What do Amanda Palmer, a book on storytelling in Africa, and particle physics have in common? That’s what I’d like to find out.
My name is Nic Suzor, and I am a researcher at QUT School of Law and the Centre for Creative Industries and Innovation in Brisbane, Australia. I have just spent two weeks in the Creative Commons offices in Silicon Valley, kicking off a research project that seeks to understand the role of voluntary collective action in funding and coordinating free cultural works.
Crowdfunding platforms like Kickstarter and Indiegogo allow creators to turn directly to their audience to support their next project. Sometimes, crowdfunding looks similar to traditional business models, except consumers pay up-front. Other times, though, crowdfunding gets really interesting. Some people are using these new models in ways that shake the very foundations of copyright and our assumptions about how society can fund free cultural works in a way that is both fair and sustainable.