The Consortium wants to secure all intellectual property rights in all formats (forever) to the final book in Aaron Pogue's bestselling Dragonprince Trilogy.
Aaron has agreed to sell these rights (easily worth hundreds of thousands of dollars) to the Consortium for a one-time payment of $30,000.
If the Consortium can acquire the property, we'll dedicate it to the public domain. No rights reserved.
I'm Aaron Pogue. Bestselling author, publisher, and founder of the
Consortium. And I want to talk to you about the fine nuances of
intellectual property law in the digital media era.
Bear with me. It'll be more interesting than it sounds.
Last June I was a completely unknown author working a day job for the government when I published a fantasy novel with the help of a small but dedicated group of volunteers. Since then, Taming Fire has sold over 70,000 copies.
In December I published the sequel, The Dragonswarm. That one has already generated $150,000 in sales, and it's still going strong. Thanks to the success of these two titles, I was able to quit my day job and dedicate myself full-time to writing and publishing.
Now I have a small non-profit organization built around the publishing projects, and it depends entirely on the money we're making off sales of those two books. But as of the first of this month, we've relinquished all intellectual property rights to both books.
Those rights could have made me a fortune. A single movie option could make my publishing company a fortune. But we're passing up that opportunity in search of something better.
Our goal is to build an alternative model for funding the arts in today's new
media market. We
want to pay writers to write books. We want to pay musicians to compose beautiful music. We want to pay artists to make art.
We want to make Being an
Artist into a real job.
That's the dream. And it comes with a very interesting side effect. Because, if an artist really gets paid to be
an artist...there's a lot less pressure to get paid for sharing that
art with an audience. If someone paid me a salary to sit around writing
novels, I wouldn't need to collect semi-annual royalty payments and a
big ol' check when Hollywood comes calling.
other words...I wouldn't need copyright. Patronage is more than an
exciting new way to give money to the makers of things. It becomes an
alternative to a deeply broken system we've all been saddled with for three centuries now. Instead of trying to commoditize art like a
manufactured good, we can sell it as a service.
not as outrageous as it sounds. All art is built on other art, and it
gets its value from being shared, not from being kept hidden. Copyright
is an artificial, ugly, and ineffective thing. It was necessary for a
while, like a crude and painful crutch, but the world has changed. The
world has gotten better. And a new patronage brings with it a new
opportunity for art.
How do we make it happen? It takes some brave, committed artists and the support of loyal fans. We have to show the world that we're willing to support our favorite artists and entertainers without the threat of being sued.
When I published Taming Fire, I believed in the potential of this plan, but I still thought it would probably take ten years to earn out. It didn't even take ten months.
As of this month, Taming Fire and the The Dragonswarm
are both dedicated to the public domain. The Consortium has released
them with the help of a tool provided by Creative Commons, CC0, which helps copyright owners dedicate their works to the public domain.
No Rights Reserved.
And now I see an opportunity to make a statement, to participate in something new, and to show
support for an idea that could change the world. I'm not asking you to
contribute to the publication of the book. I'm asking you to help make
that book belong to the world.
If this campaign succeeds, The Dragonprince's Heir will be dedicated to the public domain from Day One. And that would be incredible.
Help me make it happen.
Stretch Goals and Overages
It might seem a little early to be talking about overages when we've already passed the halfway mark and we're not quite at 15% of our goal, but we're just now really starting to receive some press attention. We've seen a lot of new pledges from just a couple articles, so we have high hopes for an avalanche once things really get rolling.
So now seems like a good time to tell you what we'd do with that avalanche! Consortium Books is currently publishing twelve books from five different authors. One of our goals as an organization is to acquire the rights to all those titles and release them all to the world.
So far, the other Dragonprince books are the only ones that have generated enough income through retail sales to achieve that goal. If we can acquire The Dragonprince's Heir through this KickStarter, any excess funds will go toward purchasing more.
$60,000 would put another book into the public domain. $90,000 would bring us to a total of five! But even if it's only a few dollars past our goal, it's a foundation to build on.
We'll add updates regularly, and some of those could be quite exciting. KickStarter sends notifications of these updates to our backers, but if you're new to the project (or just haven't backed it yet), be sure to check the Updates tab above to see everything else that's going on.