(Hidden) Transaction Systems of Free Culture and Free Culture Entrepreneurs

A round table report by Robert Van Boeschoten

On Friday 29th of November at the Nieuwe Instituut in Rotterdam a diverse group of people came together to discuss the hidden transaction systems of free culture. How are interactions shaped between participants in the production and circulation of free culture? What kind of transactions take place there? And who benefits?

At the table artists, creative entrepreneurs, media experts and researchers discussed the possibility of organizing networks to finance the making of cultural and artistic projects. Participants agreed that the use of networks or network economies alone could not be seen as a general strategy to get a project up and running. A film, for instance, needs a lot of pre-finance, and is therefore very different from a music album or dance performance, and relates in different ways to a crowd or network of people.

Trust turns out to be of central importance. This translates best as a form of marketing or recognition in the public domain of your product. We should be open for more examples on how people manage and share networks in a productive way so others can build on these experiences and start to create their own.

In the plenary debate that followed, representatives of the  media production company Submarine Channel, the online distribution network VODO and the open source software company Blender detailed their own finance and distribution models. (read more)