When it comes to making money from our art, just because we as artists
can create something doesn't mean people have any obligation to listen
to it (regardless of if anyone pays us for it).
If you don't produce what people want to listen to, they won't steal
your music or pay for it. They won't listen to it.
I think a lot of musicians make little or no money in music because
they've chosen to pursue music that pleases only them or their chosen
"in" / "cool" crowd. (I blame it all on the Romantic movement and its
idea that creative people are somehow specially touched by the gods,
therefore worthy of greater honor than other people.)
When I was playing professionally many decades ago, there was a local
band in my home town that was making about $200K a year without selling
a single record. What they sold was their live performance, which was
entertaining and people wanted to listen to.
A bigger example of that in action was the Grateful Dead. They
officially allowed bootlegging - IOW, copying of their concerts. They
still sold out concerts, sold recordings, didn't do it with big
commercial "hit" songs. They seemed to be more commercially successful
at it than that well-known English singer/songwriter who blogged about
how every time she performed live, she lost money and was seriously
talking about no longer touring.
An old example of musicians making a living at it were the bards. They
wrote and shared music and news. The more successful they were at
pleasing their audience, the better they were paid. They also shared
songs among themselves, I think because they knew that improving each
bard's ability to survive and prosper made it easier for the whole group
of bards. If your village had a great time when one bard had been there,
you're more likely to think better of the next bard that comes through
town. (And lest you think people back then didn't have the means to
readily copy a bard's song - they did. People back then were much much
better at memorizing and singing than people in our present "passive
Anyway, I support copyright with reasonable limitations. What I think
the recording industries are trying to do under the guise of copyright
protection is force it to become a "pay per play" thing: If you want to
listen to a particular song 20 times, you pay for it 20 times.
authenticity, honesty, community
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