Re: Napster: thoughts and comments?

From: Michael S. Lorrey (
Date: Wed Jul 12 2000 - 08:51:10 MDT

"Emlyn (onetel)" wrote:
> Hal write:
> >
> > One proposal turns art from a product into a service. That is, you pay
> > the artist for his time, not for each copy of the output. An artist
> > would agree to release a new artwork only when enough people had pledged
> > to pay for it. Once it was released, it would be freely available.
> > He might release a partial or low-quality version ahead of time to show
> > people what the final product would be like.
> >
> That's actually quite a cool idea. You might combine an idea of "private
> clubs" with art produced this way. Kind of like patronage for the masses.
> Everyone who chips in gets to be a paid-up member, with all kinds of extra
> priveleges with regard to merchandise, artist contact, and being legally
> allowed to call themselves whatever the "club members" are called (king
> doody chicken, or something like that) etc, which cannot be bought after the
> pledge amount is reached. People love to be members of elite (or not so
> elite) clubs, this would work rather well.

And, objections of Nadia aside, this is already done with painters and sculptors
by art galleries on the web. Take the Linda Cannon Gallery in Seattle for
instance (the first art gallery on the web). Every one of her artists have low
quality images of their pieces on display on the website, with no control over
their use. The originals, of course, cost several thousand dollars.

Painters also release limited, numbered runs of prints of their works which
typically sell for less than a tenth of the price of the original, depending on
the quantity made. This is actually where the real money is made by the artist,
where a run of 200 numbered prints nets twenty times as much money as the value
of the original work.

Writers also can make more money off of signed copies of their books.

Beyond that, you can go into more commercial work, as many artists have done
(Vargas, Parrish, etc) to make a living while they worked on their more
non-commercial work (as I do as a technical writer/graphic artist for a software
company). An artist may not realize great success with their Art, but there is
no reason they cannot realize a decent living off of it without too much extra

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