The Null Device
An Indian singer without a record deal is financing his career by selling shares in himself on eBay. £3,000 will get you 0.25% of Shayan's total earnings in music (including copyright and writing royalties).
"If you put £3,000 in me, and I sell 100,000 albums, you double your money," he added.
He pointed out that, while the investors were taking a big risk, they were getting investment in the copyright, which exists 70 years after his death in the UK, and 60 years in the US.Which sounds like an argument for perpetual copyrights; there is no reason for an artist to have the rights to their works for 70 years after their death, though if they can trade part of those rights away, they can make money earlier. And the longer the rights last, the more they're worth being traded away.
Though before embracing the new share-selling future, it may be worth considering the implications of such a model spreading. Imagine, in future, if instead of government-funded education (please stop laughing,
Americans Australians in the audience) or student loans, students wishing to undertake expensive university degrees sell shares in themselves. The shares entitle shareholders to a slice of one's future income. To protect their investment, shareholders have power of veto over lifestyle choices which may impair income; this can include everything from the ability to sue an asset who decides to get a tattoo to, if you're majority-owned by others than yourself, the ability to relocate you to a highly profitable hellhole where their investment can be maximised. Which sounds rather like a finer-grained slavery, though think of the efficiencies it'll bring into the marketplace.