Original Content (Film and Television) Distribution


#1

For the past many years now, I’ve become increasingly interested in new distribution models for film and television. It’s been clear for quite some time that the old models are unsustainable. They’re still generating high amounts of revenue, but theatrical viewership is on a steep decline and at home models like Netflix just don’t quite work for the long run where libraries subsidize the distributor. Not to mention they take a HUGE portion of the pie.

The system I’m proposing doesn’t resolve piracy, but it hopefully battles it, like how streaming services have been doing for music and movies, and allows for a more sustainable model. This would require a service such as Maidsafe, a service where files and bandwidth are decentralized and distributed.

What if there was a system that worked as follows:

The file itself acts as the distributor.

You the movie file you want to watch. When you play it, the file pulls pre-determined micropayments in Safecoin, so you pay as you watch. You can bail if you’re not digging it and have only paid for what you watched. These numbers are determined by the team distributing the film, and since there’s no real overhead on distro, it’s hopefully the creators themselves.

So, the money you are paying is passed through an autonomous payment system that distributes the funds in percentages to the cast and crew based on legal terms agreed upon prior to the films release/encryption. 10% to Bob, 5% to Nancy, .5% to Steve. Essentially tying up the contract, payment, and distribution into one neat little system.

Much like we have contractual systems now for the distribution of funds, we build these contracts beforehand (before the film has even started production). These contracts would be hardcoded into the file. People below the line are paid for their work as contractors while the people above the line, those traditionally making royalties on the film or TV, would receive their funds to their Safecoin account.

So again, the movie is it’s own contract and payment system.

Let me know what you think of this sort of system. Could a system like this exist, and on the MaidSafe network?


#2

Brilliant, just brilliant.


#3

Absolutely it can and more than that it may be the answer to digital entertainment. It would be a great project to try, but yes marking data as costing for retrieval would be a system the network can cope with.


#4

I should have already taken the time to post this already as a project on this website. I’m working (with a small but growing team) on a project in the same creative sphere. We The Artists, the ‘original’ vision text is here https://github.com/WeTheArtists/Whitepapers/blob/master/WeTheArtistsVision.pdf (getting outdated and incomplete fast)

I’m happy you posted this. I read your ‘about me’ and thought of contacting you on this subject :), so you beat me to it.

I very much like your idea of micropayments. It’s a very good one. I would object that once you finished watching the full film, you could store a copy locally and copy it illegally. So if you would charge a ‘renting price’ it goes counter to having a ‘purchase price’, as you would rent it and store the film yourself.

I guess much depends on the position you take: streaming is sufficient as it stimulates away from piracy - versus - a hardened system that content owners can trust their content on.

We should get our heads together !


#5

Awesome idea. The micropayments are interesting.

To just add a bit to it, you wouldn’t pay 5% to Nancy, you would give her 5% of the share tokens. Whoever owns those tokens get the appropriate amount of the payout. That way royalties can be sold and transferred easily.

Take the smart contract idea a bit further and things get really interesting. Crowd funding, royalty markets, investment seniority (the loan gets paid before royalties), etc just kinda fall out of the system.


The key to reducing piracy is to make doing the right thing easier than piracy (and not too expensive). When all your data and movies are instantly available on all your devices through SAFE, no-one is going to bother to save a copy of a movie to their local hard drive. I mean, you would have to save it, back it up, move it around, etc all manually. You are never going to be able to really stop all piracy anyway.


#6

What is the feeling of a content tax on such systems. So the network takes a (tiny and calculable)% of the costs to recycle safecoin and reward farmers?

This is brainstorming and not a suggestions just yet. Could be interesting though. We have been chatting about safecoin recycle or increasing number by 1-2% a year, this would mean that is not required.


#7

A second remark that we’ve already come across in discussions for We The Artists, is verifying the authenticity of the ‘claimed owners’. It would not play out nice if I could (legally, or illegally) get a copy of some content and post it on the network, with my personal wallet address embedded attached to the file.

Compare this to youtube, where people post the songs they love, but now with deceitful intent. To counter this, we felt the concept of a decentralised store is still necessary. Charge a small fee for artists to sign up and use the money to verify their authenticity, in essence. The code for setting up a store would still be freely available, so plenty competing stores can compete. But the reputation of the store is used as a point of trust. (I know this is a point of weakness, but I’m also being realistic. I’m open to suggestions on improving this point)

An additional protection is found in setting up an escrow account where the profit of content is stored and only upon verification transferred to the rightful owner.


#8

Recycling and taxing a small amount that goes back into the system isn’t a bad idea. I really, really like the idea of the takers paying back into the network. Especially if its embarrassingly negligible, enough to shame Spotify/Netflix/Apple/Amazon/etc. Something that keeps a balance going.


#9

I posted earlier about a reputation system, and what you are saying is sort of what I was thinking. You’d gain reputation as being the person or company you are. Now, its figuring out a way to discourage the people who are not who they say they are…


#10

Yes this is essential, it should be almost invisible I think.


#11

Yes this is important, but more so I think is the minority protection. I can not figure a way to protect those who may have an opinion not in agreement with others. Be great to have a solution there, if there is a natural solution. I sometimes think nature in itself discards minorities in some ways. Be great not to though.


#12

In the case of the distributed stores, I liked this idea: for special niche-art, that only has a small base of fans; it would still be almost effortless for people in that community to setup a store that highlights only art in this ‘minority’ so that it isn’t drowned out by the ‘best-selling top 40 this week’


#13

Yeah I tend to agree with this.

I think David is maybe worried about the global system causing a sort of accidental oligarchy where their decisions weigh heavier across the entire platform. If I want to listen to the obscure contemporary classical works of Morton Feldman vs Lady Gaga, I’d like to think we’ll devise a system where you Gaga won’t infiltrate that particular rabbit hole.

This does raise a larger question about advertising and spam… email blasting equivalents. That kind of thing. Maybe this plays into the small tax idea that was discussed. It’s negligible for a single person to advertise their work in a few places that fit their niche, but to spam every user on the network would be near impossible due to the cost. /digress


#14

I just checked back on the mailing list, interesting how thoughts work :slight_smile: https://groups.google.com/d/msg/maidsafe-development/HfdZ3WPQoAg/PB7KA4Sclq4J
Gotta love this community, it is growing very powerful now. Superb work and this will be an amazing project. I think a pod needs to create for this one. It could be huge.


#15

haha wow. This is great. Yeah, when I first read about this project, my thoughts were, “Welp, this has the potential to rock the entertainment industry…”


#16

You Ben and others will I am sure. We will do the donkey work in the background for you to make it happen. Yea safecoin may have some amazing value very soon :slight_smile: we all win.


#17

@benjaminbollen I loved the whitepaper for We The Artists. Can you explain the system for the second distribution phase and how seeders are incentivized monetarily? I really like the idea and find it intriguing, but I want to make sure I’m understanding it correctly.


#18

Thanks Russel! I’m currently focussing on better understanding the inner workings of the MaidSafe network as it is. Some parts of the original proposal can be improved (or corrected) afterwards. The idea is to divide the distribution costs for providing the content among the end-users that hold a legitimate copy of the content and helped a new costumer obtain a new copy.

I’m currently wondering whether the growth phase should split from the safe network traffic. Increasingly it’s clear that a streaming service (ie almost no offline caching) is more sensible. It will be a question of measuring quality of service and how to obtain a high level without overloading the network.

Likely to fully change :slight_smile:


#19

I’ve been thinking about something similar to this for a while. Here is a proposal to “making sure the funds get to the right people” problem:

  1. Allow those who pay something to “vote” on who deserves what percentage of the payment. (Director, actors, studio, etc). Proof Of Stake? IMDb would help here.

  2. Each identified recipient would have a unique deposit address generated by the system.

  3. Recipients would need to “claim” their funds publicly, eg: posting on an official twitter stream:
    This is my address: 1fH5 h58utd65gtr5h5jyYvTh - send me my money.

  4. Individuals interested in making small percentage of the payment could offer their services as a freelance “agent”, helping donors to discover the rightful owner, get them to setup a receiving address, etc.
    The " agent" could be listed as simply another recipient (say 1%) for that film/work of art/song/etc.

  5. All consumers paying (or donating?) for content could then vote on the correct receiving address / identity of the recipient.

Make sense?


#20

I would say this isn’t a great idea because the public doesn’t (and will never) know what departments are actually doing what.
What if the director just showed up and phoned it in and the producer was the creative focus behind the movie?
What if an actor’s performance was entirely constructed in post-production by combining various takes and took days?
If an investor put a ton of money into a project, why should the public decide if he deserves his money back?
What if the DP’s camera team actually is constructing the shots more masterfully?
What if the script was penned by Person A, rewritten by Person B, and then tweaked by Person C on set during the shoot? How would someone watching the movie ever know that? Why would they even care?

Funds distribution has to be figured out before the film is released. You can’t have market-driven departments, it’s dishonest and departments will be paid for other departments’ hard work.

The public can’t know how much work went into each thing, which is why awards shows are considered a joke by most of the industry. A good actor can be directed badly, a good editor can fix a bad shoot, good VFX can go completely unnoticed (check out What Lies Beneath, almost all seamless unnoticeable VFX work).

I agree. 100% of funds go into the movie, a smart contract pays out to all parties. This could replace a back-end points system.

I don’t quite understand this one. More on this?

How would you seamleslly integrate this into the system? And what is the agents purpose? Could you give me an example of what they’re doing?