Building on top of RadicalxChange’s concept
RadicalxChange (RxC) is a well funded global movement and community comprised of scientists, designers, researchers and academics confronting extreme social problems with “radical” new ideas and concepts that can become implemented. A few members of Big Mother’s DAO are also members of this community.
RadicalxChange’s Matt Prewitt introduced a concept to the community called “Plural Money”, which comes from a desire of his for creating new forms of “money” that are localized to specific communities, a form of money that is purely local instead of universal, like USD or the EURO.
Matt identifies, like I do, that “Money is language. Money is a communication technology. It resembles language, democracy, law and telephone networks in that people use it to send messages.”
Because we can look at money like an information system, a language––we want to use the language, the “money”, in a “truthful” way. According to Matt, this is not possible with “universal money”, which basically means that human nature will “game the system of money” to just make more money, even if the message of the money they are using appears counter to that purpose. It means you will buy things that you may not like only because it will earn you more money. You may be a vegan, but your investment portfolio includes “pork rinds” because that makes you money, even if it is counter to your own principles or ethics.
Money as a language makes people greedy, and that greed, that money and that language, can move communities or individuals further away from their own purpose, or even their own happiness, and this is where something like “plural money” could come in.
Is it possible to create a form of “plural money” that is local, and a perfect expression of both value (in a way that is measured financially, and translatable back to “universal” currency) as well as stored “appreciation” value that is localized to a small group?
Matt has a lot of thoughts on ways to design such a currency (see “Plural Money, a New Currency Design”) and this is complemented by the “soulbound” explorations of “sovereign currency” explored in relationship to cryptocurrency and the blockchain.
Introducing a form of “plural money” using natural copyright.
There is a big push in design to find this “plural” money, some sort of “soulbound” token that is somehow both an expression of an abstraction while also able to “speak” in universal terms of “cash”.
I suggest we don’t have to do that much digging around to find a natural expression of this value that Matt and the “soulbound” group of developers are working on, because we already have that in the form of formal “copyright”.
Copyright is a natural form of plural money
Or at least it can be. Copyright is a natural value that is literally created from “nothing” but a blank piece of paper, and there is no cherished cultural expression in the history of the world that can not be captured as “copyright”.
The law, at least here in the US, already has precedent, under no circumstances can anyone other than the creator assign the copyright. And anyone can be a creator of copyright, individual, corporation, collective, nonprofit, government, a rap group, anyone.
The copyright assignment is itself a “licensing stream” that assigns all the monetary value to that work to whomever the creator deems appropriate.
Equity is cool, but copyright is eternal.
Copyright is “eternal” and can survive the collapse of corporations, all of whom “horde” copyright and never make it available to the public (or even the creators themselves!), they are happy to sell you stock all day, but they will never sell you the copyright, why?
Because that is the true store of value. Without copyright, many corporations would be worthless.
So how can we make natural copyright “plural”?
Thank you web3, thank you.
The registration of a creative work with the US Copyright Office is a type of contract. A smart contract, which also has a location and an address, can be included in the registration of the copyrighted work.
This means that, say I create a series of illustrations––I would then use smart contracts to turn them into NFTs, and then take the address of the NFTs and register both the creative work along with the address of the smart contract with the US Copyright Office.
Viola, now there is no distinction between a formal copyright contract (which can contain licensing stream assignments) and a smart contract or token, which means that anyone who has the actual “NFT” in their wallet, is actually holding the “formal copyright” of the work, not just a digital recreation (which is worthless from a universal money perspective).
The Theme of the Purpose can distribute the profit to the cause
Communities create valuable copyright all the time. It starts to get wild and out of hand in a good way when the chemistry of a creative collective can unite with a big purpose. A big purpose finds natural inspiration in a community, and can take the form of visual art, music, writing and even technology.
Using copyright as the mechanism to deliver plural money and soulbound value around inspired purpose is already here.
Big Mother’s DAO is piloting this form of “plural money” in the form of community created “copyright” which takes the expression of a narrative story (like a movie or mini-series), a large art collection (1,080 unique works by prominent artists) which expresses the “theme” of our community.
Bucky Fuller’s Design Revolution
Much of the inspiration for our form of plural money comes from whole system designer R. Buckminster Fuller’s “Design Revolution” which called for the “spontaneous collaboration” between artists and scientists to generate a global energy grid. While a global energy grid is pretty far outside of any expertise our DAO has, we take the “design revolution” in terms of design principles to the internet itself, using it to tackle some very serious problems around online misinformation and content distribution. So the “plural money” we create gets redirected to tech startups who can fulfill on the purpose.
Copyright, once sold to someone, can be later “matched” by equity, depending on conditions on the ground. One set of conditions comes in the form of SEC regulated security tokens (like can be found in Reg A+ Crowdfunding), but it could even include things like convertible notes if the holder of the copyright is an accredited investor.
This means that anyone, startup, nonprofit, or individual, can use copyright in combination with smart contracts to build community value, store it as a creative asset with formal copyright assignments, and then use it to fund tech companies or any company that is fulfilling on the purpose, who then return equity back to the community in some way, depending on conditions, all stored in the value of the digital work, stored in a digital wallet.
A whole system of community participation and funding in three easy steps.
- A community of artists, designers, engineers and scientists identify a shared purpose. (A big purpose too, because the bigger the purpose, the more inspiring to the artists and designers. So don’t think small, come up with a “big purpose” that can attract sophisticated and seasoned artists as well as engineers.)
- The purpose gets translated into a “theme” which is then created by various artists into any kind of medium or include any form of media, from real world paintings or sculptures, novels, film, TV, music. Essentially it is now a product to sell that is either a “ticket” or a “sales receipt”.
- The sale of the product goes to the designers and engineers, the “startups”, who then match the receipt of purchase or ticket holder with an equity contract (in this case, SEC regulated security tokens) as the funds generated created product prototypes, pilots, or even launch. (essentially, accommodating what is historically an angel round, and even Series A round, so a “fund” in the traditional sense)
The “ticket” or the “sales receipt” is also a copyright license assignment contract which awards co-ownership in the community in an exact way that is measurable, like acquiring “stock” but its not stock, it’s just copyright.
This allows for the “plural money”, in the form of NFT contracts, to be hedged to equity valuations and USD cash transactions from licensing streams, making it very stable, a combination of different assets in one.
The community can be composed of individuals, companies or non-profits and still use a DAO structure via a multi signature wallet, as the DAO is just the network united around a purpose and connecting via a wallet. An asset company can be created within the community, further building equity and assigning equity to match the copyright created.
As the community generates copyright, the community is then measured by the value of the copyright itself directly, allowing it to act like stock does in a company.
The creators and consumers of the seductive media which distributes the theme of the purpose generate a profit (ticket sales, for example) which is also bundled as a licensing stream NFT.
All 100% of the “profits” made via the above transaction get distributed to the designers of technology or products that then serve the purpose.
These startup that accept money from this community reward the same community back with equity via SEC regulated tokens in equal relation to how much formal “copyright” they own in the whole system.
This allows for a completely compliant system of fundraising developing a type of plural money that is community created and can interact with real world equity and USD measurements.