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The Street Performer Protocol

The Street Performer Protocol is the name of a system posted by two computer security consultants a couple of years ago that offered musicians a way to make money selling records in the rapidly-changing digital world. Their proposal amounts to setting a virtual hat on the virtual sidewalk to collect money from fans. That's literally what Stephen King has done with his online book, "The Plant." King just posted the second chapter after more than 3/4 of the 150,000 fans who downloaded the first chapter last month sent him a dollar each. Now the British progressive rock band, Marillion, is offering a similar proposal to its fans: "send us money to record our new album and we'll send you a copy - plus a bonus disc - BEFORE it hits the stores." So far, the band has raised more than 100,000 pounds. NPR News' Rick Karr reports.

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