James Zhang

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New Paradigm Shift in Patents and Intellectual Property

Here's my thread about new Social Media platform for Ideas: http://www.ted.com/conversations/12881/social_media_platform_for_idea.html

Here's what I've realized what needs to be done. So take piracy and the music industry for instance.

Before, the model was pay-per-albums and pay-per-song model. Piracy, however, made it easy to steal the songs and distribute them for free. This is a problem, because artists make money off of each song or album. If other people get them for free, how will they make money to support themselves? And what's worse is piracy is pretty unstoppable. By design, it's easy to do, and hard to stop and regulate. Why should people PAY for songs when they can easily get them for free? From what I've seen, the only people who really pay for the songs are only doing it to support the artists themselves. These people realized that there will be more great songs if they simply support the artist.

So here's the Paradigm Shift:

THE SONGS/ALBUMS ARE THE FREE SAMPLES. THE ARTIST IS THE TRUE PRODUCT. One great song is great. But a million great songs is GREATER.

The individual songs themselves aren't gonna make more music, only the artist can.

The paradigm shift should now be: We need to support the artists directly somehow, not the songs.

So what kind of business models are trying to support this paradigm?

Spotify, and a few others.

  • Aug 3 2012: How much money is the product worth? Until recently, most musicians geo their product distributed because of record companies, which kept most of the profits. Now musicians can make their own product and distribute it themselves for a much lower cost. They can sell far fewer units, but make as much if not more money. As far as people paying, I think that they should. Artists can now set their own price. The art is only worth what people are willing to pay for the product. There are artists that sell paintings for a few dollars and artists who sell paintings for millions. It's a wide open market.
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      Aug 3 2012: Yep, pretty much, it's the record companies who are the real source of problem imo. Right now, more people are starting to realize the uselessness and inefficiencies of the record companies. This is pretty much the same exact issue with researchers trying to publish their own content through the publishing companies. The researchers are realizing now that they simply don't need the publishing companies anymore.

      So I think that when there becomes a new paradigm business model, like Spotify and others, these will eventually become the more favorable and the record companies will simply die out eventually.
  • Aug 3 2012: lol :) I agree the outcome would be the same, but one gets people talking and the other falls flat. Whatever that word is it's going to be important.
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      Aug 3 2012: Marketing strategies really are indeed important...
  • Aug 3 2012: Maybe, but is the word "donation" marketable? Can the industry brand the word "donation"? The industry will have to pour considerable resources into making that little twitter button reach a viral status. What would create the tipping point to change an industry?
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      Aug 3 2012: I doubt it lol

      We could simply just call it some fancy name that sounds cool, but effectively, it would just be the same thing as donation.

      I dunno maybe we can call it...

      Viralize
      #trend-make
      + 1 Dollar

      I dunno, I'm can't think of any good names atm. But you get the point.
  • Aug 3 2012: When I saw your question I thought....TWITTER. Artists have twitter followers. Why not create a platform that allows individuals to pay to follow. This payment would allow a follower access to all of the artists work for a particular time. A membership so to speak. This way people are not being asked to be charitable (give if you feel like it) and the artist has more control over their income. With a premium account followers could gain back stage access so to speak.
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      Aug 3 2012: Indeed, there's another business model called "donation-based" model.

      So why don't we just simply add a "Donate $1" button on someone's twitter page?
      • Aug 3 2012: I think the word "donation" places the artist at the mercy of the public. Whereas a button called "PREMIUM FOLLOW" would allow a follower to pay to follow. This would give the followers access to that artists IP. Download at will but sharing capabilities would be restricted.
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          Aug 3 2012: Well, I mean if you think about it, "donations" is not much different than a regular business nowadays.

          A business is also at the mercy of the public. If the business doesn't sell products that anyone wants, they're done for. So if the artist doesn't make anything that anyone wants to hear/see, they're done for.
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      Aug 3 2012: I mean if you think about it, we're not paying twitter guys in "pay-per-tweet". I'm just saying...
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    Aug 2 2012: The idea is:

    Give everyone free music, but let them have the option to click on "Donate $1" Button.
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    Aug 2 2012: Ok, I think I got an idea that might work.

    In addition to paying the artist a fixed rate in some way, how about making the "pay-per-song" paradigm optional? One of my friends told me that he gets all his songs for free, but he'll only decide to buy the album/cd to support the artist for their good works. So we could have something like a "Donate $1" Button for the artist when listening to the song.

    Artist Income = Fixed Base Rate + Bonuses

    Fixed Base Rate: Not sure how this is determined yet, but basically they're getting paid for being dishing out great music, or their music is being enjoyed on a regular basis... Yeah still not sure how to determine this...

    Bonuses: donations from others for their good work.
  • Aug 1 2012: Again, I cannot give you another thumbs up for this wonderful idea. Thank you for starting this conversation. I have always wondered why our wonderful society does not do more to encourage creativity, since that is the source of our greatness and prosperity. I would think people would deeply regret that Mozart and van Gogh were allowed to live and die in poverty. Imagine their creative output had they lived another 27 years and had enough money to buy the materials ( e.g., great piano, fine paint brushes) they required to produce the great art that marketers and noncreative people now make millions off of because they own their works and can sell their works to others who may or may not create anything of value.
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      Aug 1 2012: Srsly, who knows how great those previous guys could have been. But then, imagine how great society would be if everyone was a "genius"/"artist" in that respect? Everyone would be a ridiculously great artist in their own right, and everyone would be as interesting as guys like Einstein or Mozart.
      • Aug 1 2012: We are......potentially and actually in many cases.
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          Aug 1 2012: I've read an article about Autism. The thing about these people is that they are highly fascinated by things that grab their attention, but they have a hard time speaking or developing good speaking abilities. So while they're basically geniuses, their social skills and communication skills tend to suck. And there's been quite a few people who are starting to realize that they

          Aspergers is also similar, but less extreme I think...
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    Aug 1 2012: how about abolishing all IP laws at once? before you dismiss the idea as ridiculous, first check out the TED talks of clay shirky and larry lessig. then look for video lectures or writings of stephan kinsella.
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      Aug 1 2012: As much as I'd want that to happen, I've learned that a current system can be really hard to change on the fundamental level once it has been established and adopted. So perhaps the easiest way imo to change the current system is to offer something new and "better" and then people will naturally detach themselves from the old system to adopt the new one.

      So to me, imo the most effective way is to create a new system, set a good example for others to agree on, and then eventually the newer generation of people will see this system is awesome, and a new and strong demand for the new system rather than the old will be created.
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      Aug 1 2012: Oh wait, why don't we just create like a private Ted school?

      Dang, that would be badass!
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    Aug 1 2012: Here's another story I thought I should share.

    At my work, my boss was dreading to tackle this one problem that would have taken him a week to do. So me, being the intern, he asked me for help. So I helped him, and without much more than 10 minutes, I have isolated where exactly the problem is. I showed my boss, and he was like, "Wait a minute, that's it! That must be it!" With that newfound knowledge that I found, he knew exactly what the problem was eventually. And then he fixed the problem himself, not me.

    I have used 10 minutes of my time, to help him. He finished fixing that problem in half a day, which would have otherwise have taken 1 week. How ridiculously efficient was that? It didn't take me much effort at all, but the result was astonishing! Later that day, he took me out to lunch and we all kumbaya'd LOL

    So point is, a lot of times, the best solution is the "smarter" solution, not the "stronger" solution.