[linux-audio-user] Re: Totally OT

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To: <linux-audio-user@...>
Date: Wednesday, March 8, 2006 - 5:19 pm

>Since the original posting here was about a commercial product, I

Since Artemiy is obviously a member of the oss community - making many free
contributions himself, and offering a very inexpensive product as well, I
didn't really view this as spam - but yes, perhaps this list wasn't the
appropriate place to promote it.
What I took exception to was the censure he seemed to be receiving for
asking money for his product..

>Ah, I was wondering where the 'OT' dicussions were... LOL, not really OT

:)
Until I am much more code-savvy and knowledgeable about electronics, I'm
afraid 'OT' is mostly all I can contribute.
But this community is centered around certain philosophies bearing on
copyright, free software, free music, etc., and these philosphies need to
be periodically revisited and subject to vigorous debate.
We're obviously not 'there' yet with it all - lot's of issues still need to
be worked out.

>I believe the reason why digital products with a cost are frowned upon

'Reproduction' is not the only cost factor.
There is a considerable cost in *production* that must also be taken into
account.
Computer hardware and high-quality audio hardware are not cheap, nor are
fine musical instruments.
Neither are the equipment and supplies needed to manufacture and ship your
own CDs, and neither is the cost of hosting a website, maintaining a
merchant account, etc.

Costs of production/reproduction aside, there remains the intrinsic worth
of the creative work itself.
Even were it to cost nothing to produce, a beautiful work of art still
holds value simply for what it is.

>I do not believe that proper compensation is not possible under these

Agreed.

>This guy

Yup - no better advertising than word-of-mouth.

>For linux software (and other free software) what we need is a good

I think so too, but as I said - we're not there yet.

As for tipping, it is a good approach, but doesn't seem to be working very
well yet.
Perhaps that is due to the fact that we don't have what you call a tipping
'economy'.
I wish very much that I could just tip for electricity, internet access,
web hosting, food, shelter, etc., etc.

Tipping is an intermediate stage between a full-scale currency-based
economy and a barter-based one.
Believe me, I despise currency probably more than anyone here.
I wrote a treatise against the concept of 'money' and in favor of barter
when I was 6 years old, and have not altered my views about it
significantly since then. :).
(However I don't really see how technological innovations such as we now
enjoy could have come about without it).

>To me the hypocrisy is questioning about these issues without taking the

Wherever did you get the idea that I wasn't taking tipping into
consideration?
I was taking issue with the concept that music or software must be *free*
as opposed to receiving reasonable remuneration for one's effort.
Tipping *is* a form of remuneration.

>Is it working?

It obviously is not working well at this time.
If someone is making a modest living off of tips, I would really love to
hear about it and learn their techniques.
I think Ardour is a perfect case in point.
As I understand it, Paul has received little more than $2K in donations -
mostly from *one* individual - vs the $60K+ of his own he has put into
development.
He had to go to work part or full-time (I'm not sure which) to make up for
the lack of support in the way of donations.
I don't think anyone here questions the value of this great software and
its importance to the community, but 'tipping' doesn't seem to be working
here, does it?
This is not right.

>The reason - and this is the strongest hypocrisy - is also that people

It's actually worse than that: many people think that if you don't sell
your work, it is because it is not *worth* anything.
I know of many cases in the real world, where people selling various forms
of arts and crafts actually experienced an *increase* in sales when they
raised their prices considerably.
There are some very obtuse mindsets at work here - brand-name snobbery, and
the like.

>Another reason, and this is why I was sarcastic with your first post,

Ah - another misunderstanding there, I think.
I was not equating what I perceive to be 'audiophile' quality of music with
its monetary worth.
There is the music itself - the content which has intrinsic worth, no
matter how poor the production quality may be.
And it is precisely this value which seems to be getting ignored in all
this discussion of 'cost of reproduction', etc.
The creative work has value in and of itself, regardless of the tangible
form it takes or means by which it is distributed.

>I contacted the same

That is utterly absurd, but ubiquitous in this society.
It is precisely the type of shallow mindset I was referring to earlier.

>Dana, to me it is great that you put a donation button on

Yes! - if there is not an actual 'profit', then it is still 'free' from the
producer's standpoint.

>It won't sound better, but there are other advantages to buying a real

I doubt anyone is making a living from this yet, but some bands are having
varying degrees of success selling their CDs.
We did best just selling them at live performances - I'd say 90% of our CD
sales have been at gigs.

>For instance, I bought 20+ cds (and paid lot for them, since they were

Not sure I'm following your reasoning here.
This would certainly undermine the idea that their 'limited artifacts' have
some enhanced value, but doesn't make them totally worthless.
That would be the same reasoning adopted by the magazines that wouldn't
listen to your music once they realized you were offering some of it for
free.
We sell our music both in CD form and through iTunes and other
paid-download sites.
I see nothing wrong with this, except that what we make from the downloads
is negligible.
But we'll take it - not any different from taking 'tips' for the music.

>there is a difference between a CD-R and a CD... not directly the sound

I think that burning the master audio files directly to the marketed CD-Rs
- if they are of high quality, like Mitsui - can yield a superior sounding
product vs. pressed CDs - but that is due to my perception of generational
degradation involved going from the original masters to the final pressed
product.
(Don't want to debate that one again here. :) )
The durability of this media is another matter altogether, but even pressed
CDs have a limited life-span.
I've even heard of peoples CDs deteriorating due to some kind of
plastic-eating fungus!

>But my argument was that people's perception of an artefact that stores

Not just the bits - what the bits represent - the artistic content matters.
Not all compositions are created equal.
That is why Pat Metheny can still sell his "New Chautauqua" CD for $18 even
though it's 27 years old.

>Once something has been digitalized it's archived for the eternity, or

I don't think there yet exists a media which has virtually 'eternal'
archival qualities.
Perhaps when we can learn to encode data into crystal lattices, or as
Arthur C. Clarke envisioned, lattices of light?

In short, I think tipping *is* a good step on the way to reforming the way
in which artists, programmers, etc. - maybe everyone - are compensated for
their work, but it must all be in the context of a more general reformation
in how goods and services are exchanged and paid for.
Removing the middleman whenever possible is a very good way to reduce the
costs of delivering goods and hence reducing the costs needing to be
recouped by the producer.
That is one of the things the internet makes possible.

Those who are willing to adjust their lifestyle to a more modest,
sustainable, and self-sufficient one will certainly be in the best position
to take advantage of these new models of trade and exchange.
And I sincerely hope it will become possible someday for technological
innovation and specialization to exist without the need for currency.

- Maluvia

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[linux-audio-user] Re: Totally OT, Maluvia, (Wed Mar 8, 5:19 pm)
Re: [linux-audio-user] Re: Totally OT, Cesare Marilungo, (Wed Mar 8, 6:27 pm)