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It's really easy to exploit people when there isn't regulation of this...and even when there is.

For example, creative jobs in NYC. There's tons of illegal, unpaid internships and tons of companies who don't want to pay. I know several animators working in the industry there and often it takes them 6 months after a project to get paid and frequently studios try not to pay. I know a couple of people who have worked in the industry for 6 or more years and never been able to get a paying job.

Imagine working in an industry pulling 60+ hour weeks for 6 years and never getting paid for your work...and that's after being saddled with 200k in loan debt from an art school. There are so many people in that area willing to work for free and are used to it that it's difficult to find long-term paying work.

It's tough, I know. But it's no different from other artsy endeavours. People bust their ass for free playing music, and very few of them actually make a living. It may sound harsh, but it's not a human right to make a living doing music, painting, or anything really.

If someone is profiting directly from your labor, you deserve to be paid. It's not okay to have an industry structured to exploit your labor. You shouldn't be forced into a choice between "work, don't eat" and "don't work, don't eat".

There's a vast chasm of difference between "right to work" and "right to be paid for your work".

Just because it's "artsy" doesn't make it more okay.

How are we to define exploitation anyway? Because to involve government is a pretty big deal. Government operates with violence or the promise of violence if you don't comply, and that is a very big deal in my opinion. Of course, if someone is being tricked or coerced, the government should absolutely step in. But when we are talking about informed consent between adults? I don't think so. I'm sure there are people out there who think writing open source is exploitation, and that people who write open source are being exploited (since they are working for free most of the time) by companies who don't contribute back. But should we enact laws to "protect" people in open source? I don't think so.

Because after all, open source gives us software for "free". Much of this software would otherwise have to be written commercially, so one can make the case that people who write software for a living deserve to be protected from this open source nonsense.

As far as what I'm talking about, the government already has stepped in with the Fair Labor Standards Act.

It's highly probable that for-profit bootcamps using volunteers would be in violation of the long-existing law.

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