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The software lets creators set up a virtual system into which money has to be thrown before a work is made available


(it is an implementation of the "Street Performer Protocol" proposed by Bruce Schneier and John Kelsey).

Copycan, currently in development, will be a free software application that allows authors to upload a work and determine the sum of money for which they will make it freely available to the public. Listeners can then support the project by collectively funding the project." ([1])

How it Works

" invites creators to propose a project – a CD, film, book, whatever – and declare how much money they will need to complete it. Interested “customers” can then make a contribution to the project. The money is put in an escrow account at until (and if) enough money is raised for the project to proceed. If the funding goal is reached, the creator completes the project and releases it to the world under a Creative Commons license. The song or film or text comes unencumbered with digital rights restrictions management (DRM). It is “born free” and can be freely used, without permission or payment, from that point forward. has chosen a great tagline for itself: “Buy it for the commons.” (


In September 2006, report by Philippe Aigrain:

"At this point, however, is more of an idea than a working reality. When I checked out the website, it was still in “prototype #4.” There are lots of loose ends, and the project seems to be behind schedule. But I found it an intriguing idea. If it comes up with the right user interfaces, reputation systems and community ethic, it just might work as a way for the commons to finance new works. Indie filmmaker Robert Greenwald used a similar approach for his latest project, Iraq for Sale, about war profiteers unleashed by the Bush Administration." (