Eric Kluitenberg on Tue, 4 Sep 2012 17:18:54 +0200 (CEST)

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Re: <nettime> crowd-funding on nettime

Dear all, Dmytri,

I think that Felix and Dmytri are making the right point here: the absence of a sharing culture around kickstarter and similar projects.

On 4 sep. 2012, at 13:53, Dmytri Kleiner <> wrote:

> On 31.08.2012 12:28, Felix Stalder wrote:
>> But in practice, as far as I can see, there are relatively few
>> projects on kickstarter that actually release their products under a
>> free license once they have been financed in advance.
> I have no opinion as far as the moderation policy of crowd-funding
> requests on the list. But certainly feel the topic of crowd-funding
> itself is quite important for us to discus here, both for it's
> positive potentials, but also to clarify it's limitations.
> The fact that projects funded by Kickstarter are not released under a
> free license, and the organisations behind them rarely take social/
> co-operative forms, is part of the reasons that the model is limited
> as far as it's overall economic impact. Crowd-funding does not
> replicate itself.

Yes, in that sense Kickstarter and most other crowd funding platforms are not part of a commons culture. They replicate a culture of selfishness that simply replaces gated and tightly controlled forms of public funding (academic, cultural, state and their 'commissions' / evaluation boards etc.) and the self-interest driven structures of the market.

To me this is the most strange and counter-productive aspect of these platforms and the projects presented there. If the results cannot be shared, reused, remixed, copied, replicated in whatever form then what is the point giving them my hard earned money? Just to see them end up behind another pay-wall? 
To me that sounds rather non-sensical. 

On the positive side: It could also be a niche for someone to jump into, to create a crowd funding platform for the commons, where sharing the results of your project is a precondition for including and presenting your project. This can set off an autocatalytic process of exponential value creation, not just economic and monetary, but also social, and cultural.

It also stops the plethora of senseless 'make some bucks the easy way' type of projects - within a commons environment the only things that sell well are things that create an identifiable added value. This kind of self-cleansing systems would be a blessing, and we wouldn't have to bother anymore about discussing 'preferred placement' of the most profitable (read: most effective rip-off) projects on Kickstarter et. all.

I.e. 'Crowd-Funding the Commons' - I would be all for that!


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