One of the key issues facing creators on the Web is the question of compensation. While open Web and video technologies invite a wide new base of creators to participate, they also may appear to carry a major disincentive – a lack of compensation that would support these creators’ future work.
At 2011 Open Video Conference, we’ll be tackling this major issue in a working group on Alternative Currencies and Transaction Models working group. Holmes Wilson of the Participatory Culture Foundation will lead the session with the goal of creating a workable blueprint for a standardized compensation service for creators – a vital necessity for ensuring that filmmakers, musicians, writers, artists, and many others can continue to be supported in their efforts on the open Web.
Though micropayments have begun to take off in the public consciousness, there is no set standard ensuring that anyone, regardless of circumstance, business- or tech-savvy will be fairly compensated for the success of their creative efforts online. Though there are a variety of digital marketplaces, ‘tip jar’ services, crowd-funding sites, and other payment models, there’s also a significant burden on creators to identify, navigate, and choose between these possibilities.
Wilson says that in the present moment it seems that “the right combination of free software and open standards could solve the ‘get creators paid directly’ problem in a pretty definitive way.” While a lack of infrastructure has hampered a standard compensation model, the increasingly well-known Bitcoin digital currency may address this problem in significant ways.
“Bitcoin represents an immense simplification of the problem of moving money online, from the point of view of somebody building a service,” says Wilson. “It’s a software-only solution. You don’t have to negotiate anything or deal with a bureaucracy to make your idea a reality.”
Wilson notes that Bitcoin also represents new opportunities that go beyond electronic representations of real-world currency: “It works everywhere in the world at once, and the fact that there are no transaction costs opens up a whole new set of possibilities. Plus it’s free and open source, so if there was something that was possible theoretically but not in practice, you could propose it to the community.”
At the OVC, the Alternative Currencies and Transaction Models working group is looking to bring together people with experience working on payment services and Bitcoin applications, as well as creators who have had success funding their work through micropayments, donations, and other digital transactions. Getting input from those with expertise in tech, business, policy and the creative realm will be essential for making important steps toward a standard that works for everyone.
Register today to join in on this and all other OVC 2011 sessions! Attendees also get a tote bag full of great stuff and lunches on Saturday and Sunday.