By Guest Post By Jesse von Doom on Medium.com
We talk endlessly about royalties, which is really a way of talking about centralization — giving power to a service or organization and asking them to sort out the model that pays people. Centralization will always lead to a system that can be gamed. Anything less than every participant acting altruistically means things go funny. And the truth about our world is that things always go funny. In art as in business there are ebbs and flows of power. In those tides decisions are made and people find ways to break models to their own advantage. A break is a break whether it comes from Thom Yorke or Taylor Swift — let’s take them their word that they’re after a greater good — or if it happens when a major label demands equity. Things collapse and people can get hurt.
Right now we have a wide range of centralized for-profit services. Walled gardens. This is a good thing. When one model breaks artists can move to another. But slowly and very surely some of the largest corporations in the world are becoming the dominant players in that market. The costs and overhead needed for a massive centralized model to work are huge, …read more