime for borrowing Kindle ebooks and various film/video distribution services.

The model effectively commoditizes all creative content. Commoditization makes all inputs interchangeable. Global labor has been commoditized because it no longer matters which workers assemble the goods, global capital has been commoditized because it no longer matters where the capital comes from, and globally produced goods, services and resources have been commoditized because it no longer matters where they come from or who produces them.

Services that offer unlimited streaming/borrowing commoditize all content: the content is interchangeable to the buyer, and the creator of the content earns next to nothing when the content is streamed.

A recent article in the S.F. Chronicle (ITunes is in need of a tune-up to keep up with streaming) explains:

Digital music sales recently fell for the first time ever, with the number of digital songs purchased plummeting 13 percent to 594 million in the first half of 2014, compared with the same period a year ago, according to research firm Nielsen, which has tracked music sales since 1991. Meanwhile, the amount of music streamed online rose 50 percent, the firm said.

While streaming sites have helped big online music spenders save money, they have also cut into the money that musical artists make per song.

ITunes sells songs for 69 cents to $1.29 each. For a song that costs $1.29, Apple takes 30 percent of the sale and the rest goes to the record label and artist, Stewart said. If the artist is on a record label, they would get a royalty of about 20 cents for that track, she said.

That might not seem like a lot, but the money could be even less in streaming music for free with ads. In general, a song must be streamed 75 to 80 times in order for a music label to make the same amount of money as from a single online song purchase, according to MIDiA Research.

The unlimited-streaming/borrowing model is great for consumers and the companies collecting the fees every month, but it’s a rocky road to serfdom for content creators. 80 downloads are needed for the musicians to collect a lousy 20 cents for their creative efforts? Let’s be generous and note that self-produced/distributed artists could collect as much as 50 cents of an iTunes purchase, and presumably the same from 80 downloads.

So it only takes 8 million downloads to earn a median middle-class income of $50,000 a year. Musicians (those signed to labels) who receive 20 cents from 80 downloads would need 20 million downloads annually to earn $50,000–roughly the median household income in the U.S.

How many musicians get 20 million downloads?

The distribution of creative-content rewards tends to follow a power law, i.e. the Pareto Distribution, where the “vital few” (the very apex of the pyramid) reap most of the rewards.

So a handful of artists, writers and independent filmmakers collect most of the shrinking pool of money paid for creative content, and the vast majority earn chump-change.

As a writer with a number of Kindle ebooks available for purchase or borrowing by Amazon Prime members, I do a little better than the musicians whose songs have been commoditized; I earn about 25% of an ebook sale when someone borrows one of my Kindle ebooks.

Nonetheless, this is a 75% haircut in earnings from the everything’s been commoditizedmodel of unlimited access to content. And the sum I earn from borrowed ebooks changes, depending on the funds Amazon places in the pool and how many Prime customers borrowed ebooks.

Numerous articles promote work-arounds for the desertification of earnings wrought by commoditization of content: sell more T-shirts at your gigs, work the loyalty of your fans to encourage them to buy your stuff even though they could stream it for free, etc.

But the reality is the pool of money being distributed to content creators is shrinking. Work-arounds may work for the handful of people who master 24/7 marketing, but this is just another iteration of the power law: a tiny handful of content creators reap most of the profits from the full-court-press of marketing.

My friend Richard Metzger of the excellent Dangerous Minds website and I discussed this trend of artistic serfdom years ago, and the only thing that’s changed is the velocity of the decline in creators’ incomes.

This is the net result of commoditization: there’s no premium for commoditized capital, labor, goods, services or content. Those with the big idea of controlling the distribution of content are collecting an enormous premium for figuring out how to scale up this model, and the vast majority of content creators are left with the nickels and dimes that fall through the commoditizing blades of the distribution machine.

But hey, you might get famous on YouTube, and that might open a trickle of advert revenue.


I hate to be pessimistic here, but being the first uploader doesn’t mean that your the rightful owner. Even worse you could upload happybeingantvideo.flv. I could copy that and upload happybeingantvideo.wmv. So the formats are basically allready making it impossible, unless if you had the option that if you upload happybeingantvideo.flv you could also, take ownership of the other video formats. Honestly I get frustrated about these formats, THE INTERNET SHOULD GROWUP and have 1 format “MEDIA” and that this pictures, video, sound and whatever else you have. I’m not a coder, but I think it’s pretty retarded that people still have to type in. mediafolder/assets/jezuschristmymediafile.mp3. I rather type “jezuschristmymediafile” and that the language/browsers iso smart enough to know, that it’s a media file located in one of my folders, if it’s in one of my folders.

Let’s say that when you upload a video or what have you you get all the formats. You’re next problem is the naming of the file. You could name the file happybeingantvideo and I could name it happybeingsantvideo and I would pass the test.

So unless the Maidsafe system gets intelligent enough to hear and see files and filter out the copies, where in the same ballpark. I’m not even talking about remixing a file. Just a few octave up or down and it’s a totally different song, for instance. Sometimes I think/hope that you don’t have to download a file anymore and can consume everything on the network.

I would love to see crazy stuff happen…
Let’s say I made a song and somebody takes a few samples from it. That I get auto-paid for that. So all they did was take a sample and everytime they sell their new song I get a cut. Without even providing my Safecoin address of ever interacting with the musician.

Musician could have fun setups like:
Pay me first, before you can use my material
Pay me later, after you made a song with my sample
Set how much percentage they want
Don’t pay me for this song, donate to this or that to charity

before my imagination runs to wild, this Pandora offering audience data to artist is also fun stuff

Agreed. There are still issues regarding the bandwidth needed to upload to the network, however this is a potentially separate struggle. As long as monopolized ISPs are in control of Internet access, we will have these issues. And this is one of the reasons why I hope Maidsafe will directly support community wireless projects and mesh networking technologies.

Maidsafe is a global system not based on geometric distances where as Internet access must be. IMO, they are fundamentally different, however complimentary technologies.

Thanks! This particular post really got me thinking so expect more of these! :slight_smile:


‘Premium’ is the worst, nothing “premium” can ever justify its price on value. Its always a scam unless its cheese spread. What the above article seems to be is whining about a failing power to enclose, entrap and manipulate buyers. We need pure demand side markets, firms wont confused about whose interests they serve.

To me things aren’t even remotely commodified enough in content terms. It needs to be literally the entire globes content without exception anywhere anytime, unlimited in the highest quality for $10 a month or at least less than a Cable bill. The alternatives are the Pirate Bay model. I am completely fine with the destruction of copyright and trademark and trade secret, screw intellectual property. I hate that the courts try to enforce private secrets. Goodbye to patents too. There are efficient orifices for idea but they are not ones property and never really the product of anyone’s personality. The value of an artists work can be computed on the basis of the value of a seconds of attention (never ads- they are theft) second of attention. A comic book can compete with a 200 million dollar movie on the same seconds of attention basis.

The best model is we pay creatives after the fact and only on the basis of wanting to make it possible for them to produce more works and only exactly what we feel its worth (in micro payments) and only if we feel like it. But this model needs a good chunk of the globe participating, then it scales.


I hate to be pessimistic here, but being the first uploader doesn’t mean that your the rightful owner.

I can dream can’t I :slight_smile:

I agree with what you say, and I’m also still feeling optimistic. Both with what I know SAFE can do, but also that it will be the spur for lots of innovation - just as the internet itself has been.

You’re right to point out the problems. We need to dream and to create.

1 Like

Tbh, I think the author of this article was wrong on many fronts.

Markets provide competition which demolishes monopoly privilege. This not only applies to artists, but also to labels and distributors.

Market forces drive down costs until profits meet the point where it is worth doing at all.

Emotive use of phrases suggesting that people have little value - commoditization - do not change these realities. It suggests an agenda.

1 Like

The point isn’t to maintain a monopoly. The point is to allow people to compensate the creator.

There will always be ways around paying. However, many people will be happy to pay artists they like, so that they keep producing.

1 Like

When we remove barriers of exchanges (ideas&resources) between individuals we fasten the speed of innovation & cooperation.

It is exactly this concept that got us out of serfdom.

And this is what is going to solve a lot of the problems we face.

1 Like

Now that’s an interesting subject area…currently listening to an audiobook on Youtube ‘Babylonian Woe’ that sheds light on why we’ve always had slaves and masters…ie ‘money power’

ProjectSAFE is the best chance we’ve got now, Bitcoin has be co-opted already. I love the fact @dirvine has set this is motion and really should be just the start.

All those resources, all that brain power…not aware of SAFE…once the penny drops…It’s going to be epic.


I only see one potential problem with this, how do you identify and authenticate the original content creators? It can’t simply rely on being the first uploader of the content. One way to solve this might be with some kind of voting system where users vote on whether a user is the original content creator or not. I’d be interested to hear other peoples opinions on this and it’s potential issues.

1 Like

To avoid slightly modified versions of the same file upload, it seems like there should be some way for consumers to have a choice of who to tip. Enabling dynamic ownership of files would also allow for a group of people to earn tips from collaborations that result as a single file.

Dynamic ownership would also allow for a fan of a musician, for example, to upload all of their material and redirect the tips to the musician, etc…

1 Like

Or an organization. In some cases, you don’t want money going to one musician. Katy Perry is a small, small portion of a team writing and producing her music. So directing money to the smart contract that distributes funds would be amazing.

I’m intrigued by the idea of creating a web of trust type system around validating content. Create a system where losers trying to monetize on other people’s work are exposed as untrustworthy.

I think its fair to give weight to the first uploader, as 90+% of all cases will be the content creator uploading first. But not creating a system that isolates and corners people who’ve had their film’s workprint posted by some shitty assistant who was just trying to gain a little attention.