[linux-elitists] Re: pho: Tonight on Disney

Karsten M. Self kmself@ix.netcom.com
Tue Oct 23 19:23:54 PDT 2001

on Tue, Oct 23, 2001 at 07:43:12AM -0400, Aaron Sherman (ajs@ajs.com) wrote:
> On Mon, Oct 22, 2001 at 05:18:44PM -0700, Karsten M. Self wrote:

> The huge sucking sound you hear is a business model vacuum! Someone
> needs to firgure out how to:
> 	a. Get good artists paid for their work
> 	b. Do it without a 99% cut for a middle-man
> 	c. Let me choose what I want to listen to.

I'm playing with an idea here that I've been kicking around for a few
months, I've posted bits to Pho, there's an FSB response I've been
crufting for the past week or so.

Essentially, some sort of "content syndicate", which does a reasonable
and fair, but not exact and precise, job of allocating credit for
content.  Some back-of-the-envelope calculations based on 1 trillion
works downloaded per month, a par value of one cent per download,
minimum criterion of capturing all traffic sufficient to generate $1000
in annual income (with a 50% chance of success at this level), and
sampling on a weekly basis (~52 samples/yr), works out to sampling some
tens of thousands to hundreds of thousands of downloads would be

That is, sampling 0.01% of traffic (with a representative sample) is
sufficient to capture usage sufficiently to allocate revenues to anyone
due more than $1000 per year.  This is a level that's low enough to work
even on a very broadly distributed filesharing system, so long as
traffic patterns across nodes are reasonably similar.

This system only addresses one part of the question:  whether or not
it's possible to get a reasonable assessment of use through monitoring.
The unit rate (payment per download) and actual means for connecting
artists to fans is still somewhat open.  For the latter I'm leaning
toward a system similar to, say, premium cable, where you can subscribe
for various classes of service.  What I'd like to see is a system that's
open on both sides though -- there's no restriction as to which artists
can participate, or on which ISPs (or other entity representing end
users) can subscribe.  AOL is an example of routing premium content, but
following a closed model.

> When I share a file on Gnutella, Napster, Freenet, FTP or the Web,
> whether privately or publicly, I'm throwing water on a business model
> that big media wants to see happen. I say too bad. We're not in the
> business of defending bad business models. My money is on the guy who
> figures out how to build what MP3.com should have been.


> I'm not saying we should trade Brittany Spears singles. I'm saying we
> should have a segment of the music industry that takes advantage of
> file sharing and promotes it! I'm saying that there is a fortune to be
> made in moderating the interaction between the artist and the
> file-sharee. Create a Web site that moderates and reviews files that
> are then shared via Gnutella or Freenet (and where those files are
> contributed by the artists) and I will bet that the RIAA will be a
> thing of the past in 20 years.

I'm not sure about a fortune, but I'd settle for a mildly dishonsest

> "Information wants to be free" is a statement of the first law of
> information thermodynamics. Like all natural laws, there's money to be
> made in harnessing it for the public good....

You understand the meaning of that phrase.  It's not an economic dictum,
it's a physical tendency.  And, IMO, it's deriveable from the 3rd law.


Karsten M. Self <kmself@ix.netcom.com>       http://kmself.home.netcom.com/
 What part of "Gestalt" don't you understand?             Home of the brave
  http://gestalt-system.sourceforge.net/                   Land of the free
   Free Dmitry! Boycott Adobe! Repeal the DMCA! http://www.freesklyarov.org
Geek for Hire                     http://kmself.home.netcom.com/resume.html
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