by Mike Masnick
Wed, Jan 16th 2008 6:54am
Last month we wrote about musician Kristin Hersh embracing a version of the new business model we suggested for musicians way back in 2003. It's a model where the musician can actually embrace file sharing and do better because of it, by focusing on using the file sharing to sell more scarce goods, such as specific songs or access to the musician. One of my favorite ideas in that discussion was that the musician could offer up that he or she would play a backyard concert for a supporter. I've yet to see anyone else pick up on that suggestion... until now. Well-known singer-songwriter Jill Sobule has just announced her plans for a new album and it involves a website that allows people to buy in at different levels from $25 (you get the CD before it's released) all the way up to $10,000 (you actually get to sing or participate on the CD). At the $5,000 level, Jill will come and perform at your home. I still think the lowest level ($25) is a bit too high, but the various levels and the rewards at each level do seem about right for the model. It's not clear how Sobule feels about file sharing on top of this, but it's clear that she's really embraced this new business model -- so I'm hopeful that it works out for her. So here's a question: will all the folks who say that taking an idea without giving someone credit for it is "theft" claim that Sobule "stole" this idea from me or will they recognize how ridiculous that is and how we're all better off when infinite goods are spread freely?
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