The Cultural Capital Project: Radical Monetization of the Music Industry

Brian Fauteux, Ian Dahlman, Andrew deWaard


The fundamental flaw of previous attempts to monetize digital music has been the industry’s insistence on treating music solely as a commodity. The digital revolution demands music be shared culture, and successful monetization will require music be treated as such. This article outlines the ideas behind Cultural Capital, a collaborative research project that explores the theoretical trajectories, legal ramifications and technical components involved in creating a non-profit patronage system uniting musicians and fans. Cultural Capital operates on three fronts: first, a social network of user-generated listening and sharing habits; second, opt-in tracking software that harvests the musical consumption of users, then facilitates equitable compensation to creators; third, a legal intervention aiming to provide a legitimate space for the digital consumption of music. Incorporating the multitude of individuals who propel the cultural industries, this essay argues for establishing a ‘radical monetization’ of the music industry based on connectivity and sharing.


digital music industry, cultural capital, intellectual property, copyright, stewardship

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