Fri 16 Mar 2018


Liam Murphy Public Seen by 473

I have set up a Loomio page to effectively write a collective business plan for a Commons Collecting Society and Intellectual Property Asset Bank. As that's quite a mouthful I call it 'CultureBanking': https://www.loomio.org/invitations/475e91ab6cdd40734c7f.

The concerns and the aims are very close to the P2P Foundations' 'CopyFair' (there was no existing link to that here). I'd like to invite participants to contribute under the broad headings (feel free to add your own) on the page with a view to developing a distributed platform cooperative practice to manage community assets. There are lots of tools already in existence - so just pooling resources is a great start. In East Anglia, we are beginning by, literally, taking control of our cultural assets by first, 'banking' them with peer production licenses. Here: https://www.meetup.com/CultureBanking-Norfolk/events/249647758/ - come if you're in the area! LM


mike_hales Sat 17 Mar 2018

On 'culture' and commons, making and licensing . . . what about this?


Liam Murphy Sat 17 Mar 2018

Can you be any more specific Mike?

There’s a lot been said about cultural commons. My proposition is to create a category of ‘cultural products’ which are held ‘in common’ by nothing more than the peer production licenses attached to them. Collecting is a relatively simple task compared to making decisions about distributing. I imagine the long term success of an initiative like this would see it embedded in some fairer, possibly more direct and localised taxation system. In the short term of demonstrating the concept - just think of ‘culture’ in this context as cultural products with peer production licenses attached creating a % residual flow of income for the rights holder, for re-investment in common infrastructure - or even new venture ‘capital’ dare I say?

Not exactly sure what you were asking TBH - was that any help?



mike_hales Sat 17 Mar 2018

What was I asking Liam? In my original post I asked:

What is 'creative' production please? What is 'non-creative' production? I'd say this is a very dangerous distinction to be trying to build a practice on. Especially in relation to a 'commons' ethic.

Would you spell this out?

I don't believe that it's healthy to mark some labour - and labourers - as 'creative'. The term appropriates a quality that's found throughout all kinds of labour, and is covered, for example, by 'skill'.

I'm comfortable with what you say about a commons. It's your notion of 'culture' and cultural labour that I believe is divisive, and founded on an individualist Romantic notion which isn't consistent with real commoning.


Liam Murphy Sat 17 Mar 2018

Pragmatically, in this case, anything which can be licensed for use, re-use or re-sale by a rights holder. Far from romantic! You are right, much creativity will fall outside of that definition.

What do you think to opening a general ‘debate’ thread for defining objectives, terms, first principles, definitions etc?



Liam Murphy Sat 17 Mar 2018

PS - Have you read Kleiners Telekommunist Manifesto? It deals with much of this...


mike_hales Sat 17 Mar 2018

This is new to me thanks Liam. For others who want to find it, it's on P2PF wiki Telekommunist Manifesto. This also includes an interview with Kleiner.

Also related, on CopyLeft etc:
- Copyfarleft
- Patents and the Limits of Open Source Licenses


Liam Murphy Tue 27 Mar 2018

This may be off beam but I'm wondering if 'The Commons' might be an associate partner to this organisation?: https://www.iso.org/organizations-in-cooperation-with-iso.html - My goal would be to develop a Universal Standard Identifier or Digital Object Identifier for attaching to 'Creative Assets' which could then have peer production or 'human' commons licenses ( eg, Culturebanked® licences) for cultural commoning of assets in an open marketplace.... Any specialist knowledge available to tap into? Thoughts ideas - most welcome.... thanks LM


Danyl Strype Sat 12 May 2018

I'm struggling to get my head around exactly what you're proposing (I always find myself trying to read these threads when I'm tired ;) ) but in terms of marking a work as "Culturebanked®", could the Creator Endorsed Mark (https://questioncopyright.org/creator_endorsed_mark ) serve as a useful precedent? It's an intriguing experiment in creating a symbolic commons as a plug-in to trademark law, instead of the copyright law that free code software and CreativeCommons type licenses are plug-ins to. The Toi Iho mark (http://www.toiiho.co.nz/about-toi-iho/ ) used to distinguish genuine indigenous art in Aotearoa / NZ could also be a useful precedent for the work you are doing.


Liam Murphy Mon 14 May 2018

Stypey - also doing this when tired,,.. understood. CE marks are a good precedent. Differences are that I'm developing a licence along similar lines to the ones Arthur Brock of Holochain is talking about, ie, Human COmmons Licenses. The licenses do replace open licenses unlike here - one is open, one part restricted and one closed for availability to the market by agreement with the rights holder and on condition that the common funds are credited when commercial activity takes place. They dont enclose and they dont give away for free... The big difference as I see it, is that by using IP as a type of currency and depositing %'s of income flows from it in a mutual/common account (the 'culturebank', you are generating common/mutual ownership. CEM's handle private property passing between an individual and a distributor. CB® licensed work is placed into common ownership - to some extent - at the point of creation and licensing. Effectively, you use copyright to draw income into the commons (as kleiner suggested) but you treat copyrightable works as if they are 70 + years old and 'available' to the common as well... Like folk songs or dances... common culture. They can have a common scope and a private scope... Smart contracts will support this functions development I'd hope... Being realistic, you can time limit the period of exclusive rights to extract income from a new 'asset', making it available to a local commons at favourable fees. this has a 'proof of marketability' advantage ( eg images that aren't proven' will rarely be sold into the licensing trade) and 'closing' selected assets for the sole purpose of creating common wealth. i'm not 100% clear on the financial model but these are the dynamics. I do like the 10/20/30 etc aspect of the marks suggesting the artist should decide what proportion of their work's proceeds is credited to them or otherwise.. With a partner state working on this. A whole class of IP assets might begin functioning in the market as 'club, common or public goods' allowing local commons funds to be fed, admittedly allowing some enclosure of their use, but also doing this on own terms. As a practice, i'm also proposing Culturebaking as a Kitemark and am keen to adopt Marjorie Kelly's 5 principles there.. The simple revolution is in spreading the practice of attaching human commons licenses which insist on being observed at the point of making. Few sites or outlets currently will support this and I'd expect specific sites to establish initially. Flickr has just gone in the opposite direction as it's trying to monetise on the platform now... The beauty of a human commons license is that, basically, humans can attach any reasonable terms they like to their own work. they are very powerful... ( I may have created more confusion than Ive solved. It is, again..late) L


Danyl Strype Tue 15 May 2018

Why do you need a new license? Why not just use a CreativeCommons license with a NonCommercial clause?
* CC BY-NC: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/
* CC BY-NC-SA: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/4.0/
* CC-NC-ND: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/

The disadvantage of license proliferation is that you end up with a fragmented commons, with many parts that can't be used together because of license incompatibility. That's why GNU changed the Free Documentation License so Wikipedia could be dual-licensed with CC-BY-SA.

The beauty of a human commons license is that, basically, humans can attach any reasonable terms they like to their own work

That's true of copyright licenses in general, which is why the GPL and CC licenses can exist.

Flickr has just gone in the opposite direction as it's trying to monetise on the platform now

FlickR has been monetized since Yahoo! bought it. People who used NC licenses on their images are either exempt, or Yahoo has to get them to opt-in, at which point I hope they negotiate a suitable royalty.


Liam Murphy Sat 5 May 2018

Implications for Creative Commons (enclosure of CC licenses and false promise of 'rights retention) of Flickr merger with 'Smug Mug': https://www.loomio.org/d/VMaUlpsi/culturebanks-research/8


mike_hales Sun 6 May 2018

Liam, I'm still puzzling about what is common in your culture banking initiative, and what kind of stuff it is that might be banked.'Cultural' production is extremely diverse. So, seeking understanding . . .

It looks to me like what you want to enable is the collecting of rent on intellectual property - and thus, you need to invent a property registry which can make claims to ownership stick, and a rent-collection agency? Something like the Performing Rights Society, or the work that a literary agent does in licensing movie rights to a play? Is your 'culture bank' any more than this, applied to forms of art and craft production other than music or literary works? Is it perhaps a kind of patent?

Could you describe . . . what kinds of stuff is it (pottery? paintings or prints? household knick-knacks and decor items? furniture? play-scripts? novels? performance art? installations? landscape art? community drama? etc) that are being produced for and placed in a commons? In this video Michel Bauwens points out that just 'sharing' stuff that you happen to like and have made, doesn't amount to creating a commons. What kinds of commoned use - peer-to-peer mutualised production - are anticipated for the cultural products that you want to bank? Is it possible to cover all kinds of 'cultural' product by the same process or licence, regardless of their material form? I kind-of doubt that.

What are the commercial uses that for-profit or corporate enterprises might want to make, of your kinds of stuff? Is CultureBanking just a market? If cultural products are really made for a commons as distinct from a generic market - actual collaborating communities of persons in places - doesn't this make it rather difficult to spin profit-making merchandise off the back of it? Or - is merchandising (the T-shirt of the rock concert, the mug of the art exhibition) exactly the kind of thing you're thinking of?

Sorry Liam - as you can see, I'm just not getting it yet, as a 'commons' initiative or a concrete practice.

Perhaps the way into it this is . . . in Norwich right now, with the crisis your local arts community is facing, what help would CultureBanking provide to that community, if it were available as a service? How would this service impact the wider communities in the city who are beneficiaries of the maker-community's local presence?


Liam Murphy Tue 15 May 2018

Intellectual Property doesn't exist without the collection of 'rent'. If you wont make it available to a market place, you wont have 'protection' of the law. That's why Kleiner pointed out we are just using a faulty system to best serve the commons... I don't want to collect 'rent'. I am offering a platform for people to rent out their own IP on a peer to peer basis. What is collected, is collected by them. I call that community licensing or Community Collective Rights Management... But yes, there is a 'rent' payable to the common platform and to sustain 5% to costs and 5% (minimum) into a shared common fund. Rent can be charged by the commons and should be... for things we all need to 'produce'. I wouldn't get hung up on the broad 'cultural' production angle - yes, its all CP! Not all of it can be licensed as IP tho - that is the critical definition. This model would work equally well in the pharmaceutical trade where we might see the commons buying back enclosed patents for drugs etc... Hope this clears up your understanding Mike. if not, I can email you the business plan, which is in 1st draft state, so would greatly welcome feedback.... (not for sharing just yet tho). all best, Liam


Danyl Strype Tue 15 May 2018

You could have just stopped at ...

Intellectual Property doesn't exist


If you wont make it available to a market place, you wont have 'protection' of the law.

What won't? The details of copyright law vary from country to country, but in the US and UK and many other jurisdictions, if you publish a work, the copyright is automatically reserved. Patents, on the other hand, have to be applied for, but you can do that before you publicly reveal the invention you want to patent. You just have to hope there's no 'prior art' that will invalidate your claim.

This model would work equally well in the pharmaceutical trade where we might see the commons buying back enclosed patents for drugs etc...

Or we could just coordinate open source research into plant medicines, bio-phyisical therapies, drugs whose patents have expired, and other forms of healing that are not subject to patent control? Share the research in open access journal papers under CC licenses? Maybe set up cooperatively owned health care practices that use patented drugs and equipment only when they are unquestionably superior treating for a patient with a serious illness?

The only way corporations would sell drug patents, is if they could get the same amount of money they could earn through the patent, in one lump sum. What's the advantage to us of helping them with that?


Liam Murphy Tue 15 May 2018

the critical word is 'could' - CC makes a living for very few people. No film yet etc.. I'll resist the temptation to 'react'. As I said Strypey - I was tired - same as you. I'm not going to defend myself. No need. Help would be appreciated. I offered Mike a Business Plan... anyone else who's interested is welcome - for constructive comments etc. @asimong I've taken on many of the comments on here about taking commons principles forward. It's about sharing. I've shared a business idea with you all. It involves creating common stock by using peer production licenses. I've got a first draft of a business plan. Maybe I will share that and maybe somebody will enjoy seeing if it 'takes commons principles forward'. It'll have to pay the rent first tho - so Simon, on that, we agree! All Best..


Liam Murphy Sun 6 May 2018

Sorry Mike, am on a deadline so can’t answer in detail. Fully understand ‘sharing’ and ‘commoning’ differences - Uber etc… The MVP (i use business terms) is to place digital image files of IP owners work into a 'kite-marked' form of common ownership under peer production licenses.
Essentially it’s a DAO using an independent stewardship of rights to allow common causes to be funded at will by users. A Platform for cooperation. Particularly useful for local communities of ‘creative independents’ (their definition not mine) who are otherwise separated by private property and private interests and have no common management framework (after loss of nearly all local authority arts support).

It can be used in Norwich right now to raise funds to buy the land on which their workshops stand as a community land trust would… (Went for one eight market value at 7.5Mn.) Sadly, I don’t think the stage of development will allow that. Instead, they are using the ‘controversy’ to raise funds for their own competing interests (even though they, as individual arts orgs are variously organised around some kind of commons). What is lacking is an over-arching common framework which can act in all of their interests and be constituted by them…. A Commons management Agreement - which I am also working on locally…. These are big holes to fill.

One thing I think you may differ with me on is that for ‘commons transition’ business models, it’s not always possible to ‘share only with sharers’. CB licenses have, a bit like Creative Commons, 3 types: Open, Restricted and Closed. Closed licenses will indeed present the kind of enclosed rights needed by license users in the market for things like ‘merch’. There must be income. It’s not perfect. But it does use peer production internally - as Kleiner suggested. It is not extractive and where income accrues, it accrues in a mutual account for the benefit of the common (after private needs have been satisfied). Without giving all away, an Ap and Web platform allows single issue peer production licenses to be immediately downloaded. There is no central registry needed.

I’m 29 pages into the full plan which is due on Tuesday for a ‘Pitch’ (social investors from my university for set up costs).
I’m in no doubt that CultureBanking® is a committed commons initiative - I’m just so busy getting it moving right now, i may be failing to explain why. But that’s why I set up the Loomio - so thanks for engaging with it. Will upload the plan to Loomio once I am satisfied with it for your scrutiny!

(Very hurried response)

Al best,



Simon Grant Tue 15 May 2018

I'm inclined to agree with @strypey here. Liam @liammurphy I do think you're doing something interesting and worthwhile, though maybe you might also enjoy taking on more comments from others about other ways that the commons principles could be taken forward. If you have a workable idea, stick with it, as not all ideas are workable! Then also, perhaps when it is working, consider development along ever more commons lines?


Liam Murphy Tue 15 May 2018

License proliferation is an excellent thing - if the licenses put power in the hands of peer producers. Everyone is entitled to license their own work.., are the licenses demanding of/ conducive to a commons/ p2p environment is the question... Creative Commons is great if u want to give stuff away. Not a privilege most can afford tho


Danyl Strype Wed 16 May 2018


CC makes a living for very few people. No film yet etc.

Lots of films have been released under CC licenses. See:
* Vodo.net
* https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_open-source_films

Very few people make a living out of independent film, period. What makes you think the problem is CC license(s) ? How would using a different license lead to different results?

License proliferation is an excellent thing

You are, of course, entitled to your opinion. But the burden of proof is on you to support this opinion with logic and case studies, and respond to the significant body of work by the pioneers of commons-orientated copyright licensing, arguing that license proliferation fragments and harms the commons. Some examples from a quick web search:
* https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/License_proliferation#Vanity_licenses
* https://opensource.org/proliferation-report
* https://openscholarship.wustl.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1109&context=law_journal_law_policy
* https://www.gnu.org/licenses/license-list.en.html#Introduction
* http://books.openedition.org/ledizioni/209?lang=en#tocfrom2n5
* https://www.creativecommons.nl/downloads/101220cc_incompatibilityfinal.pdf

Creative Commons is great if u want to give stuff away

The Public Domain dedication is for giving stuff away. The CC licenses are for reserving some of the rights constrained by copyright (eg the right to make commercial use of the work), while releasing other rights (eg the right to distribute verbatim copies).

That you don't seem to know how CC licenses work suggests you aren't following the Kalashnikov principle (named for the inventor of the AK-47). To quote an English translation of his summary of the principle:
"before attempting to create something new, it is vital to have a good appreciation of everything that already exists in this field."

When people don't do this, they end up reinventing the wheel and muddying the waters, which is a waste of their own time and talent.

Not a privilege most can afford tho

Buying stuff constrained by unnecessarily restrictive copyright licenses is a privilege most can't afford. Having your work ignored by both businesses and audience because it uses an obscure and complicated copyright license is a cost creators can't afford.


Liam Murphy Wed 16 May 2018


  1. 'loads of films':

27 films are listed since 2002. That is less than two a year. Production is not noticeably increasing. This is because, as I said, CC enables 'giving away'. Hardworking people in the industry need options which pay them. CC doesn't enable this. I didn't say CC was the problem and I would encourage people to use CC - for specific purposes. I'm saying CC doesn't address the problem of getting paid. As you say 'very few people make their living from independent film' - you understand there is a problem.. Less than 2 a year is not 'loads' (Can I ask if you have a background in 'the arts'..? Dah-ling! ;-)) The other platform seems to give stuff away,.. again...

'2. But the burden of proof is on you to support this opinion'-

Enabling people to create their own licenses, find platforms which will endorse that and pay them will help them earn a living. Licenses can be as many as you like and should serve each specific purpose - ie, what matters is how they serve people. i wont address your links now (I will look later) but offer some simple logic as a 'burden of 'proof': If peer production licences were to proliferate, how could this possibly harm 'the commons'? Besides that, having a monopoly on licenses is as as bad as having one on products and services... each of us must be entitled to our own terms - whether accepted by others or not. Seems a fair 'p2p' value... Perhaps it could be voted on?

  1. Re: 'Buying stuff constrained by unnecessarily restrictive copyright licenses is a privilege most can't afford. Having your work ignored by both businesses and audience because it uses an obscure and complicated copyright license is a cost creators can't afford.'

At last we agree entirely!

These are exactly the two poles most makers find themselves caught between - and why CultureBanking® is needed! Because of this creators ignore the rights they do have and treat IP as an enemy. Knowing how to construct your own terms and conditions - and have them met - (including licensing of your work) is essential for creators. Hence, CultureBanking® is offering workshops and training as well as generic licenses and marks to adapt/attach schedules to etc. (I'm consulting with Sabine Jacques of the UEA on an IP related workshop for Norwich University of the Arts MA students as we speak actually...) Creators knowing what platforms are/will be available to them (few as of now) when they DO assert their rights will also be essential.. It's only the very beginning of P2P in film, art, performance, literature etc - the machinery of 'sharing' is in some ways a long way behind 'online' communities. That said, there are 1000's of examples of commoning in the arts and so I am very encouraged at the prospects... Artists are a decent bunch!

Note: It would be really helpful to the overall project if, when you comment, you could locate your comments under the most appropriate thread.. as you can see I've set the thing up as a collaboration in creating a working plan. It is admittedly, not working well and most of the work Im doing offline now - but will upload the biz plan when it's done. I couldn't wait to gain consent before I act as I need to eat! (case in point) Look forward to more challenges tho prefer to work collaboratively.

It might be worth mentioning that CultureBanking has 3 elements: 1. A platform for sharing, 2. A 'KiteMark' (this is where I think P2P could really help and 3. a Mutual Fund (held in distributed 'commons').

I'll update as and when I can as I think there's some degree of confusion about the scope of the project....




Danyl Strype Thu 17 May 2018

@liammurphy it's commendable that you are so determined to defend your project. This tenacity will be a critical asset for you in this project, because you are walking into a desert, where many have perished before you, and many others survive only because they've learned to travel at night and find water in cactus.

These projects set out with exactly the same noble goal as you; help creators make a living from the work they share as a commons. The opening chapters of some of their stories were told in 'The Power of Open' (http://thepowerofopen.org/) in 2011. I encourage you to have a look at how many are still standing seven years later, how many artist have managed to make a living by working with them, and how were successful enough to be featured in the follow-up book Made With CreativeCommons: madewith.cc. If you want to avoid the fate of those who didn't survive, it would be wise to learn their stories, and avoid the dead-end trails and not-so-short shortcuts they stumbled down.

27 films are listed since 2002

That's 27 more than the "no films" you claimed. Every film on Vodo.net is also CC-licensed. These are just two sets of examples. A quick web search will turn up many more.

The other platform [Vodo] seems to give stuff away,.. again...

Vodo was created by a group of film-makers with very similar goals to you; get independent film out there, and get it funded by the crowd.


Maybe you could talk to them about what you think might work better than"give stuff away"? Other than a handful of anti-commons DRM-mongers like Apple and Neflix, all the online models I can think of are based on some form of free sharing:
* pay-what-you-want like Vodo and HumbleBundle
* freemium like Jamendo, Magnatune, Spotify, Vimeo, and YouTube
* micropatronage using sites like Liberapay, Flattr, and Patreon
* voluntary subscriptions like the Guardian
* free access to digital copies as promotion for stuff that can't copied (books, records/ CDs/ DVDs, merch, concert tickets) like BandCamp and David Rovics

Can you name an example of a commons behind a paywall on the net that makes anyone a living? Like censorship, the network treats them as damage, and routes around them. Many of those you will pass as you cross the arts revenue desert thought they could make money that way. Their skeletons litter the dune, still wearing their heavily padded paywalls. For why this approach doesn't and can't work, see:

Can I ask if you have a background in 'the arts'

Yes. I've been writing, acting, singing, and playing music since childhood. More recently I got into fire spinning and juggling. Many of my friends and acquaintances are in bands, DJ, produce, make films, and write stories. It's one of the reasons I got involved in CC, I could see that treating sharing as "stealing" was wrong, because the stuff we pay money for has always come to our notice through non-commercial sharing of copies. Finding ways to use free online distribution to put artists back in charge of their art and make a living is something I've been working on for about 20 years.

If peer production licences were to proliferate, how could this possibly harm 'the commons'?

In case there's any confusion, when I say "license proliferation" I'm talking about the number of different commons licenses, obviously proliferation of the number of people using commons licenses is a good thing ;) Assuming you got that and still disagree, I've given the nutshell explanation in previous comments, along with a number of references. There's no shortcut to properly understanding this. You need to do the reading, and it really is part of the due diligence for a project like CultureBanking.

Knowing how to construct your own terms and conditions - and have them met - (including licensing of your work) is essential for creators

Anyone can try to write their own copyright license, just like anyone can write their own WordPress. But in most cases, you're better off drawing on work that's already in the commons. Writing your own copyright license requires you to be a lawyer, or pay for a lawyer, if you want any chance of your license being enforceable in the way you expect. This is one reason why choosing from a pool of pre-existing, professionally drafted licenses is better than creating new ones.

The other reason is clarity of intent. CC licenses, for example, cover a range of use cases, and the terms of each license are clearly explained in the deeds. Also, because they are widely used, you don't need to work hard get people to understand what they can and can't do with CC-licensed works.

treat IP as an enemy

"IP" is the enemy. It's a misleading corporate propaganda phrase. Copyrights and trademarks, on the other hand, are legal tools, which can be hacked to create our own tools like copyleft licenses, or the Creator Endorse Mark.

Note: It would be really helpful to the overall project if, when you comment, you could locate your comments under the most appropriate thread.

Where? I'm not aware of any thread other than this one.

  1. A platform for sharing,

How will this be different from all the existing ones?

  1. A 'KiteMark' (this is where I think P2P could really help

Some kind of shared trademark, like CEM or Toi Iho, yes? For what specific purpose? Or do you just mean a logo from CultureBank itself?

  1. a Mutual Fund (held in distributed 'commons').

I'm really not sure why you mean by this collection of terms. Do you mean some kind of crypto-token thing like FairCoin or Steem?

Final thoughts; NIH syndrome is the enemy of new projects. There's absolutely nothing wrong with strapping together pre-existing components from the commons. This is what most projects do, especially for rapid prototyping at the beginning. It allows you to focus your own work on building the genuinely new bits, that haven't been created by anyone before.

CultureBanking could use an existing media-hosting CMS like MediaGoblin, GNU FM, FunkWhale, or PeerTube (or a few); the CC licenses with NonCommercial use clauses; the Creator-Endorsed Mark for any physical products you sell; and one or more of the existing royalty collection tools like Flattr or Patreon (or Ko-Fi or whatever you think your audience will use). As with any business, the challenge is to build a roster of talent that can attract an audience, and inspire them to buy/ subscribe/ donate. That's where you need to invest your time, finding designers to make your custom electric cars, and people to buy them, not trying to reinvent wheels.


Liam Murphy Fri 18 May 2018

Strypey - We'd probably do better to have had a conversation before we go into the tit for tat adversarials on 'defending projects/positions'. I wont carry this forwards as it's not producing anything. I appreciate the time and interest and I'll follow your references. I think you have misunderstood what I'm doing in one fundamental way: I'm not selling anything for anyone... including independent film makers - that is their job. If they 'flounder on rocks', that is the fault (in my opinion) of their 'independence'. We need each other... I think we're still agreed that CC licenses are not solving the floundering tho! All best, Liam.


Liam Murphy Fri 18 May 2018

PS Strypey - There are 11 open threads here (maybe I'm not understanding the tech and u can't see them?) If you can spare the time to distribute your comments in the places where they might belong - or open a new thread if needed - I'll answer them. Otherwise, we're making a bit of a mess!

This seems to cut across the whole thing tho, so will venture one 'answer':

"Maybe you could talk to them about what you think might work better than"give stuff away"? Other than a handful of anti-commons DRM-mongers like Apple and Neflix, all the online models I can think of are based on some form of free sharing"

I am talking to them about what would work better - been doing little else for the last 4 years: "Stop giving it all away" is what I'm saying to them. It's naive. It weakens nearly everybody else. CB is not based on free sharing - you've just explained why it's different - thanks. 'Not giving it away' doesn't mean you have to use IP to extract endless profits - for nothing. Extract value for something - even if it's a 'guided donation', but then, when there's surplus, that goes back into a common pot - even if that means 'enclosing' some stuff. What the 'common pot' looks like - not my problem - but a nice problem - for the commons. (it's a problem for 'the state' as things stand, but surely something we'd be better put to hypothesising about here..?). The point is, as you eloquently point out - it's a problem 'we' don't yet have coz no-one is making any real money... best, Liam.


Danyl Strype Fri 18 May 2018


it's a problem 'we' don't yet have coz no-one is making any real money.

This is untrue, just as the "no films" claim was untrue. 'Sita Sings the Blues' is just one counterexample:
See also: http://freesoftwaremagazine.com/articles/artists_should_be_paid_part_3_big_picture/

The HumbleBundles of freely licensed games are another. There are many more. When you start following the Kalahnikov principle, you will be able to correct such mistaken assumptions, and thus make your proposed project more likely to succeed.

There are 11 open threads here

Do you mean in the Commons Transition group or your own CultureBanks Loomio group?

If you can spare the time to distribute your comments in the places where they might belong

Given the responses to my attempts to engage constructively with your proposal here, I have zero interest in doing any further unpaid consultancy work in your private group. Best of luck with your project.


Liam Murphy Fri 18 May 2018

It’s not a private group Strypey. I will follow your links - as I said - and I appreciate it - as I said. It’s not ‘mine’ and I’ve been doing unpaid consulting on it for 4 years. Perhaps ‘no films’ and ‘no money’ are too severe. ‘Relatively few and small sums’ seems more reasonable. Liam


Nick S Fri 18 May 2018

Checking, the CB group does seem to be private in that it is closed, and can't be read by non-members (although presumably anyone can be come a member).


Nick S Fri 18 May 2018

Please be excellent to each other :) @strypey, I'm sure you know you are being relentless in your posting and forceful in your wording, and since this isn't the only forum and you aren't the only one asking penetrating questions about CF/CB, we should empathise with the strain this may be placing on @liammurphy to assimilate the referenced points and respond. (I fail badly at keeping up with all the discussions from groups subscribed to myself, and that's mostly just reading them.)

Anyway, I'm curious, can you paraphrase the "Kalahnikov principle"? A web search doesn't reveal it. My best guess is you mean Kalashnikov, and a search for "kalashnikov design principle" gets this:

Don't design for a perfect world, because the world isn't perfect. Design simple things that are rugged, reliable, simple and easy to use; things that work even when conditions are chaotic; things that work even when they are mostly broken.

Although that doesn't seem like a tool "to correct such mistaken assumptions."


Liam Murphy Fri 18 May 2018

Hi Nick,

Anyone can become a member as far as I’m aware...

I just thought it best to keep it discreet to those with an active interest... was hoping people would self select and invite others in.

I’m happy to open it up though... Is that something I should have a vote on according to (known/unknown?) protocols?!



Nick S Fri 18 May 2018

I think it's just a question of discretion versus convenience for bystanders. I only mention it because you mentioned "11 open threads" which I infer are on the CultureBanks group and if so can't be seen by Danyl?


Simon Grant Thu 24 May 2018

Alongside Nick @wulee I'd really value reflection on how this kind of conversation could be done more fruitfully. Could we, for instance, make an effort to reflect back what we have positively heard from others? Personally, I hear @liammurphy searching for a way for is group of "creatives" to make a living ("creatives" in quotes simply to acknowledge that there are other kinds of creativity as well). I hear him having a go at what seems to him the most practical route; trying to work in as much commons thinking as he can, and asking for help specifically with his approach, as advocating a completely different approach isn't going to help him.

I hear @strypey sharing some of his huge and valuable experience in this whole commons field, which leads him to the "critical friend" position something like that he wouldn't start from where Liam is starting from.

I hear Liam saying something a bit like "what you're saying isn't helping me, because I can't relate it to where I am starting from", which is perfectly understandable; and I hear Strypey saying something a bit like "if your understanding and experience was like mine, you might be more willing to consider alternative paths", which is also perfectly understandable.

I think we could all agree that if someone is going down a path that others see little virtue in, the others should not be expected to help; also that if someone is attached to a particular path, no one can expect them to change path just by persuasion.

I can personally imagine two ways forward in principle, though to find practical ways could be hard, and both look time consuming.
1. Interpreting that wider experience in terms that make better sense from the more focused starting point, perhaps outlining a path that starts from there. Feels a bit like a business support / consultancy project.
2. Researching other past and present projects that have addressed similar fields, or have similar contexts, to arrive at more hopeful pointers for a way of achieving similar overall goals. Definitely looks like a research project.

Neither is something that I think anyone could be expected to do simply out of the goodness of their heart! But if anyone can think of a way to set up a commons-based research consultancy that could make a living doing this kind of thing, please count me in: I would have loads to contribute! Both kinds of work have human subtleties that aren't immediately apparent; they are arts, not exact sciences :)


Danyl Strype Thu 24 May 2018

Simon, thanks for laying all this out.


Liam Murphy Fri 25 May 2018

Thanks for that Simon. It’s interesting that both Strypey and yourself seem to feel that CultureBanks is asking for - or needs - paid/unpaid consultancy...if I read correctly-?

One fact requires clearing up which is no matter for debate:

Neither Culturebanking or Copyfair are private companies.

It may be that I had foreseen a different use for the platform- which to my mind was a potential for open collaboration.

I can still see this, though something like a Slack group might be more appropriate to dedicated team work.

If you are working here, you are working in common on the commons.

That seems important to establish.

Had I a ‘Commons Consulting’ interest, I’d be asking who would pay me? So, equally interested in your question!

All best,



Simon Grant Fri 25 May 2018

Hi Liam @liammurphy -- I'd want to clarify that I am not saying that CultureBanks "needs" consultancy in any objective sense, because estimating the need is clearly up to you, and if you want to stick with the way you are going, clearly you don't need a consultant to tell you that ;) What I was saying (if you look again carefully) is that to apply the wider knowledge of someone like @strypey to your very particular situation would be in effect a consultancy job, though quite a specialised one! That's just one of the two ways forward that I can envisage -- there may well be more :) And I don't mean to appear to restrict your actual way forward, which may be exactly the way you are heading. I just mean, the ways forward that I can personally envisage as blending the available knowledge and enthusiasm together.


Danyl Strype Sat 9 Jun 2018


CultureBanks is asking for - or needs - paid/unpaid consultancy

You posted a thread on Commons Transition about your project, and invited feedback. This feeback is what I mean by "consultancy".

Neither Culturebanking or Copyfair are private companies.

This is neither here nor there. Many private companies produce goods for the commons (eg Loomio), and many not-for-profits produce proprietary (non-common) goods, for the private benefit of their members (eg TimeBanks USA's CommunityWeaver 3.0). It seems to me that your project fits the second category, which is why I questioned why you expect unpaid consultancy on your project from CommonsTransition folks, on a project that is for the private, financial benefit of your group.

I can still see this, though something like a Slack group might be more appropriate to dedicated team work.

There are many good reasons not to use Slack, and plenty of free code alternatives:

However, it's a decision best made by those who will use it. Maybe use the proposal tools in your CultureBank Loomio group to make a decision about what the best chat tool is for your group's needs?

If you are working here, you are working in common on the commons.

1) Where do you mean by "here"? This thread? The CommonsTransition Loomio group? Loomio.org as a whole? The web? The internet?

2) What do you mean by "commons"? CT folks usually work with a definition loosly based on Elinor Ostrom's work, although with some necessary modifications for the particular situations of non-rivalrous goods (eg code, copies) on the global internet. What is your definition?


Liam Murphy Mon 11 Jun 2018

Quick responses: 1. 'here' - I mean 'CultureBanks'. 2. Commons - I mean sharing stuff in some way for common purposes. Re: Private/Non Private - was just responding to your comments re being a 'private company'. If neither here nor there - why make the comment? Feedback is feedback - not consultancy. It's also voluntary...

Strypey, it seems you are occupying some sort of 'gatekeeper' role for 'Us CT Folk'...? I might not define commons in the same way as you but I'm equally able to build commons according to my definition (so long as its shared in common with others). Obviously, it would be better if we could agree terms, but there comes a point when I have to make a choice between doing generative work on this project and defending it. I think the best way to defend it is to do that generative work.. To that end, I offer the invitation I wrote when I set the group up - if you feel there's a problem with it - please let me know - and I'll consider re-wording?:

"Welcome to CultureBanks: A stewardship initiative aiming to pool creative assets under commons agreements, manage them and 'bank' residual incomes: Or - A 'Citizen's Wealth Fund' drawn from shared mutually owned assets."

I've also had this passed to me, which, I think, has some resonance ( and perhaps some problems) but it's not a million miles from what I am aiming to develop here. Maybe you'd like to put your critical skills to deciphering its 'commons credentials'? - https://medium.com/@McDapper/the-civic-trust-e674f9aeab43
Still up for a chat if you think it might ID some common ground.... best, Liam.


Liam Murphy Fri 25 May 2018

Noted Simon - and thanks again...

I’m not sure the need is either clear or ‘up to me’... ( tho of course I have ideas). As I said, it’s not a private company...

This might seem an odd question - and feel free to skip it - but, what would you see my job as being?

I think what you are saying is that Strypey, or anyone else with close relevant experience would need to be paid to work on this - as consultant or other and I’d agree... hence it needs a working business plan.

IMO- CultureBanks and Copyfair most definitely do need consultation for application in practice!



Simon Grant Fri 25 May 2018

Thanks -- yes, please interpret "you" as plural, the people in CultureBanks, not just thee. I see thee as perhaps being a catalyst, I suppose. Like the chemical or biological ones, catalysts promote some reactions better than others ;)


Liam Murphy Fri 25 May 2018

Thumbs up emoji!


Liam Murphy Sat 9 Jun 2018


Can I suggest, given your level of interest, that we have a chat over the phone/Skype etc.. I think you’ve drawn a couple of conclusions about ‘my’ project ( it’s not my project) which are inaccurate. No doubt my fault for lack of clarity.. I might be able to give you a clearer idea of the aims this way...?

Thanks for links and suggestions- all noted.

My email is thegallery133@gmail.com

Let me know if that sounds useful?

All best



Danyl Strype Wed 27 Jun 2018

I'm just reading the platform cooperativism book 'Ours to Hack and Own', and I thought this quote from Yochai Benkler's essay 'The Realism of Cooperativism' seemed particularly relevant to projects like CultureBank.

“There are real challenges before peer cooperativism can occupy a substantial space in the networked economy. Peer production has thrived on pooling voluntary contributions of participants who had other means of making a living. This allowed commons-based peer production to release its outputs mostly free of charge, as well as “free as in freedom.” Peer cooperativism, if it is to become part of the solution to the increased economic insecurity for the many in the twenty-first century, must be able to sustain cooperation while charging customers and users a price and fairly distributing the proceeds among the peers. This is a challenge that commons-based peer production did not face. The established cooperative movement has shown that the challenge is not insurmountable, but it is real. Not least among these challenges will be the need to mediate the driving ethic of peer production, ensuring that its outputs are in the commons and available for all, with the necessity of providing income to the peers themselves. This will be easier for service models, as we have seen with FOSS, than for information goods that do not have a clear service model, like stock photography. Ethical coherence strongly suggests that cooperatives providing information goods must develop models of shared membership or service, rather than aim for building on an “intellectual property” strategy that will separate these cooperatives from the heart of the movement.”

Yochai's whole essay is well worth reading. Here's a gratis .PDF of the book, but I encourage you to buy a print copy if you can afford to.


Liam Murphy Wed 27 Jun 2018

This is useful as it begins to spell out and examine, if not re-frame, the relationship between ‘information goods’ (needs definition?) cooperativism, peer production, commons and Intellectual Property.

The wider relationships of ‘The Arts’, Technology and Commons create new opportunities and difficulties too.

Thanks for sharing as re-framing these relationships is exactly what CB aims to do...

It is only the ‘rather than’, which stands shared ownership in opposition to IP, I’d be critical of, but perhaps this is elaborated elsewhere?

My interest is in IP which does not oppose/damage the commons... and if such a thing is possible? Commonly held IP seems to suggest it is.. IP held in trust or commons funds and enablers, like PPL, for commons to stand ground against private sector hoarding/divestment etc.

My initial response would be to ask whether ‘the driving ethic of peer production’ can be mediated, initially, by ensuring that ‘benefits’ at least, if not all ‘outputs’ ( is this realistic?) are made available to the Commons.

I will write something more considered by way of a response after digesting but for now, thanks again 🙏 and let’s hold fire on the debating til I can give full attention to it...?

Do you by any chance know of any platforms which already exist for simply attaching PPL’s (‘Peer Production Licenses’) to goods? (Registered Commons excepted)

Strikes me that unless such a widespreading platform exists, the realities will never be stretched or tested.. The initial investment needed to make a platform like this work would be IRO £1million... according to the business plan for it..