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There is nothing different about the plumber and the artist. The plumber comes to your house and leaves you with a working toilet. The artist goes to the studio and leaves you with a copy of a song. In both cases, you now have something of value created by another person. Both would like to be paid for their work. Last I checked, no artists are selling MP3s to consumers on a per stream royalty basis. They're asking for the same one time payment you pay your plumber, based on you having something of value that they took time to create. You want multiple songs from them? You pay for each, just like you pay your plumber to fix a sink when he's done with the toilet.

There is a perfectly good reason why "the entire process shouldn't be monetized". It's a super big fucking distraction to have people at your recording studio when you're trying to do something that is already extremely difficult. The entire process IS monetized, because you're supposed to pay for the copy of the work you take when it's over.

And for the record, many artists do take songs on the road, try them out, and change them based on public reaction. Then, they come home, spend money and record it. You want a copy? Pay for it.




The difference is that the plumber fixes hundreds of sinks, the artist fixes one and then extracts rent from users.

"Last I checked, no artists are selling MP3s to consumers on a per stream royalty basis. "

Still, every time the record is aired in public (bars etc), royalties are paid. And even when selling to consumers, they'll sell a vinyl disk, then a cassette, then a cd, then an .mp3, then a .wtf... and every time, it's the same damn recording, and if you try doing the format shifting yourself, they'd like nothing more than throwing you in jail.

And let's be honest: most record companies and artists ALREADY make more money from merchandise than they make on recordings, the same way comic book publishers make more money from toys than from actual comic books. This myth of the starving artist being robbed of revenue by downloaders is just that, a myth.

Now, where's that cassette that killed music back in the 80s...


What if said plumber, instead of fixing each problem individually, develops a robot that will fix the problems on his behalf. Let's say, for argument's sake, that it costs $0.05 to operate the robot during the repair.

Should the plumber charge $0.05 + a small profit or should the plumber charge $0.05 + a large profit to offset the cost of developing the robot? Once the robot is available, it costs the plumber basically nothing to fix your problem, but it took the plumber a sizeable investment to create the robot in the first place.


Without replying to what should happen, what will happen is that I'll be able to get my sink fixed for under $1. It's gonna happen. And it sounds awesome!

And I've already wrapped my head around the fact that I'm going to have to be agile to keep figuring out new ways to earn my own paycheque, so that I can afford that $1 repair.


> There is nothing different about the plumber and the artist. > Both would like to be paid for their work.

No. A plumber wants to be paid for work, your musician wants to be paid a rent. A plumber wants to be paid once, your musician wants to be paid for every copy.

If your musician comes to me and offers to make a song, and I agree to pay to fund it, then fine: we make an exchange just like a plumber and customer. But a plumber does not then impose restrictions that I cannot copy their pipes and stuff, or cannot allow anyone else to use them.

A plumber is not given special monopoly privileges -- that is the difference. Now, such privileges might be pragmatically justifiable as a market mechanism (as is the contention of copyright), but there is clearly a difference between having them and not.


This whole analogy is kind of weak. Hiring a plumber to come in and do a job on your sink is similar to hiring a session musician to come in and lay down a bass track on your recording, and not very similar to buying an album.

Buying an album from a musician is similar to buying a book about plumbing that a plumber wrote, and I imagine that most such plumber-writers would indeed have interest in protecting their copyright on their books.

These are entirely different business models, and we software engineers should understand them immediately. It's the difference between running a consulting business and running a product business.


No, you are twisting the analogy, but that's irrelevant.

The problem here is that a "product business" in the online world is hardly sustainable, because enforcing artificial scarcity of your product is basically impossible. Which is why the entire software industry is quickly shifting to SaaS models and consulting as fast as they can. The music business should do the same and stop whining.




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