The Ransom model, also known as street performer protocol or fund and release, is a business model in which the producer holds back games from release until members of the public pledge enough money to reach the producer's specified fund raising target.
The first known instance of proposal for this business model in relation to producing free games is the essay Bedroom Coder's Business Model. The article also advised that the developers shouldn't try to hoard and license technology, instead it advocates that developers let their “IP” proliferate into the public domain.
Sixth Floor Labs is the first known company to try this business model but closed door after their first game. Bram Stolk is currently experimenting with the ransom business model with the game Howitzer Skirmish.