I e-spoke with a very talented illustrator t’other day about purchasing a print of one of her pics. Trouble is, the image in question not only depicts a scene from a major science-fiction franchise but also includes the most famous text from the book. So she doesn’t want to sell prints out of fear the Big Copyright Machine will come for her and her loved ones.
The work is there. There’s someone willing to pay for it (namely me). Should be pretty straightforward.
I propose a solution: legitimize the sale of art based on existing content. 50/50 split between the artist and the copyright owner. Somebody draws a bitchin’ Samus and sells it as a T-shirt on Cafepress, Nintendo gets 50% of the sale. The copyright owner has the ability to cast Cease-And-Desist on anything they don’t like, for example a piece that doesn’t fit with canon or represents the character in a way they dislike.
Does this open the gates for people other than the owner to make money off their content? Yes. But it also provides an easy revenue stream they don’t have to do a thing to maintain. Maybe follow up on a few folks to scare ’em.
Do I need to use a buzzword? How about “crowdsourced”?