[rumori] the oldest issue in the world: money

From: Lloyd Dunn (llATdetritus.net)
Date: Mon Dec 02 2002 - 10:57:38 PST

For the last few years, we have been fortunate enough to enjoy the
use of the detritus.net server to serve up Tape-beatle content
consisting of html, mp3s and movies. Steev Hise, the sysadmin for the
server, placed no practical restrictions on how we used the server
space. So, we happily uploaded our entire creative output, musical,
cinematic, and otherwise, and made it available for free to all

We did this in the altruistic belief that our work was constructed
from the previously 'finished' works of others, and so the least we
could do is stay poor and seek only to cover our monetary outlay in
making and maintaining our public presence.

Recently this situation has changed. Due to circumstances beyond his
control, Steev was forced to move the server to a co-location
facility, with a pay-per-bandwidth fee structure. We were gratified
to find that we were one of the 5 most popular destinations on his
server, with about 90% of total detritus traffic in mp3 downloads. The
new situation, however, meant we would have to pay an amount
reflecting our monthly use to help cover Steev's costs. We're not
talking about huge amounts of money here, but the sums were certainly
more than the Tape-beatles could sustain over the long haul.

We enjoy giving our work away; but our new billing
obligations create the situation where, the more mp3s that people
download, the more we would have to pay for our share of Steev's
bill. So our expenditures would be outside of our control -- not a
desirable situation, to say the least.

Steev offered the option to 'throttle' our bandwidth so that it could
not go over a certain amount per month. So that's what we're doing
for the time being. Basically, if visitors use up our bandwidth for
an allotted time period, downloads speeds slow down. At worst, people
will get a message to the effect that there are currently too many
users on the system at the moment, but try back later.

But we wanted to raise the issue with various relevant mailing list
communities just to get a sense of how people felt about this sort of
thing. Ideally the work should simply be available. But which, of the
options we've considered (below), are the most appealing to you?
Or, can you think of other better options?

1) Limit bandwidth. Keep everything free, but possibly inconvenient
or even temporarily unavailable. (Which is how it is right now.)

2) Don't limit bandwidth, but charge per download. Sell entire album
or video downloads for a modest fee ($5?), but they would always be
available at the best speed possible.

3) Don't limit bandwidth, but don't make all the work freely
available. Have a few tracks up from each record or video program,
and then steer visitors towards buying the physical release (CD or
Video) instead.

4) Subscription model of some kind. User gives small donation ($10?)
in exchange for a password that would allow them unlimited access to
a certain set of files.

In 2, 3, and 4, it should be assumed that moneys collected would be
used to pay for more bandwidth.

Basically, we want to make our work available as freely as possible.
But we don't feel obligated to pay for more bandwidth just to give
our stuff away. The listeners should meet us halfway -- but will
they? That is the real question.

Thoughts? Comments?


# Lloyd Dunn : llATdetritus.net # The Tape-beatles and Public Works Productions : http://pwp.detritus.net/ # Photostatic Magazine Retrograde Archive : http://psrf.detritus.net/ # - - - - - - - - - - - # Address | c/o Heckovi, Veltruská 531/9, Prosek, 19000 Praha-9, CZ ---------------------------------------------------- Rumori, the Detritus.net Discussion List to unsubscribe, send mail to majordomoATdetritus.net with "unsubscribe rumori" in the message body. ---------------------------------------------------- Rumori list archives & other information are at http://detritus.net/contact/rumori ----------------------------------------------------

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