July 14, 2020, 04:46:34 AM

Author Topic: Do artists deserve to be paid for their hard work? (m3m says no)  (Read 5685 times)

Offline Raptori

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Wanted to continue this discussion without derailing the thread entirely, so here's a new one!

The points that I couldn't let slide were in @m3mnoch's post, generally because to me they seem like a collection of fallacies that just don't stand up to scrutiny! It'll be interesting to see whether you can persuade me otherwise m3m...  :P

I'll continue referring primarily to the music industry, but the same does apply to other mediums like books as well.

1) the purchasing of music recordings is an aberration of the last 60 years.  musicians have existed for centuries upon centuries before that -- all without the benefit of recording.  they earned their money the old fashioned way -- they performed.
This seems wrong to me on two levels:

At face value, your choice of comparison is illogical. A live performance is a one-off event, and people in the modern world and the past alike have no problems paying for it. Live music is a completely separate concern imo, and is a bit of a misdirection.

On the other hand, a recording is captures the sounds of the music and distils them in a copyable and distributable form, which makes it a fundamentally different beast to live music. Despite what you asserted, such forms have existed far longer than the last 60 years, and people had no qualms paying for them for centuries: sheet music, music boxes, etc. While those forms are not identical to the music recordings of the modern world, in a general sense they had/have the same purpose.

But, to be honest, the other fallacy you're falling into makes all of that irrelevant.

You're appealing to tradition. I hate it when people do that. How can anyone honestly consider "we've always done this that way" a logical argument? A lot of people would argue here that traditions don't apply because the new recording technology fundamentally changed the marketplace, but I think that's irrelevant too, because what people did in the past does not matter, and should not guide our behaviour today.

2) if i spend $100 million dollars, work for decades, and perfect a way to cultivate and bottle the most realistic boogers ever created -- when no one buys them, i can't cry and say "but i spent all that time and effort and money!  i deserve to be paid!"

3) no one deserves to be compensated for work they do.  even in your everyday job -- you don't deserve to be paid.  you are paid based on a contract that you will do the work someone wants from you.  if you work on something your boss doesn't want, you will probably be fired.  just because you do it, doesn't mean someone will pay you for it.  they have to _want_ what you produce.
Those two points are identical imo, and they make no sense. For one thing, your depiction of the other side's argument is a strawman - you don't really think people are saying artists are entitled to be payed regardless of quality or anything like that simply because they created something, right?

However, your argument just doesn't add up. You're implying that because some people don't deserve to be paid for what they do, nobody does. You're essentially arguing that things like music and fiction do not add value to your life. Don't know about you, but I value things that make me feel good. If a song or a book brings me enjoyment, it has added value to my life, and arguably the creator of that music deserves some kind of appreciation - especially if it's an incentive for them to continue to make more of whatever it is I've enjoyed.

If someone's work is crap, nobody will pay them, and that's perfectly fair. If their work is mind-blowingly brilliant, then they have provided value to their customers, and it's in their customers' interests for them to continue creating.

here, we actually disagree.  musicians do not deserve to be paid for their hard work.  totally sounds harsh, but lemme explain.
So, in summary, while I don't think musicians (and artists, writers, etc) deserve to be paid for their hard work - I think they deserve to be paid for the enjoyment their work gives to others. If their work sucks then they don't deserve a thing. If their work brightens the lives of a million others, they deserve something for that.

As to what that "something" should be, or how it should be distributed, I don't know. That's a whole different discussion.



Side note: I'm completely with you on DRM m3m. It only ever inconveniences paying customers. It's just like those irritating un-skippable anti-piracy ads they put on DVDs - you only see the damn things if you've a legitimate paying customer, so they actively penalise you for paying instead of pirating!
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Offline G_R_Matthews

Re: Do artists deserve to be paid for their hard work? (m3m says no)
« Reply #1 on: June 04, 2016, 08:38:55 PM »
Damn... I had more but the laptop ate it!

Thanks for starting this thread up, away from the other one. Anyway, I think Wil Wheaton has covered this ground pretty well on with Huffington Post article.

And it is something I've seen come up on r/fantasy a few times too.
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Offline Raptori

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Re: Do artists deserve to be paid for their hard work? (m3m says no)
« Reply #2 on: June 04, 2016, 08:50:45 PM »
Damn... I had more but the laptop ate it!

Thanks for starting this thread up, away from the other one. Anyway, I think Wil Wheaton has covered this ground pretty well on with Huffington Post article.

And it is something I've seen come up on r/fantasy a few times too.
Still find it insane that no web browser auto-saves form data. You'd think it'd be one of the first things they'd do!

Thanks for the link - interesting stuff.  :)
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Offline DrNefario

Re: Do artists deserve to be paid for their hard work? (m3m says no)
« Reply #3 on: June 04, 2016, 08:52:56 PM »
It seems to me that we have all this great music and fiction now, reaching more people than ever, because we found a way to make it pay. You can't take the latter away without losing the former.

Offline m3mnoch

Re: Do artists deserve to be paid for their hard work? (m3m says no)
« Reply #4 on: June 04, 2016, 09:24:37 PM »
heh.  nice.

tho, unfortunately for those lusting for the impending drama, i don't think we're that far apart.  but, i'll do my best!


At face value, your choice of comparison is illogical. A live performance is a one-off event, and people in the modern world and the past alike have no problems paying for it. Live music is a completely separate concern imo, and is a bit of a misdirection.

in the context of dragging in the logical fallacy toolkit, yeah.  'music is not a product' and 'artists deserve to be paid' are kinda-sorta orthogonal.

mostly, it's wrapped in a lot of:
- ideas and expression are not products
- duplication of ideas and expression is not theft
- disincentivization of ideas and expression does not result in less
- ideas and expression are not intrinsically worth anything
- the execution of ideas and expression is not guaranteed to have value

the whole thing is a topic i've studied for years and, obviously, have lots of passion about.  especially given i've made my living as a content creator for two decades.

believe me when i say my opinions don't fall on the side of puffed up fallacies.


On the other hand, a recording is captures the sounds of the music and distils them in a copyable and distributable form, which makes it a fundamentally different beast to live music. Despite what you asserted, such forms have existed far longer than the last 60 years, and people had no qualms paying for them for centuries: sheet music, music boxes, etc. While those forms are not identical to the music recordings of the modern world, in a general sense they had/have the same purpose.

But, to be honest, the other fallacy you're falling into makes all of that irrelevant.

if you were to take the ratio of the number of times a tune from a music box was played vs. how many time the live version of that song was played, it's probably tilted in 'live' direction.  or, at least, it's arguable.

since the 60s, tho, with albums and radio and, god forbid, spotify?  that ratio, for some music, is millions upon millions to one.

that ratio spinning out of control is the point of that comparison.

what does that have to do with 'deserve to be paid'?  mostly on the calculation of what to pay.

the pure, physical limit on available money in the world means you can't pay someone who has 500,000,000 plays per month the same rate as someone who has 50 while still enabling that guy with only 50 to live on it.  does that guy deserve compensation for his 50 plays?  sure.  does he deserve to make a living?  no.

playing live, you don't get this out-of-whack ratio.  paying a guy $50 to play live vs. paying someone $500,000,000 to play live?  sure.  absurd, but sure.

the difference is the economic value being applied to each performance is limited by the quantity of time available associated with the person performing.  if we tie economic value to the time available for 7 billion people, that's a problem.

basically, this argument talks about:

1) value of performance vs. reproduction

2) no, people won't stop making music if you don't buy their cd


You're appealing to tradition. I hate it when people do that. How can anyone honestly consider "we've always done this that way" a logical argument? A lot of people would argue here that traditions don't apply because the new recording technology fundamentally changed the marketplace, but I think that's irrelevant too, because what people did in the past does not matter, and should not guide our behaviour today.

don't be confused.  i'm not arguing for the jobs of buggy whip manufacturers to come back.  i'm saying that music (or art) has always existed and always will -- regardless of the amount of compensation or propensity of compensation to be made at all.


2) if i spend $100 million dollars, work for decades, and perfect a way to cultivate and bottle the most realistic boogers ever created -- when no one buys them, i can't cry and say "but i spent all that time and effort and money!  i deserve to be paid!"

3) no one deserves to be compensated for work they do.  even in your everyday job -- you don't deserve to be paid.  you are paid based on a contract that you will do the work someone wants from you.  if you work on something your boss doesn't want, you will probably be fired.  just because you do it, doesn't mean someone will pay you for it.  they have to _want_ what you produce.

Those two points are identical imo

yah.  pretty much.  i just stretched them into multiple bullets because one was too muddied.  prolly should have denoted 3 as 2.5.


For one thing, your depiction of the other side's argument is a strawman - you don't really think people are saying artists are entitled to be payed regardless of quality or anything like that simply because they created something, right?

that's exactly what i'm saying.  that's exactly the mindset.

if i read your book, i may not have enjoyed it.  i may not think it was any good and didn't get past chapter one.  i may feel swindled that i used up 500kb of bandwidth to download it.  hell.  i may have your book, but have never even looked at it.

does the author deserve to be paid for any of that?  if your answer there is 'yes', then you think the author deserves to be paid "regardless of quality or anything like that simply because they created something".

we (as a society) do a lot to prevent that sort of regret -- everything from game demos to 'look inside' kindle books to review stars.


If someone's work is crap, nobody will pay them, and that's perfectly fair. If their work is mind-blowingly brilliant, then they have provided value to their customers, and it's in their customers' interests for them to continue creating.

yup.  completely agree.


here, we actually disagree.  musicians do not deserve to be paid for their hard work.  totally sounds harsh, but lemme explain.
So, in summary, while I don't think musicians (and artists, writers, etc) deserve to be paid for their hard work - I think they deserve to be paid for the enjoyment their work gives to others. If their work sucks then they don't deserve a thing. If their work brightens the lives of a million others, they deserve something for that.

it's really just a quibble over the word "deserve".  not because it's in any way the wrong definition, but because itself doesn't come with the caveat of "if someone wants what they've created".  that being said, i don't know if there's a word that does.

/shrug

see?  i told you our core opinions weren't that far apart.


Damn... I had more but the laptop ate it!

Thanks for starting this thread up, away from the other one. Anyway, I think Wil Wheaton has covered this ground pretty well on with Huffington Post article.

And it is something I've seen come up on r/fantasy a few times too.

again -- i disagree.  wil is assuming the work is worth something. when he says "This advice applies to designers, photographers, programmers, ANYONE who makes something. You. Deserve. Compensation. For. Your. Work."

if an editor wants to post it?  sure!  but, i cannot write this program:
Code: [Select]
10 print "pay me bitches!"
20 goto 10

and expect someone to give me money for it.  i did work.  where the hell is my compensation?!

it took me 30 minutes to write up this post.  WHERE IS MY COMPENSATION?!

no.

there's an implied "if someone wants it" that is being left off.  that's the crux of my argument.

it doesn't matter how long it took you to produce whatever it is.

it doesn't matter how much money you sunk into your training and education.

it doesn't matter what hardships you've endured.

if your work is crap and nobody wants to publish/package/sell it, then you don't deserve to be paid for it.

Offline Raptori

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Re: Do artists deserve to be paid for their hard work? (m3m says no)
« Reply #5 on: June 04, 2016, 10:07:12 PM »
tho, unfortunately for those lusting for the impending drama, i don't think we're that far apart.  but, i'll do my best!
I would've been willing to bet that was the case - plus that even if we were polar opposites on this that we'd have had a civil and insightful discussion with no drama whatsoever.  ;D

Don't have the time right now to reply to all of that, but a couple of bits that I can get to right now:

don't be confused.  i'm not arguing for the jobs of buggy whip manufacturers to come back.  i'm saying that music (or art) has always existed and always will -- regardless of the amount of compensation or propensity of compensation to be made at all.
Art will exist and always will, but not necessarily in the same quality or quantity as it is when creators are able to make a living from their art. As consumers (or connoisseurs!) of art, it's in our interests for creators to make more of what we enjoy, surely? The focus should not be on "do artists deserve to be paid", but on "how can we work out an appropriate way to pay artists an appropriate amount for the enjoyment their work gives us" imo. Which I'm pretty sure is what you're saying too; you're just coming at it from the opposite direction.  :P

that's exactly what i'm saying.  that's exactly the mindset.

if i read your book, i may not have enjoyed it.  i may not think it was any good and didn't get past chapter one.  i may feel swindled that i used up 500kb of bandwidth to download it.  hell.  i may have your book, but have never even looked at it.

does the author deserve to be paid for any of that?  if your answer there is 'yes', then you think the author deserves to be paid "regardless of quality or anything like that simply because they created something".

we (as a society) do a lot to prevent that sort of regret -- everything from game demos to 'look inside' kindle books to review stars.
Nope, that's not my mindset at all. I'm very much in favour of people paying per how much they enjoyed something. In my ideal world, you'd be able to download an ebook for free, and then if you enjoyed it you'd support the author by either buying a physical copy or donating to them (or signing up to something like patreon to support them). I'm not sure that's viable in the current marketplace though.

One example that did work for me: Brandon Sanderson provides one of his books (Warbreaker) for free from his website. After reading my first Sanderson series - Mistborn - I wasn't sure if I wanted to read any of his other books.   I downloaded Warbreaker, read it, and enjoyed it; thanks to that I felt confident I'd enjoy the rest of his works, so I took the plunge and started buying the rest of them.

Most people have done the exact same thing with other authors by taking their books out from the library first, the only unusual part is that it was an ebook. But libraries only apply to the more popular authors I guess...  :-\

it's really just a quibble over the word "deserve".  not because it's in any way the wrong definition, but because itself doesn't come with the caveat of "if someone wants what they've created".  that being said, i don't know if there's a word that does.

/shrug

see?  i told you our core opinions weren't that far apart.
Yep, think that's the point really. Plus the fact that the way things are currently doesn't work perfectly either from a consumer's perspective or from a creator's.

there's an implied "if someone wants it" that is being left off.  that's the crux of my argument.

it doesn't matter how long it took you to produce whatever it is.

it doesn't matter how much money you sunk into your training and education.

it doesn't matter what hardships you've endured.

if your work is crap and nobody wants to publish/package/sell it, then you don't deserve to be paid for it.
I take that as a given!   :P
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Offline Kitvaria Sarene

Re: Do artists deserve to be paid for their hard work? (m3m says no)
« Reply #6 on: June 05, 2016, 12:46:07 AM »
I disagree on most parts of your original post.

every book from every author ever is available for download for free.

worrying about drm or pirating or any of that?  totally a waste of time.  spend your time showing love to your fans and giving them what they want.
This is the one thing I agree on. DRM is useless. People who have the most basic computer skills will simply get rid of it, and those who don't are sometimes seriously hampered by it.



here, we actually disagree.  musicians do not deserve to be paid for their hard work.  totally sounds harsh, but lemme explain.

1) the purchasing of music recordings is an aberration of the last 60 years.  musicians have existed for centuries upon centuries before that -- all without the benefit of recording.  they earned their money the old fashioned way -- they performed.

2) if i spend $100 million dollars, work for decades, and perfect a way to cultivate and bottle the most realistic boogers ever created -- when no one buys them, i can't cry and say "but i spent all that time and effort and money!  i deserve to be paid!"

3) no one deserves to be compensated for work they do.  even in your everyday job -- you don't deserve to be paid.  you are paid based on a contract that you will do the work someone wants from you.  if you work on something your boss doesn't want, you will probably be fired.  just because you do it, doesn't mean someone will pay you for it.  they have to _want_ what you produce.

Here we do disagree. After reading your post here not 100%  but still a good deal.
I definitely agree that you don't "deserve" money just for having done something. But boy do artists deserve to get money if people want to read/listen to/watch or whatever someone created. If I like a band, then yes I should definitely pay for their music. That is what artists live by - and what enables them to continue to produce art I want to have. I am definitely for sample chapters, or for being able to listen to a song on youtube or whatever before deciding to buy it. But if I like it, then I WILL buy it.
If the sample chapter is crap, then of course I don't - as you said, they only should get my money if I like their work enough to keep reading/listening/...


yup, totally.  me?  i'm lazy.  it's sooooooo much easier to just buy a kindle book than to hunt for, deal with potential quality issues, etc for a pirated book.  i don't enjoy, nor have time to do that.

unless, for some dumb reason, the publisher chooses to price a book i want at some stupid price north of $9.99 or whatever.  that moment, it becomes a matter of principle and sticking it to the publisher for their stupid decision-making.

And now this is were I get all pumped and red in the face...
A) I just don't steal because I am too lazy? Really? (Because pirating IS stealing)
B) If a book costs more than I am willing to pay - there is two solutions. 1) I really want it, so I pay, albeit grumbeling. 2) I don't. I look for another book, and hope not enough sales will make the publisher rethink his price. If a car costs more than you are willing to pay, than you can't just take it anyway. Why is a "virtual product" any different?? If I can't, or don't want to afford something, then I can't have it. Easy as that.
Also, if it is a really good book, that has been well written, then edited, and maybe even have an artist illustrat it, and then have someone make a flawless copy, than it might well br worth more than 9 bucks. Especially if it is a small run. All the people involved have to (yes, and deserve!) to get paid for their work. If it really is more expensive than people are willing to pay, the publisher will find that out soon enough. But a sellet can set a price as he likes - you can only decide not to buy it.


it's only a challenge once.  and only to someone who has fun crushing those kinds of challenges.  in the digital world, everyone following up has the same exact pirated access to protected content as they do to non-protected content.
Here I agree again. DRM just doesn't work. I a for water marking books instead of usimg DRM.

Online cupiscent

Re: Do artists deserve to be paid for their hard work? (m3m says no)
« Reply #7 on: June 05, 2016, 01:49:07 AM »
Some thoughts, somewhat incoherently and probably repeating things already said...

Yes, recording and paying for same is a relatively new-fangled thing in the history of music. However, so is equal access regardless of class and geography to high-quality musical performance. I like not having to pay hundreds of dollars and/or travel a long way to experience music. (I mean, having travelled a long way and paid a lot to see live music, obviously I don't mind doing it, but I do like that it's not my only option!)

If you want musicians to be able to make music, they have to be able to make a living. That is eternally true. This goes for all artists.

HOWEVER, I am very interested to see how Patreon and similar things might be changing the way in which artists can make livings with their art. Both Amanda Palmer and, recently, NK Jemisin are using Patreon to become independent in their art production. (Jemisin to a lesser degree, but Palmer has gone full indie. Few have her immense online community following, however. Then again, few have put the same effort into cultivating that community as Palmer has over many years.)

Sidebar: maybe artists don't "deserve" money for their art, but I passionately believe that artists have the right to refuse to provide their art for free. It's 100% up to the artist whether they insist on payment for their art or give it away, and going against that decision is selfish - prioritising your wishes over theirs - not to mention theft. Have I pirated music, visual media, and books? Yes. Especially in areas where the material is only digitally available and libraries really haven't figured out how to keep up with that area. I often then purchase the media that I have sampled piratically. But I'm not going to call what I do anything other than what it is: selfish, and stealing.

Offline Nora

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Re: Do artists deserve to be paid for their hard work? (m3m says no)
« Reply #8 on: June 05, 2016, 02:18:28 AM »
Yep. And speaking of the good ol times, let's not forget that musicians and artists (comedians as well) would perform on street corners, being paid by the crowd (yes), until a noble took notice of them enough to become their patron and actively pay for them, by feeding, clothing and housing them.

In no known recorded time did artists ever feed themselves off of the ether.

And devil knows how many great artists we never saw come into bloom because they were too busy surviving.

As a professional photographer and former press photographer I can guarantee you that the only ones that keep working for free when the money dries up are the rich kids who don't need to pay rent.
In more truly artistic areas I'm sure there exist nut cases who "need" to produce art, even if it means not sleeping at night, but they're rare enough that I wouldn't want all my reading or music listening to depend on those.

People need to be paid proportionally to the recognition of their work, because it IS work. Writing a book or composing music is as much time of one's life not spent having sex, playing puzzles with your kids, remembering things with your gradma, eating new foods, drinking with people, sleeping or watching a pleasant movie, reading a book or whatever it is that you'd be doing instead in order to enjoy yourself.
Just because the people happen to enjoy doing this creative work does not mean they shouldn't be paid for it! You wouldn't even think twice about paying a chimney swipe who came to your house for his work, even if cleaning your chimney took 30min, and even if the chimney swipe actually loves his job as much as a guitarist loves his.
And at least he doesn't have to deal with creative block. 
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Offline m3mnoch

Re: Do artists deserve to be paid for their hard work? (m3m says no)
« Reply #9 on: June 05, 2016, 02:46:09 AM »
that's exactly what i'm saying.  that's exactly the mindset.

if i read your book, i may not have enjoyed it.  i may not think it was any good and didn't get past chapter one.  i may feel swindled that i used up 500kb of bandwidth to download it.  hell.  i may have your book, but have never even looked at it.

does the author deserve to be paid for any of that?  if your answer there is 'yes', then you think the author deserves to be paid "regardless of quality or anything like that simply because they created something".

we (as a society) do a lot to prevent that sort of regret -- everything from game demos to 'look inside' kindle books to review stars.
Nope, that's not my mindset at all. I'm very much in favour of people paying per how much they enjoyed something. In my ideal world, you'd be able to download an ebook for free, and then if you enjoyed it you'd support the author by either buying a physical copy or donating to them (or signing up to something like patreon to support them). I'm not sure that's viable in the current marketplace though.

totally.

that's why i love what people like amanda palmer (mad props to cupi for bringing her up!) and all the exposure they've been putting into sane business models for creators.  i've never been a giant fan of afp's music, but i've given her money for some of her endeavors just because she's so cool.

also, i am super-stoked patreon is a thing now.  and super-DUPER-stoked we've got it hooked up for fantasy faction now!

/fistpump


yup, totally.  me?  i'm lazy.  it's sooooooo much easier to just buy a kindle book than to hunt for, deal with potential quality issues, etc for a pirated book.  i don't enjoy, nor have time to do that.

unless, for some dumb reason, the publisher chooses to price a book i want at some stupid price north of $9.99 or whatever.  that moment, it becomes a matter of principle and sticking it to the publisher for their stupid decision-making.

And now this is were I get all pumped and red in the face...
A) I just don't steal because I am too lazy? Really? (Because pirating IS stealing)

hrm.  i think you misunderstood me.  by lazy, i mean i love the ease and simplicity of buying a book on my kindle vs. hunting/fixing/converting/suffering with a pirated copy.  my time and effort is worth more to me than the $2.99 for a book.

it's the same thing with shows.  i pirated (kinda-sorta) game of thrones because i refuse to be abused by cable tv prices.  as soon as hbo now came out tho?  i signed up and haven't looked back -- the ease, the consistent quality, the features (reliable subtitles!) all make it more than worth it.

oh, and pirating is NOT stealing.  for many reasons, but not the least is that if they have a copy, you still have yours.  they took nothing away from you.

AND -- it's not a lost sale to the creator because if it was worth buying or if they could afford to buy it, they would.  or, it's not a lost sale because it wasn't offered in their region because of stupid licensing agreements forbidding it.

just because industry interests like to label it "stealing" doesn't mean it is.  even the crime itself is called "copyright infringement", not theft.

i'm happy to point you towards reams and reams of non-lobbyist-propaganda explanations of all that if you'd like.


B) If a book costs more than I am willing to pay - there is two solutions. 1) I really want it, so I pay, albeit grumbeling. 2) I don't. I look for another book, and hope not enough sales will make the publisher rethink his price. If a car costs more than you are willing to pay, than you can't just take it anyway. Why is a "virtual product" any different?? If I can't, or don't want to afford something, then I can't have it. Easy as that.
Also, if it is a really good book, that has been well written, then edited, and maybe even have an artist illustrat it, and then have someone make a flawless copy, than it might well br worth more than 9 bucks. Especially if it is a small run. All the people involved have to (yes, and deserve!) to get paid for their work. If it really is more expensive than people are willing to pay, the publisher will find that out soon enough. But a sellet can set a price as he likes - you can only decide not to buy it.

i just explained why a virtual product is different than a physical one, but i'll reiterate in this context.

there's a third option in your scenario -- you pirate it, and tell your friends and family how awesome it is and go into the various places and give it 5-star ratings.

because:

a) if you didn't like it, you agree the author isn't owed anything.

b) you're doing free marketing and promotion for the author, so you're still helping them out.

c) you haven't taken any money from the author because you weren't going to buy it anyway.

d) the marginal cost of digital goods is zero, so it doesn't even cost the author anything in distribution costs either.


Sidebar: maybe artists don't "deserve" money for their art, but I passionately believe that artists have the right to refuse to provide their art for free. It's 100% up to the artist whether they insist on payment for their art or give it away, and going against that decision is selfish - prioritising your wishes over theirs - not to mention theft. Have I pirated music, visual media, and books? Yes. Especially in areas where the material is only digitally available and libraries really haven't figured out how to keep up with that area. I often then purchase the media that I have sampled piratically. But I'm not going to call what I do anything other than what it is: selfish, and stealing.

yup.  artists certainly don't have to provide their services for free.  lots of them choose to.  there's a large guilt/nice guy/volunteer component to that.  (if i was paid my hourly rate for all the free computer-type stuff i volunteer -- say, the ebooks i compile for our monthly contest -- i'd certainly be better off)  but, that's really a different thing.

it's the big question:  what's worse?  refusing to give your art away free or not having anyone ever experience it because no one wants to buy it or no one knows it even exists?

obscurity is the content creator's enemy -- not piracy.

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Re: Do artists deserve to be paid for their hard work? (m3m says no)
« Reply #11 on: June 05, 2016, 03:52:45 AM »
Sorry, can't agree about the piracy thing. Ok, not available in your region? Out of print? Yeah, I'll make room for that. But all the rest feels like simple rationalization of selfishness. I want, but don't like terms of getting; therefore, I go around the structure of the legal transaction to get what I want.

I get the idea that there is not physical good. It costs no more to produce another digital copy and all that. 

But this is really free-loading off the purchases of others. It's similar to what happens in unions when not all employees join them. The dues and actions of some benefit the lives of others. These others are ahead of the game: they get the benefit and spent nothing for it.

That what happens with digital piracy. Some people pay, and the artist receives some compensation. Some people don't pay. The artist does not get compensated even though enjoyment (or experience) occurred. The free-loaders got the experience, did not pay, and benefit from the fact that others did pay and therefore the artist might create a second good work for the freeloader to enjoy.

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Re: Do artists deserve to be paid for their hard work? (m3m says no)
« Reply #12 on: June 05, 2016, 03:58:50 AM »
I don't know if m3mnoch is stating his points with the right comparisons...

You said that people must want what you are producing to compensate you, that ideas and expression are not products, but you are considering that the song as the final product is the only thing the customer wants.

If there were only performances, I would only hear the songs: 1) in a specific place I have to go, 2) in a specific time I have to prepare with antecedence to go, 3) probably only once, 4) surrounded by other people, whether friends or unknowns and 5) they might not even play the song I want.

So in purchasing musical recordings, you are not only paying for the song, but also for: 1) convenience to hear it wherever you want, 2) whenever you want, 3) as many times as you wish, 4) alone or not, with headphones or out loud, with whoever you wish, 5) any song you want, and I will include 6) also the convenience to hear on different "platforms", like inside your car when you are struck in traffic, on the train, bus, plane, running in the park, waiting at the bank, market, etc and much more.

That's what's also included in the package: the ability to customize their experience. There's also the reliance on quality, in the example of HBO you just mentioned yourself!
You talked about economics and suchs, but what really matters is the subjective value any of us place in something and that just can't really be measured.
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Re: Do artists deserve to be paid for their hard work? (m3m says no)
« Reply #13 on: June 05, 2016, 05:26:31 AM »
oh, and pirating is NOT stealing.  for many reasons, but not the least is that if they have a copy, you still have yours.  they took nothing away from you.

On the one hand, sure, definitions, whatever. On the other hand, your reasoning here doesn't apply. Art is not about selling the thing. Art is about selling the experience of the thing. If you have the experience, you owe me for providing that experience. (I mean, to hilariously lower the tone, you can't "steal" from a prostitute, but if she gives you a blowjob, you owe her for that unless she says otherwise, and whatever title you want to give the avoidance of that debt, it's a breach of implicit contract.)

The more I think about that comparison the more I like it. But after a lot of giggling about differing opinions on quality and subjectivity, the question that really matters is: What is the implicit contract between media provider and media consumer? And my philosophy of media provision is that media should be packaged to be an accurate reflection of its content (instead of packaged to press sales buttons, but this is a separate issue) and therefore if the media consumer goes, "I think I will enjoy this and therefore I will enter into the contract in order to have the experience," then it is their risk that they will not. The payment of the contract price does not hinge upon enjoyment.

Availability and accessibility is a different question altogether, and as an Australian I have been enjoying the usual raft of "Aussies are the worst piraters!" discussions that happen every time a new Game of Thrones seasons starts - because there is no sensible way to legally consume GoT here. (At least we can buy the DVDs. Fantastic television show The Middleman has never been for sale in our zone. Which means my choices are pirate it, or buy it in American format and illegally jailbreak my DVD player. Whee!)

it's the big question:  what's worse?  refusing to give your art away free or not having anyone ever experience it because no one wants to buy it or no one knows it even exists?

Depends on the content creator's goal. If your goal is making money, then neither of these options suits you and you have to find another way. If all you want is people to consume your content, then obviously giving it away is fantastic. (For you. Kind of puts the squeeze on content creators who need money to be able to create content, but that's where the quality debate comes in. It obviously behooves us as artists to be making something worth paying for.)

But the "exposure" argument needs to provide value as well. When I most see that argument being used is self-pub authors who don't want to pay cover artists. But were I that cover artist, I would be asking how your self-pubbed novel could possibly get me exposure worth, say, the $600 I might charge for a basic cover. For $600, I could do a lot of advertising myself! I could reach hundreds of people with my specific message, instead of reaching however many people might care enough to look up who did that cover.

And giving away writing for free is so common these days that it's no guarantee of exposure. Not to mention that there's an enormous difference between giving away copies in exchange for exposure (so, review copies and the like) and just handing out a sample or the first-in-a-series for free as a hook. (I have so many of the latter on my e-reader that I have never, ever read. And those are just the ones I liked the sound of enough to download.)

Offline m3mnoch

Re: Do artists deserve to be paid for their hard work? (m3m says no)
« Reply #14 on: June 05, 2016, 05:59:24 AM »
But this is really free-loading off the purchases of others. It's similar to what happens in unions when not all employees join them. The dues and actions of some benefit the lives of others. These others are ahead of the game: they get the benefit and spent nothing for it.

that is precisely correct.  pirates are freeloading off the back of those of us that pay.

is it morally right?  no.

is it legal?  no.

is it going to stop?  no.

that means we, as artist-supporting fans, should frownie-face everyone we can to make sure they support our favorite artists.

that means we, as artists, should ignore the freeloaders and work to reward people who are are our biggest fans.  we should connect with them.  we should give them a reason to buy our creations.

mike masnick even has a formula for it:
Quote
Connect with Fans (CwF) + Reason to Buy (RtB) = The Business Model

in this day and age, with the world as small as it is, and with artists as available as they are, more creators are making more money than ever in history:
http://www.nytimes.com/2015/08/23/magazine/the-creative-apocalypse-that-wasnt.html

so, any extra energy we spend trying to prevent the freeloaders from freeloading is completely wasted -- wasted time, wasted mental energy, wasted money on impossible "prevention".

if you want a literary example, i'll just point you towards cory doctorow:
http://craphound.com/

not only does he not worry about piracy, but you can download every single one of his books, in full, for free.  right next to the button to purchase them.  by doing that, he's building amazing amounts of goodwill AND he's not losing sales because he knows anyone who wants his books can get them for free anyway.

and, if you think i'm passionate in my drm-hate?  good, lord.  you should go to lunch with him.

(btw, he's another one of my heroes along with afp.)


I don't know if m3mnoch is stating his points with the right comparisons...

meh.  neither do i at this point.


So in purchasing musical recordings, you are not only paying for the song, but also for: 1) convenience to hear it wherever you want, 2) whenever you want, 3) as many times as you wish, 4) alone or not, with headphones or out loud, with whoever you wish, 5) any song you want, and I will include 6) also the convenience to hear on different "platforms", like inside your car when you are struck in traffic, on the train, bus, plane, running in the park, waiting at the bank, market, etc and much more.

i'm certainly not anti-recorded music.  i'm super-lazy, remember?  and, since i hate ads, i have both a pandora account AND a spotify account.  love, love, love.

i mean, if you can offer it up and people buy it?  more power to them.  recorded music is an amazing innovation.

however.

selling bits on a plastic disc isn't (and shouldn't be) the only way a music artist can pay the bills.  like i've said, it's an aberration from the last half-century.  it will get out-innovated by something else.  spotify is doing a bang-up job of destroying that model currently.

in fact ... wait for it ... vinyl has been making a comeback in the last few years.  a 260% increase in the last 6 years according to forbes.

why?  because they're collectible.  tangible.  physical.  you can SMELL them.  they're not just stupid ones and zeroes.  you can hold it.  it has value.

it's the same reason we collect hardback books.  sure, you can buy the kindle version, but dammit!  i want a hot and sexy shelf filled with fancy-covered and author-signed dead trees!

i shudder to think how much money i've spent on just two of rothfuss's books.  i'm pretty sure i own them in like 100,000 different formats.

the key to all of this is economic scarcity.  copied data out on a server somewhere has no marginal cost to the creator and limited utility beyond the basics.

that lithograph durer you've hanging on the wall?  booooo-ring.  the original young hare hanging on mine?  BOOM!  that's what i'm talking about!

(note:  i don't really have young hare hanging on my wall.  man, but i wish...)

oh!  and, speaking of mike masnick, he's actually got an (old now) article where he basically lays out a bunch of fancy scarcity-slathered ways artists are getting paid:
https://www.techdirt.com/articles/20091119/1634117011/future-music-business-models-those-who-are-already-there.shtml

i highly recommend it.


On the one hand, sure, definitions, whatever. On the other hand, your reasoning here doesn't apply. Art is not about selling the thing. Art is about selling the experience of the thing. If you have the experience, you owe me for providing that experience.

art is often about selling the thing.  from martin shkreli buying wu tang's album to a world of warcraft player commissioning a rendering of their character to one of us paying for a book cover.

but, yeah.  it's often about experiencing the thing too.

do you walk by that street musician without throwing coins in his case?  why?  doesn't he deserve that money?


(I mean, to hilariously lower the tone, you can't "steal" from a prostitute, but if she gives you a blowjob, you owe her for that unless she says otherwise, and whatever title you want to give the avoidance of that debt, it's a breach of implicit contract.)

OMG SO USING THIS!!


The more I think about that comparison the more I like it.

right?!  how have i never come up with it in the countless hours i've had this discussion!


But after a lot of giggling about differing opinions on quality and subjectivity, the question that really matters is: What is the implicit contract between media provider and media consumer? And my philosophy of media provision is that media should be packaged to be an accurate reflection of its content (instead of packaged to press sales buttons, but this is a separate issue) and therefore if the media consumer goes, "I think I will enjoy this and therefore I will enter into the contract in order to have the experience," then it is their risk that they will not. The payment of the contract price does not hinge upon enjoyment.

much of this assumes a common quality bar.  unfortunately, there is no such thing.

but, yes.  if you agreed to the price, consumed, and enjoyed someone's content they've created, you are absolutely obligated to pay them.  and the creator is within their right to demand payment.

that's the happy path reasoning, tho.  nobody disagrees with the happy path.


But the "exposure" argument needs to provide value as well. When I most see that argument being used is self-pub authors who don't want to pay cover artists. But were I that cover artist, I would be asking how your self-pubbed novel could possibly get me exposure worth, say, the $600 I might charge for a basic cover. For $600, I could do a lot of advertising myself! I could reach hundreds of people with my specific message, instead of reaching however many people might care enough to look up who did that cover.

as someone whose sold illustrations and paintings in a professional capacity, i can absolutely say the $600 i would charge for a basic cover has waaaay less utility to me than a blurb in a best-selling book about my badass cover.

for $600, you get a short, locked-in-a-moment-in-time campaign targeting whomever was hunting for book covers at the time.

for the pro-bono book cover, if it was a best seller, you'd have more eyeballs for more time and those eyeballs would be pre-qualified for my specific style and talent.  "i want a cover like x's book from two years ago but i just read.  that was awesome.  i wonder who did it?  oh, look!  it says right here in the front matter!"

however, obviously, that completely and totally depends on how many books are sold and the exposure you'd get.

do i need to eat that month?  i'd probably take the cash.  do i think this cover will have tons of play?  i'd take the exposure.


And giving away writing for free is so common these days that it's no guarantee of exposure. Not to mention that there's an enormous difference between giving away copies in exchange for exposure (so, review copies and the like) and just handing out a sample or the first-in-a-series for free as a hook. (I have so many of the latter on my e-reader that I have never, ever read. And those are just the ones I liked the sound of enough to download.)

sounds like an obscurity problem if i've ever heard one.

---

okay.

i should stop now.

obviously, this is one of my favorite subjects to talk about.  i'll shut up for a while.

oh, and you guys should avoid asking me about my feeling on patents, too.  that's a bad and boring idea.


edit:  ha!  i just went digging.  here's me ranting about this very topic 8 years ago.  https://m3mnoch.wordpress.com/2008/05/06/music-is-a-service-not-a-product/
« Last Edit: June 05, 2016, 06:15:57 AM by m3mnoch »