in music - GNUnet and its potential for artists

krosos started at some time around 2000 or 2002 with myself (ng0) doing live rehearsals with other people. The line-up changed many times, and issues (not related to people but composition and rehearsal) lead to the conclusion that krosos can’t exist as a group formation. With the last line-up I produced (not: recorded) one EP (“Journey through Darkness”) and one Album (“I”), both never saw the light of day until today and instead krosos went on hiatus.

This hiatus lasted about 6 years (or more? or less? a damn long time). In the meantime I got more involved with other creative projects, some of them were a continuation of projects started before the hiatus.

Most of the ideas and projects around them are connected. I need a little more of a reference to the past until I can get to the point of this post: In the last 15 years people approached me about websites for their bands, with simple and common goals and ideas. Of course the work on the websites never happened because there was one thing I could never fulfill: They should be easy to use and maintain for people who are not interested in staying up to date with technology and don’t have much time to learn or care for security. Furthermore some (not all) big festivals, bands and record labels moved entirely to Facebook and LastFM to announce their concerts and changes to them. If it would’ve been just an addition to their websites that would’ve been no problem, but some even abandoned their independent websites. We as artists have a huge problem when we start to rely exclusively on corporate infrastructures. For myself this meant: What we have is not working anymore. And what we could have is not there yet and no technology has managed to be easy to use and respect your freedom. This can be applied to many technologies, but I’m mainly interested in supporting DIY music, events, political groups, activists, artists and oppressed groups of people in society.

When I found GNUnet back in 2014 (or ‘15?) one of my initial thoughts was that this could be used for artist of any trade when you write an application (or many) around it. Even in early stages you could simply use the filesharing part.

Because it’s unlikely that the sheer mass of ideas I have will all be executed by myself alone: GNUnet and artists. Let’s just focus on artists who work with sound. I envision a use of the network where you cut down the need for a middle party (record labels) and you can offer your work directly, exchanged peer-to-peer. Payment (I didn’t see this one coming back in 2014) could be arranged via TALER once it is ready. This is based on the same principle as todays agreements: if people like your work the majority who can will support you and don’t leak your work. Taking this a step further, we would provide one last middle-party which is providing software that provides a platform for artists and their fans and customers. This middle-party has some servers which can be used to publish data faster (think of it as an express offload into the filesharing subsystem of GNUnet). The software offers an easy interface for returning functions: you can upload works or pictures of it, you create a \“website\“, people have options to contact you and you can do all the things you’d do to present yourself.

As far as I understand secushare, this could very well be realized as a later extension of it. Middle-parties can continue to exist if you must or wish to remain anonymous, you like to let other people do your PR work, etc.

I had more notes on this, but this is the very basic of how I imagine it could work. Maybe I will realize it, maybe someone else. The point is, we have the power in our hands to take down unfair conditions of how payments for our work are made. If this is put from thought to code and people start using it, we as artists and as society can renegotiate living conditions for those who do art for their living.