In the Battles of SOPA and PIPA, Who Should Control the Internet?
Every now and again a great article, like this one in this month’s Vanity Fair, springs forth from the cabals of cultural journalism to adroitly and accurately summarize what’s in play when it comes to the Internet. More importantly this is the first time I hear of the forces of Organized Chaos being up against the forces of Order & Disorder.
While some may find this way of framing the battle for the Internet as overly simplistic, I have long argued artists have the best chances for success when they collaborate and cooperate to embrace the chaotic forces of the Internet. This is how a Chaordic Organization functions as defined by the CEO Emeritus of Visa, Dee Hock:
By chaord, I mean any self-organizing, adaptive, nonlinear complex system, whether physical, biological, or social, the behavior of which exhibits characteristics of both order and chaos or loosely translated to business terminology, cooperation and competition.
* Dee W. Hock “The Chaordic Organization – Out of control and Into Order – 1998
In his amazing book, Birth of the Chaordic Age, Hock provides a blueprint for all artists to follow, one that requires artists to get away from music being sold solely as a product to one that emphasizes the importance of music being consumed as a 24/7/365 global service: A service that does away with sovereignty, drowns out piracy, respects privacy and provides security. How?
Just like Hock convinced Bank of America to give up ownership and control of their BankAmericard credit card program and turn it into a non-stock membership corporation equally owned by all of its member banks eventually called VISA, I am suggesting all artists worldwide give up on sovereign copyright protectionism and embrace a global copyright exchange, called ToBeDigital, equally owned by all of its copyright bearing members be they artists, labels, songwriters or publishers.
Just like VISA facilitates EFTs (electronic funds transfers) throughout the world, ToBeDigital would facilitate ERTs (electronic rights transfers) granting immediate, redeemable access to music to fans on any playback device once they’ve paid a nominal interchange fee + the value of the music purchased set by the merchant.
For a fraction of what artists pay out today to Performing Rights Organizations (PROs) around the world, not only would artists get paid much faster on what they sell, they’d get paid on everything they sell and do away with weightings which are employed by PROs to assign a greater or lesser monetary value to music performances in broadcast media.
And for music fans there would be nothing but complete clarity, total ubiquity and pure enjoyment.