SOPA and Customer Commons

Imagine that Customer Commons had been created a year ago. To guide that imagining, here is the copy that matters from the placeholder page:

Customer Commons is about us.

  1. We are a com­mu­nity of customers.
  2. We are funded only by customers.
  3. We serve the inter­ests and aspi­ra­tions of customers.

We are the 100%

Customer Commons is a companion organization to ProjectVRM, and in the long run will be its successor. Think of ProjectVRM as the launch pad and rocket for getting VRM development and research into orbit — and of Customer Commons as the rest of the universe.

So the future is wide open.

SOPA, however, is about enclosing some of the Universe’s commons, which is essentially NEA:

  1. Nobody owns it
  2. Everybody can use it
  3. Anybody can improve it

What would we — the 100% who are customers — be doing about SOPA?

Customer Commons is just in the planning stages now. We want it up and running by the time The Intention Economy: When Customers Take Charge comes out in May. What should it be and how would it work?

All thoughts welcome.

P.S. ProjectVRM is a Berkman Center project, and therefore does not take an advocacy position on matters of public debate, such as SOPA — which is why this blog is not offline or blacked out today.

FWIW, my own (naturally optimistic) point of view is well expressed by Harold Feld in SOPABlackout And the “Internet Spring”.


  1. bruce wayne

    Great Stuff !!!!
    We at are working on what we like to call a “Community Enablement” platform. Some of the very basic services are in an alpha state and in the next 30 or so days we will adding some cutting edge services that will be the beginning stages of turing the pyramid “Community” side up…

  2. John Matt

    It’s the fact that SOPA/PIPA do NOTHING to stop the thefts… instead, they hand over an inordinate amount of control over the internet to people who have demonstrated they cannot be trusted with that control.

    Over 90% of online piracy originates, and terminates, outside US borders. P2P sharing (the primary means by which piracy occurs) accounts for the majority of global internet traffic – but the majority of that traffic (over 90% of it) never so much as touches on US soil or US servers or US citizens.

    Most of the piracy problem happens in Asia & the Middle East – there is nothing about SOPA or PIPA that combats the actual problem.

    Instead of working towards solutions that encompass the existence of the internet, the proponents of SOPA are trying to make the internet a sterile, unexciting environment in the hopes that people will get bored with their computers and their smart phones and their connectivity… and will instead zone out in the theaters or come to concerts.

    SOPA is designed to allow the entertainment industry to drive people away from the internet and into physical venues that they can earn a profit from. That’s it in a nutshell.

    SOPA is not designed to actually combat the problem of piracy – because SOPA does not apply to the vast majority of those actually engaging IN piracy.

    John Matt

  3. sopa

  4. sopas

  5. sopas

    add some write..

    The bill does not fight digital theft, although it claims to. Its effect is censorship, which congress knows but does not care to acknowledge. To think they do not know that difference is would be to call them incompetent at what they are hired to do: know nuances of intent and effect, as well as policy, and how to go about those things. If it is incompetence, they need to be yanked and others elected in their place.

    John Matt @

  6. NZN

    I think we need to look at #1 more closely for its downstream effects.

    What if instead of “Nobody owns it”, we shifted to a model wherein “Everybody Owns It, Simultaneously”… and this is the meaning of birth/default participation.

    Ownership need not remain within the confines of economic thought as traditionally thought, it can become a community idea of personal responsibility, accountability and a framework for personal relationship in the Universe.

    “Nobody owns it” is frought with holes, and allows for a littering of ideas that have no correlation to end meaning. The Universe would be better off if everybody related to it as owners… not of a share of stock or some bounded asset, but as it is, as an unbounded realm of infinite possibility.

    The Universe is like opportunity itself. Everybody should own and possess it on equal terms at birth, and #2 + #3 will speak for themselves from there.

    This is important for VRM: customers wont get you the powerful and balanced relationships you want in the marketplace because they don’t own anything… they are contained in our present conceptualization of #1. Customers are part of the Universe commons…just waiting to be found/created.

    Instead, VRM needs you to own yourself, needs you to own your part of the process in manufacturing opportunity relationships, and needs you to be capable of a structural position within a transaction that can be replicated equally from one Individual to the next by default process.

    We can empower customers via management practices, but we need owners to empower themselves and their transactional meanings to truly have an integrated predictable exchange system.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

© 2023 ProjectVRM

Theme by Anders NorenUp ↑