These days, that compromise is, in some ways, probably tilted too far towards producers (or some categories of producers at least), but with no intellectual property at all, that would tilt things too far the other way.
I think we'll see amateur music and free/open software quickly fill the gap left by professional musicians. And people will keep finding ways of financing their love (playing music). In fact, I don't know many of my favorite musicians today who make a living from their music. They all work day jobs. Music is their passion. If anything, they lose money from releasing albums.
I think this new cultural line of thought of "in this day and age with the tools we have why would you need a full day job support for ..." (replace ... with making music, running a blog, developing games, etc) is pure arrogant bullshit. Yes, you can have hobbies, and side projects, and some might excel at doing them for a while. But doing your craft as an actual full time job is the only way to reach, and maintain, your full potential.
I just don't see a realistic turn of events where suddenly everyone is paying for CDs again. I also don't think creativity will stop because the money does.
Also, I think you are the one spouting pure arrogant bullshit when you completely dismiss amateur production. Just because you can't squeeze in hours of practice time outside your work schedule doesn't mean other people aren't doing it, right now. In fact there are tons of hugely talented musicians out there who aren't making a living off their music.
edit: Oh, I think I misread your intent with the "pure arrogant bullshit" thing, sorry for turning harsh. We don't really disagree, I completely agree that having to work a day job to support a music "career" is crap. On the other hand, I don't really see how it's ever been much different, except for a few lucky people who made it huge the golden eras of vinyl and CDs.
I don't care so much if you in specific endorse it. i do care about how it's a line of thought that we hear more and more often.
Also, I think you are the one spouting pure arrogant bullshit when you completely dismiss amateur production.
I dismissed amateur production? are you sure you hit reply in the right comment?
In fact there are tons of hugely talented musicians out there who aren't making a living off their music.
no kidding! you just blew my mind. now think of what they could do if they made/played their music as a full time job.
Lots of people pay for Spotify. CDs are dead, but because of the medium, not the concept of paying for something.
What a nightmare. You mean I have to do this job I hate for the rest of my life because I should want to do the thing I actually like for free? Is there really no value in it at all?
People who make products we want badly enough to need one of our own should be compensated for their efforts. They should not have to go out and play it in clubs, or sell you a t-shirt. If you want a copy of their song, you should compensate them. There are always going to be 90% of artists whose art is not popular enough to earn them a living. The problem we're discussing is that of the people whose music is very popular, but is being taken illegally without their permission.
Face it, we're not born with a burning desire to buy Metallica albums. You grow up listening to radio or watching tv, getting exposed to certain types of music (typically between 2 and 6 minutes, most on 4/4, with accompanying lyrics sung by one or two artists) and that's the music you'll end up wanting "that bad" -- pure coincidence?
Artists who succeed following traditional models (who, incidentally, are the most supportive of draconian copyright laws) are the ones who marketed themselves more heavily and got more access to traditional media: they went on TV, did interviews and concerts, paid for airplay... -- without any of that, they wouldn't be "popular". To do this, they had to borrow a lot of money from their label, and often will see very little financial reward.
So why they should not have to go out and sell you a t-shirt, instead of borrowing from a label to buy (increasingly more irrelevant) airplay? What's the big deal ?
The argument is essentially that piracy is okay because 90% of artists are never going to earn their living from music. 90% of artists do not create a product that appeals to enough people for them to earn a living selling that product. 10% create something popular enough that they might be able to earn a living at it.
How those products came to be popular socially is completely irrelevant. You're saying, let's not compensate them for being great musicians who created a recording I want a copy of. Let's instead require them to be in the business of selling clothes because I respect the value of a t-shirt more than the art they created that made me give a shit about a shirt with their name on it.
So I'd rather compensate them for being great t-shirt sellers, it doesn't really make any difference and it will probably guarantee them more cash.
Sometimes (maybe mostly). Other times it's because the artist is actually good and people buy their stuff just by word of mouth (Metallica is actually more an example of this). I think it's easier to tell in hindsight which is which. Milli Vanilli vs. Led Zeppelin, for instance.
The traditional role of the record company wasn't to manufacture music and shove it down our throats, but to be the filter--find the good musicians and sign them up. While I agree that there is a lot of manufactured crap out there, I do think that you can't dismiss all pop music because there are actually artists out there that are good and popular.
Incidentally, I think the real revolutionary thing that napster did was stop the record companies from being the filter, at least in our minds. Being able to try out any weird music I liked was liberating and when I found some bands I liked I could look at that user's whole library and use it as a primitive recommendation engine. I was able to find way more indie stuff and it effectively gave some of the filtering controls over to me.
At the same time, I don't think you can say that we'll only get Rebecca Black in the future, you can't know that. Mozart had a lot of factors playing into his level of success (timing, the right parents, innate skill, etc). At the same time, Mozart lived before albums or musical copyright, and worked under the patronage system. It's possible we'll see a return of that as well, if the current model completely breaks down.
Also, with software we can empirically look at the history of IP law and see that a huge amount of software that is fundamental even today was created before any sort of software patents were awarded (and presumably, before those people ever even considered monetizing software through government-protected monopoly on distribution).
I think it requires a naive and backwards view of human psychology to assume that money is the sole or primary incentive to create quality music or software. In fact, I surmise that anyone capable of producing top notch content would discover a way to do so without current IP protection laws.
When will you make it? In the evening when you're off from work? What about my marriage? My kids? They all have to suffer because people think they have a right to my effort for free?
Meaning that they probably have day jobs and don't produce as much music as they could if they were able to work at it full time. This may or may not have anything to do with piracy, but I think the point of fewer digital goods being produced is one to consider.
The same digital technology that makes piracy easier is what made it possible for baddox to find them in the first place. It is hard to imagine solutions to the problem of music piracy that wouldn't also make it harder to find these musicians. After all, music piracy has become easy because music is easy to copy and distribute... which is also why it has become easier to find the niche musicians you like.
Suppose you're right (though I don't think you are) and we successfully clamp down on music piracy so that these musicians can more easily monetize their small fan bases and spend more time making music. Does baddox care about this music if, in this alternate world, he never discovers them?
And this is more true of software than anything else, and there is a good reason. The most important ingredient of software production is not 'incentivization', not money. It is other software, other information. That is because it is leveraged unlimitedly by being copyable: a single sum of money can support a single piece of development effort, but a single piece of information can support any number of development projects.
The more completely you have and enforce copyright, the more you destroy that leverage.
Hopefully in time we'll see a lot less fart apps for $5 and the umpteenth song about a weekday from people who see it as a quick way to make cash and not something they have a passion for.
If both of these industries were about passion and not money then piracy wouldn't be such an issue.
There is nothing stopping those 148,194 people from going and pirating those games, but they haven't because people will pay for a product.
Positive some of those people won't even play the games but donated just to support the idea. (I am one of those).
And yet there are many people that actually do this already, otherwise how would you be booting your linux box? I know I program in my spare time...
> Just thinking about it is depressing. The parasites will walk around happily listening to their free music in their makerbot printed mp3 player (from pirated plans)
I don't know, that sounds kind of cool--everything would be different, that's for sure. I think there will always room for really good programmers. Also, never bet against people trying to find a market somewhere--there's always one somewhere, it just might not look like the ones we have now. Don't fight the future, embrace it (or starve).
Piracy stopped them from collecting the social security check and live the wealthy life of the unemployed pirate.