I’ve just been doing research for my work in the general areas of networking, encryption and various Internet protocols … and it occurred to me to write this particular article.
The Problem (as it exists today):
Producers of digital content such as: movie makers, musicians, other artists, and anyone generating any other kind of digital content; all suffer the problem of how to earn an income to survive and thrive if people can just download their content for free … and fair enough, we all want to survive and thrive.
Now ignoring for a minute the things I’ve already written in other articles which cover the general idea that we only have to deal with scarce and non-scarce resources … I won’t repeat all that … let’s just look at the scenario as it stands.
If a person cannot afford to purchase digital content … and I don’t mean crying poor because you want to buy a speedboat, but I mean those who are genuinely struggling to meet basic needs, but they want to download entertainment and perhaps both educational and productive digital materials, with the intention of making their life bearable, and trying to escape their hardship … then first of all, there is no lost sale (since they cannot afford it anyway), and secondly it’s a denial of their human rights to prevent them from escaping depression, hardship, poverty etc.
In such cases, so long as the originator of the content does not experience an actual cost, because the person has downloaded this content from somewhere else, which results in neither supply nor maintenance fees to the originator … then really there’s nothing to complain about, NOT EVEN in the present system. It is only when such access involves costs that the originator truly has cause for complaint, as they’re not missing out on a sale, but it is nonetheless costing them something in terms of supply &/or maintenance &/or usage.
The Solution (in the present paradigm):
Without changing anything, most digital content providers could actually solve this by simply setting up an arrangement where a person willing to forego a certain amount of privacy to check they are indeed in financial hardship, is allowed to access whatever they want, since they couldn’t afford to pay for it anyway without some kind of unreasonable sacrifice being made of basic living requirements … which would reduce a lot of suffering.
Such a system can be extended such that when a person can afford to purchase some content, but reaches the limit of what they can afford, they’re now free to download any additional content beyond this point, since they couldn’t afford it anyway, and they’ve been willing to engage with such a system.
From here you have just cause for pursuit of (and can more easily pursue) anyone else who could otherwise afford it, but has elected not to reward you for your production costs and efforts for no better reason than pure selfishness.
None of this requires the absolute relinquishment of privacy, because a big part of what is being calculated simply comes from developing an algorithm to data mine a live localised cost of fulfilment of all articles of the charter of human rights, based also on the individual’s height, weight etc. … a handful of details can tell you a lot about what a person needs … and if the person agrees to allow their banks to be contacted & their social media etc to be analysed, it may not be entirely accurate, but there will be plenty enough information to tell whom is really worth pursuing for breach of copyright and who isn’t … because the only people who should be pursued at all, are those who earn plenty enough money, yet take thjngs for free anyway.
This may also put some pressure on companies to pay better wages when they see just how many people qualify for this free access, despite having full time work, and help develop (or work with) a framework for minimum and maximum wages (for which I’ve written other articles on the subject if you want to check the archive).
The Open Empire Solution:
Within the Open Empire framework, the entire issue just disappears … if you produce digital content of any kind, you simply garner the resources you require (including the skills and expertise of others), nothing costs you anything so you have no project “budget” per se … if the manner in which you are using resources is friendly and sustainable, then you can have as many non-scarce resources as you require so long as that quantity does not create scarcity, and where you require scarce resources you (and/or other team members or the project itself) simply show cause as to why your usage and output potential constitutes the greatest merit for use of such resources, and that priority list of candidates for resource usage is then assessed to determine what combination of access of the best candidates achieves the maximum potential of scarcity reduction, harm reduction, and benefit gain in ecological and social terms.
Now … your project may not be directly associated with any ecological or social benefits, but as all actions have consequences and there’s no such thing as a truly closed system outside the conceptual realm (or outside the dimensional boundaries between between things – ie: a 2D Complex number is invisible to a 1D Real number, for the mathematicians out there … or another example may be that the other side of the event horizon may be a visually closed system the rest of the universe on our side, ie: restricting the domain of what is meant by “closed”) … THEREFORE: no matter what your project is about, it will have consequences, and the more scarce resources you require to fulfil those resource requirements, the more you’re motivated in your personal and professional life (including project activities) to ensure your methods create the best possible outcomes … and as before you’ll find plenty of help from people who specialise in the analysis of systems and strategies in order to achieve these outcomes.
So … assuming you can access what you require for a minimum viable project outcome, you just go do it, and then you just make it accessible to everyone … since digital content cannot be scarce in such a scenario (unless the energy, hardware, software, or connectivity requirements of access are themselves scarce), everyone can have access, no questions asked.
Where your reward now comes is not only in the creative achievement of the project without the usual commercial influence (ie: you can now do art and science for their own sake, without justifying it to an investor), but also in the ongoing access to scarce resources … the better your project, the more people who like it and benefit from it, the better your statistics … and thus the higher your probability of access to scarce resources.
In such a world, a vastly greater quantity of academic, creative, scientific and technical achievement is possible … because we’ve just removed this big useless roadblock which is entirely useless, and manufactured by the status quo for 1 purpose … control.