Self-managed artists: a takeover by Georgina Mauriño!
This week, Georgina Mauriño is taking over in the Artist Entrepreneur Newsletter with a wonderful article on the future of artists online. Enjoy!
Self-managed Artists on the Web 3
Welcome to the future!
Five years ago, I heard (or rather read) the word “blockchain” for the first time. It was in a LinkedIn post, from a foundation related to classical music.
I am an author and I love researching. Then, my curiosity immediately led me to discover that this new technology would bring a new era to the Internet. A true “Renaissance” of the Internet was on its way! And things looked so good for authors and creators of original digital content. Admitting all the great things that the web had brought to my life, I was most delighted to know that I was going to be able to leave the worst behind (surveillance, especially). But the most fascinating thing I discovered was that it was going to be possible for internet users like me to do business directly between us, without intermediaries. Engineers were starting to build the “Internet of Value”.
We authors who contribute valuable contents on the Internet were going to be able to identify such contents as ours, and thus offer them as actual assets for a fair price, instead of giving them away in exchange for a “like” or a tip from the insatiable platforms.
As an author, becoming independent from the platforms and the possibility of doing business with my work by myself seemed like a dream... that came a little late (that was my only regret). However, it was essential that it had to be made into a reality now for younger authors.
I tried to understand well this new technology and its possibilities. I looked around, meticulously observing as well as analysing what was being built around me. Alas, I could not find a project that would offer the authors the solutions that I imagined. Nevertheless, instead of feeling defeated and give up, I decided to build the solutions I envisioned in the form of a decentralised webApp.
The cultural industry includes many businesses, in which the authors contribute their creations. Those products are what we would call the raw material or indispensable fuel. Their compensation comes in the form of payment for their copyrights, but… how many authors have been able to manage their intellectual property, and license their copyrights on their own terms? For centuries authors have provided the raw material for the cultural industry, but it has been rare, and sometimes virtually impossible, for them to do business directly with their works.
The Artist Entrepreneur Club has been able to drive attention about the opportunities artists had for their self-management. Gavriella has come up and shares generously strategies to regain control over your art and your clients/customers, taking advantage of the Internet. This includes especially the wonderful spaces for promotion that platforms and social media have offered.
In the upcoming new Internet of Value, authors will find a new way to really manage their work. NFTs (Non-Fungible Tokens), which are ‘revolutionising’ the world of art auctions, are nothing more than a first expression of this new paradigm (or marketplace, if you prefer). They are a first statement showing that property and business are going to be possible for users on the web. Today, technology already allows an author to identify and certify a work as their own on the web and put it up for sale. However, the issue of managing the copyright of works certified as NFTs is pending, and this is a very important matter that needs to be solved. The new platforms of NFTs already allow you to put your works of art for sale directly, although they are just getting started and still need to address important challenges.
But, what if authors could offer their works directly from their own spaces, not depending on any cloud service, but from their own personal private storage instead? What if authors did not have to pay platforms commissions in the form of % on sales? What if authors could retain all their copyrights and manage them through custom licenses?
There is a bunch of great projects on different blockchain platforms. At Smartists , I am happy to be working with a team of talented programmers and engineers to bring solutions for self-management 3.0 to artists of any field. Right now we are designing licenses that will cover the needs of a large number of artists-authors and their clients.
We are in our first stages, but if you are an artist who wants to contribute to a better future for artists, you can help us build the next solutions for artists.
Thank you to Georgina Mauriño for writing this wonderful article for the Artist Entrepreneur Newsletter this week!