There are always debates about business models. Years ago, everyone was saying that you should focus on Flash. Anyone who suggested Java was perfectly fine to use got pushback. When asked to justify Java for game development, people would say, “Look at how successful Runescape is!” and the Flash proponents would say, “But that’s the exception!”
Minecraft would come later.
Similarly, I recall talking to someone about a business model for making open source games, and I was told that you couldn’t make a living from it. I pointed out games such as Second Life and was told, “But that doesn’t count!”
Counterexamples in these kinds of arguments are always exceptions that don’t count for some reason.
Creative Commons, the nonprofit organization that enables the sharing and use of creativity and knowledge through free legal tools, decided to write a book on open business models to show how exceptional they really are.
We want to show the world the full spectrum of open business models made using Creative Commons. Our goal is to begin to answer what we consider one of the most important questions of the digital age: how do creators make money to sustain what they do when they are letting the world reuse their work?
As of this writing, the Kickstarter campaign has 20 days left and is almost halfway to its funding goal.
For the last couple of decades, people have questioned how you can make a living by giving away what has traditionally been protected by copyright, patent, and trademark law. And some of these people get animatedly threatened by the idea, as if it somehow smells too politically threatening.
While some websites have tried to list open business models in the past, I think an entire book on the topic would fill a void in the debate.