Have your say | The Resonate Manifesto

The Resonate Manifesto has been re-written to better reflect our ethics and place in the music/digital ecosystem.

The manifesto is a statement of intent, outlining our beliefs as a community. It is not a roadmap or set of specific tasks for our development.

The points were passed by a vote of the board. At the AGM, the co-op membership will be asked to ratify it.


The Resonate Manifesto

  1. Music is art, not content. Creativity should be in the hands of its creators, not those looking to extract or exploit its value.

  2. We believe that co-ops are the future of a more egalitarian internet and society. Technology must benefit all involved by weaving communities into thriving, sustainable networks that address the diverse needs of people by providing them with their life essentials. Building a worldwide network of co-operatives is a key part of rejecting the destructive power of Capitalism and Colonialism within our societies, fostering a world built on co-operation, communal control of the commons, and the equality of unequals.

  3. We are the stewards of our artists’ creativity. We have a duty of care to the artists, music and other works that we host on Resonate. Our goal is that artists are able to thrive, and that the work entrusted to us is respected and protected.

  4. The music “industry” is broken - its extractive and exploitative hierarchies have never truly served artists. Power has been consolidated in the hands of a small number of technology companies and dominant major labels. We are building a new ecosystem founded on principles of fairness, transparency and co-operation.

  5. Artists should be able to build and maintain sustainable careers on their own terms, without exploitation. We should build systems that support and enable their creativity, and human value, and honor their social contributions.

  6. Everyone should own their platform, own their data, and their own network. Co-operation and community are key, not marketing schemes for VC-funded Platform Capitalists.

  7. Platforms, technology companies and corporations should not dictate the terms of distribution. Artists should retain all ownership and rights, be able to decide what, when and how they make their art available to the public, and the value of their art.

  8. Privacy, inclusivity and ethics are not after-thoughts. They must be built-in by design, considered from the start and actively sought at every stage of development.

  9. Culture > Profit. Value cannot be reduced to numbers, follower counts, clicks or other metrics. Value is not just measured in public success or monetary worth. Art has a value to society and humanity that cannot be quantified and commodified.

  10. Active engagement in culture should be incentivised over passive consumption. Respect for artists should be built by giving them agency, as well as building real community and mutual strength together with their listeners and fans.

  11. We reject the historical basis of property as divine right and human supremacy in ecological relations. This “divine right” over property has led to the commodification and extraction of most of the Earth’s life support systems, and also the commodification of human beings. To redress the harms of colonisation, the Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade, the genocide of Indigenous Peoples, the creation of ‘under-developed peoples,’ persecution of the LGBTQIA+ community and many others, we must engage and align with all dispossessed communities. We realise that these historical harms were fundamental to the expansion and apparent success of Capitalism. By democratising, decentralising, and diversifying economic activity we can lessen consumption, and redistribute resources and power. Co-operation enables us to move forward in mutualism with one another, and this planet, constructing an economy both visionary and life-affirming.

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Are artists “us” or “them”?

An example:

“We are the stewards of our artists’ creativity. We have a duty of care to the artists, music and other works that we host on Resonate. Our goal is that artists are able to thrive, and that the work entrusted to us is respected and protected.”

It starts off with “our artists” - implying that artists are part of “us” in some way, then changes to “the artists” that “we host”, so the artists are more like guests or people needing safe harbor?

Here’s one my favorite manifestos (it’s short) https://agilemanifesto.org/

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thanks for your question @boopboop

they are both. us and them.

some of our artists are co-op members, but also some artists choose not to become members, but we still host their works and have a duty of care & respect towards them & those works.

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based on only reading the manifesto,

I would assume

  • Resonate is made up of people that may or may not be artists
  • art is valuable, and not in a countable way. It might be immoral to commoditize it, so selling it is might be out as an income stream.
  • artists need support
  • artists need protection
  • big-C capitalism is bad, so money might be out as a means to provide the support or protection
  • Resonate will provide support for the artists
  • Resonate will protect artists

As a reader, what does this mean? Since money might be out and ‘property’ seems to be an issue, it might be legal help about intellectual property rights (though if ‘property’ as a concept is also out, not sure how the artist would own anything). Maybe the help is unrelated to property but instead it’s to provide access to things that tend to come with employment (like Smart – the freelancers’ cooperative ).

Artists might have a say in what this support/protection is, but this is an inference from (10) “Respect for artists should be built by giving them agency”. Since it’s still in “should” stage perhaps the artists don’t yet have the agency.

I will try to answer as best I can.

Not sure where the reading comes from that money would be out as a means of providing support. Money isn’t capitalism. Money was used for 7000 years before Capitalism. Money is a unit of exchange, we are explicitly in favour of fair exchange, as opposed to unfair exchange. It’s not the money that’s the issue, it’s the value and amount.

Regarding point 10 and agency. Artists within the music industry do not currently have agency or even transparency within most platforms and systems they use for their work to reach their public. We believe they should.

Regarding ‘property’ in point 11 - this is not about personal possessions or ownership over your own artistic creations. @richjensen care to explain in more detail?

My point here is that if I were some random visitor to the website and I read this manifesto, those are the assumptions I would leave with.

In this forum, people can pop up and tell me my interpretation is wrong, and tell me why, but if I weren’t participating in this forum, I would leave with my wrong interpretation.

Well - most of what you sum up above is completely correct, so that’s great!

So lets address the two assumptions that are misinterpreted and see how we might clarify…

  • art is valuable, and not in a countable way. It might be immoral to commoditize it, so selling it is might be out as an income stream.

does this mean you interpret “Art has a value to society and humanity that cannot be quantified and commodified” as saying it’s immoral to sell art, rather than it has boundless value to society and therefore should be respected and protected, not just exploited for profit?

  • big-C capitalism is bad, so money might be out as a means to provide the support or protection

As explained above, it’s not my belief that most people equate a unit of exchange or any exchange or any value with Capitalism - because they aren’t. But what is the explicit wording that makes you assume otherwise?

Resonate as it currently stands is an ecommerce platform - people exchange money for streams. It feels a lot like buying a commodity. It’s also the only thing a user can do on the site as a non-artist.

Looking at Art has a value to society and humanity that cannot be quantified and commodified., it feels like ecommerce stuff is a nasty side effect that we want to move away from. Moving away from ecommerce would also take away Resonate’s advertised income stream, leaving other types of support as the “support”.

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I see… except the point is addressing the value of art within our society - and not the nuts and blots of making a fair exchange of money for music that an artist has chosen to sell on a site such as resonate.

It feels like the point is being made to do a lot of heavy lifting to go from “art should be respected” to “resonate will stop selling music because money is bad and we will only support artists with other types of support”. like what “support” though if we remove money… love and good vibes?

If I were a naive reader reading the manifesto, I would wonder that too, and assume it was legal help funded by grants, and networking events. But this would be just assumptions, and I would assume I’m wrong and just don’t have more info.

Interesting. OK - I’m keen to hear from other readers if that would be their assumption. As it wasn’t raised previously when the manifesto was circulated.

I will say that I think most naive readers would not assume that grants or events would be support, especially as we’re a DSP. Most people outside the industry would not even know about those things being an undercurrent of funding and support.

totally different topic, but this manifesto is a lot about the goals of the work, but not about how the work will be / is done and organized.

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yes, exactly. it is a manifesto - it outlines our goals, beliefs & ideals. it’s a statement of intent.

the roadmap, the rules, the nuts & bolts are either outlined in the handbook or still to be developed by the community.

@boopboop Thank you for sharing your concerns and readings. Thank you especially for letting yourself be invested enough in the project to come through the Community check-in yesterday and respectfully engage the conversation there. I regard that as work contributed.

I am reflecting on your comments and look forward to further engagement from the community over the next few weeks leading to the General Meeting. The Manifesto is an ambitious statement that attempts to secure as much of the ancient and transformative coordinating power of music in the present and future worlds as possible. It is challenging to do this in a way that can work for people reading from a broad range of experiences and social positions. The best we might hope for is a tolerable level of inadequacy that might be improved upon over time.

The work continues…

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