Artists Unchained 

"Ezekiel 25:17. The path of the righteous man is beset on all sides by the inequities of the selfish and the tyranny of evil men. Blessed is he who, in the name of charity and good will, shepherds the weak through the valley of the darkness. For he is truly his brother's keeper and the finder of lost children."

(Samuel L Jackson :p)

Welcome [This site is being developed: 0.3.9 beta]

Artists Unchained is an artist led initiative to: harness the features of P2P to empower artists to distribute media direct to the public, to ensure artists retain full copyright in their work, to always give artists an alternative to signing restrictive contracts, to allow the public to enjoy artwork without paying up front, to allow the public to support artists via direct patronage.


For too long the massive multinational media companies have dictated the shape of our culture and censored our lives. They systematically seized all media distribution and with that they gained control of what we see and hear.

They created a system where sharing art, the most natural thing in the world, is a crime. Where the joy that art brings; comes with a price tag that only the privileged can afford. Instead of digital copying freeing art form its physical bonds (hence cheaper to distribute) so that many more can enjoy, it has been used to further restrict access to art (Digital Rights Management).

Artists were forced into choosing between a rock and a hard place, either 'selling out' or being denied access to the public.

Time for change.


Now! The greatest empowering system for business is also becoming the greatest empowering system for art.

The internet has spawned a massive 'global' culture. Unfortunately this culture is often denounced as a 'counter culture' by the powers that be and big media, and our fellow human beings are demonised to score political points (pirates): There only crime is want to share and exchange their culture and art. To show off what their artists, representing their culture, can create. To communicate (that's what art is for!).

It's just real, raw, human culture in all its wonderful diversity doing what human do. It should be embraced. It is a breath of fresh air from the oppressive business sanctioned culture that the big media corporations ram down our throats on a daily basis.

The truly remarkable thing about the myriad of cultures from all over the world is how easy it is to get along with each other.


Everywhere. The net has risen to become the prime source of fresh media content from all over the world. It is fast, efficient and convenient, and opens our eyes to see other people for what they really are, bypassing the political rhetoric of their, and our 'leaders'. With the rise of broadband, more and more content is being produced by free speaking individuals, groups and small independent companies.


We at Artists Unchained seek to empower these independent producers to further expand their horizons, and capitalise of the raw power of P2P. To assert their freedom of speech and artistic expression.

Further, we seek to empower fans to become promoter-fans (Pro-fans) and play an active part in media distribution.


The system we propose is an artistic 'business' model, and combines many concepts already in use on the net into a workable, legal, and sustainable system. We believe many artists and millions of fans are crying out for a new way of doing things - this is our stab at the beast.

Grab a sword!

Red on;


If playing another's game using the parts of the law they chose is not working out for you - change the game and use different parts of the law that you chose.

Life, society, is all about agreements; so make them on your terms. Shift the goal posts in your favour. While one faction of society may have a temporary advantage due to the state of current technology, technology changes and new agreements can be made taking the new technology into account. You do not have to persist in doing things the old way.

  • The old distribution model based on control: Big business controlled distribution, and they used that leverage to hold artists to ransom and wrestle ownership of their art away from them. Once they had both ownership and distribution they were in total control. This is an unnatural state of affairs, and a huge overbalance in favour of the business community. As a result: art, and the artist, has suffered (almost becoming a second class citizen unless a favourite of the corporations. The poor artist is a 'romantic' cliche).

This is no longer the case!

P2P: We are looking to build an altogether new distribution system with the proven technology already on offer. We seek to embrace and exploit the power of P2P, the greatest distribution network ever devised, and in so doing create a global 'art network' where artists and fans can reconnect without interference from the hordes of grey middle men. To look forward to a world where an artist can distribute copyrighted media without any form of corporate control and still make money. Payment for artwork is in appreciation: it is asked for, not demanded up front.

  • The new distribution model based on respect: Free P2P distribution via government regulated private utilities (ISPs and telcos). These utilities have no say (nor wish to) over legal content being passed over their networks. Manufacturing hard copy has moved away from big factories and into our homes with the advent of CD/ DVD burners and ink-jet printers. This means artists are now free to distribute their content direct to the public; big media companies no longer have a hold over us, as their unfair leverage has been removed. Balance is restored, business is doing what it does best: (ISP, banks and services) and artists are doing what they do best: (art!),

The chains are broken, we are already free.

Current generation: This doesn't mean much for the current generation, sorry folks but if you are signed up with a big media company under some draconian, rights stripping, contract you are going to miss out of this artistic distribution revolution. This is for the next generation, the up and comers, the new talent. We at Artists Unchained do not advocate or endorse pirating. Fortunately the new generation still have all their artistic rights and ownership (and integrity). Using this system they will retain their rights.

Alternatively, if you can get out of your contract, or it's about to run out, you may want to read more...

Details of distribution system proposed

  • The artist's web site includes a download page with P2P links* to their officially sanctioned file**.
  • The artwork is distributed via P2P under a 'creative commons licence'. The creative commons have licences for all areas of the world (this may be modified and re-christened the AUL).
  • All files distributed under this licence via P2P are zip files. Once downloaded these are unzipped into the fan's media folder, but the original zip file remains in their P2P's share folder.
  • Mutual exchange: Fans 'hosting' the original zip files are providing a service used to 'pay' for the use of the media contained in the zip files.
  • Zip files have embedded XMP metadata tags [software development?]
  • Returning to the artist's web site a fan can [donate] money directly to the artist via Pay pal*** [donation].
  • The artist's site includes links to POD (Print on Demand) services such as Lulu where a fan can order up a hard copy (whether CD, DVD or book. Have a look at what is on offer here), and merchandise via companies like Cafepress (all customised by the artist).

*P2P links types:magnets, metalinks, ed2k, and torrents

**File types which could be distributed using this system: Pictures (jpg), movies (.avi), music (.mp3), books (.pdf) and all compressed into a goodie bag (.zip)

(These file extensions are merely to serve as an example)

*** Payment: Pay Pal, Google checkout etc.

Important points: Copyright is maintained by the artist. No middle men. Rapid dissemination of files throughout the net. 'Advertising' is by word or mouth, support is grass roots. Money is given for art people really enjoy, and not paid up front on the hope it will be to your liking. Artists come recommended by your friends.

Artist Names: Artists doing this are Cyber-Buskers, Internet Buskers or iBuskers. We are busking in the true sense of the word, as we perform and then ask for payment (Note: these terms may change after feedback)


P2P software also offers private networks. This allows artists to securely share files with their inner circle via P2P without releasing it to the public. Allowing artists to collaborate globally and share huge files. Most importantly as the artwork is not sent of to big business for manufacture and distribution the chances of a leak are... zero. It only makes it into the public P2P if the artist chooses to release it via links of their site.

Abiding by the law

This site is not going to be a torrent download site or host any media files. It will concentrate on designing a workable system, figuring out the standards needed to pull it off, providing artists and fans information on how to implement it, and gathering feedback and donations. Donations will be used to fund the site (bandwidth*), design templates, and to acquire the infrastructure needed; such as the support of open source file formats for all media with standardised and extensive metadata tags containing embedded licence declaration, links and information (similar to 1D3 only much larger, perhaps something like Ogg).

* There will be a sister site on google pages or some other free hosting site, but this site will remain as it can't be shut down on a whim. It is paid for and, as long as it is fully legal and non-abusive, can't be closed. This site will cover the basics and point to related content on free sites and articles by others that may be of interest.

In essence: This site is not a secret pirate haven full of stolen digital booty, it is instead and open and honest site showing artists how to distribute their wares via P2P and enable fans to identify files on P2P networks that are being distributed legally via the methods proposed on this site.

Similar initiatives

If anyone out there is running a similar initiative to this one, with the same aims, we would love to hear from you.


For any reason: email:

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PS: For all you conspiracy nuts: A few anagrams of this site's name are 'anarchists united', 'anarchists untied', 'haciendas Intrust ' and perhaps my favourite is 'rancid enthusiast'... no wait 'darn enthusiastic' :P