• CultureAuction

last modified September 10, 2015 by strypey

This would be a crowdfunding site with a difference. To explain the idea, let's take the sci-fi tv series Firefly as an example. Fox canned the series after one season and a rushed movie (which was awesome, but rushed), leaving so much of the story and world unexplored. But they kept all the rights, so neither creator Joss Whedon nor anyone else in the creative team could take the project elsewhere to carry it on. If a site like CultureAuction existed at the time, people would be able to create a crowdfunding campaign to "free" Firefly from Fox. They would be able to pledge money, as they do on IndieGoGo, or KickStarter, and regular updates would be sent to an appropriate person (s) at Fox informing them of where the 'auction' is up to.

The general idea would be to publicly humiliate Fox for their stingy behaviour, so they either:

a) fund another series of Firefly

b) release the rights to Whedon, or someone else in the production team

c) release the rights under a CreativeCommons license

Maybe the site would actually collect the money, although it would have to be explicit about what it would be used for. I'd be hesitant to actually give it to the "intellectual monopoly" mongers. Maybe it could be added to funding pools (eg Firefly-related funding would go into a sci-fi pool), which could then be added to real crowdsourcing efforts in the appropriate field, maybe with a system for site members/ pledgers to participate in the funding decisions? For example, money pledged to an 'embarrass Fox for messing with Firefly' campaign could be donated to the creators of projects like L5.

(Disclaimer: I'm actually not a big fan of L5. Almost all the characters are middle-aged, middle-class USAmerican white men - it's hard to tell them apart and it makes slightly cheesy shows like Star Trek and Farscape look good. The story is slow to take off, and the CGI could have done with a few weeks more crafting to make it fully convincing. That said, they've proved its possible to make a pilot for full-noise, effects-driven sci-fi show on a crowdfunded budget. Go them.)