Video-game focused web comic Penny Arcade has hit the $250,000 goal for its Kickstarter campaign in just four days. With 31 days left (as of July 14) for people to contribute, the PA team has introduced a roadmap of stretch goals that include a new tabletop adventure game at $650,000 and a free PA comic reader for iOS and Android at $750,000.
The most interesting tier, however, is $900,000. Here’s how the official Kickstarter page puts it:
“PA Blanks/Creative Common License: We will release, with each Monday, Wednesday, and Friday strip, a blank version of the comic (art without word balloons) for your editing and remixing enjoyment. In addition, we will open the ENTIRE PA archive to a Creative Common License under CC BY-NC-SA.”
This particular license (BY-NC-SA) allows for derivative works based on the original Penny Arcade content (that’s the SA) as long as the new creators give proper attribution to the original authors (BY) and use the work for non-commercial endeavors (NC).
More simply put: Penny Arcade fans can ripoff and remix all of Penny Arcade’s work as long as they tell everyone it came from the PA site and don’t make money from it.
The result of enabling a Creative Commons license on popular work is often a more creatively engaged audience.
An example of this idea in effect is the Nine Inch Nails album The Slip. Front man Trent Reznor released the entire tracklist for free and encouraged his fans to remix and redistribute the music under a creative commons agreement.
Cards Against Humanity, a popular card game that began on Kickstarter, also implements a creative commons license. The development team sells the deck and an expansion but offers a free-to-print PDF version that allows consumers to manipulate the game for themselves.
Penny Arcade’s ultimate goal is to make its entire site ad free. That is the million-dollar tier. That amount of funding would fuel Penny Arcade for a year; then it would have to hold another drive to raise money or return to an ad-supported model.