• Donate to download models

last modified November 30, 2012 by strypey

Danyl Strype

Wednesday 18 August 2010 3:09:07 am

Donate to download models

Kia ora koutou

It's always been my contention that the internet was an opportunity for artists in all media to break free of the obsessively controlling patronage of the corporate media conglomerates. In the process, artwork would be rescued from the indignity of being mass-manufactured and sold like commodities, no different to cheese or milk, and return to being media of free exchange, expression, and beauty.

The internet, I believed, would create opportunities for 'micro-patronage', where the artist puts the digital equivalent of a busking hat on their website, or by tagging their files, and many audience members can make small contributions, adding up to a return for the artist. I first wrote about this around 2005, attempting to describe in more detail how it might look in practice if artists worked together to promote independent music:


The question has become how does an artist add a hook that encourages audiences to part with their cash? A Low Hum recently offered downloads of the music on their label, but only those who pay get the screen-printed album art posted to them:


Today I found some online news about a group of independent video game developers who offered the 'Humble Indie Bundle', a bunch of games which could be downloaded with the gamer setting the price, and deciding how much of their donation went to the developers and how much to their chosen charities (EFF and Child's Play). Over a million dollars was raised, and many of the developers released their game engine code under the GPL:


Anyone familiar with any other crowdsourcing investment models that have had any success, or any studies on the topic?

Kia tau


Danyl Strype

Sunday 29 August 2010 8:26:06 pm

Amanda Palmer Released from Roadrunner

Kia ora koutou

I just learned that Amanda Palmer, formerly of the Dresden Dolls, has been putting her solo albums online on a 'download and donate' model:

http://www.wordmagazine.co.uk/content/amanda-palmer-ukelelehead [this link is rotten, due to Word Magazine shutting up shop]

She's clearly thrilled to be able to give her music directly to her audience, something which her contract with Roadrunner Records had up until recently prevented:

"i’ve been a very vocal advocate of artists being fearless in asking their audience and supporters for direct financial help.

i come from a background of grassroots theater and street performance, and i think that artists should feel no shame while passing the hat around once they’ve entertained a crowd of people."


However, in a letter to her former label, Palmer acknowledges that the success of her solo efforts has benefited from her already strong public profile, generated in association with Roadrunner during her time with the Dolls.

Danyl Strype

Saturday 11 September 2010 3:06:44 am

Slow Art

Like Slow Food (and Slow Money), the idea of Slow Art is that is is rooted in a collaborative local culture, in neighbourhoods and municipalities, in the realworld, in realtime. In this case, instead of low-mile, organic food, or green dollar and time banking exchanges, we talking about peformance, display, or exhibition, and maybe community access radio/ tv, and low-power broadcasting micro-radio/ tv. The challenge with all these "Slow" movements is to create a culture of supporting the local economically, so that Slow Culture artisans can make a living from their art, be it cooking, painting, playing music etc

To paraphrase the old Indymedia slogan, don't hate art, become art. Or in the words of Coomaraswamy, quoted by Hakim Bey, "the artist is not a special kind of person, but each person is a special kind of artist."

Jennifer Edwards writes on this theme here:


Danyl Strype

Tuesday 21 September 2010 10:51:30 pm

The Pirate's Dilemma

Matt Mason has made a .pdf of his book available for download on a donate to download model:


"By treating the electronic version of a book as information rather than property, and circulating it as widely as possible, many authors such as Paulo Coelho and Cory Doctorow actually end up selling more copies of the physical version. Pirate copies of The Pirate’s Dilemma are out there online anyway, and they don’t seem to have harmed sales. My guess is they are helping. To be honest, I was flattered that the book got pirated in the first place."