Who ever said anything about the artist not getting payed? You must have misunderstood me. I go to many concerts and buy a lot of band merchandise, I fully intend to reward the artists I like for giving such enjoyable art by what lies within my meager means.Then what is music? From the first tune played to the very end of a complete album, music is "a thing" that has to be invented and worked on (written down, played, rehearsed, rewritten, recorded, mixed, mastered, produced) by at least one person (usually a lot of people), involving the usage of normally quite expensive equipment and devices. Sounds like a product to me, or at least I think it shares the qualities with cars, houses, pens - or computers - that qualify them as products.I would like to stress that the point of what I said is one of rhetoric. We agree on the factual truth of "... not everybody that downloads an album illegally would have bought it..." But I would rather say: A comparatively small number of people who freely download albums would have paid for CDs or proprietary downloads.
None of these features have anything to do with anything being a product. In a general sense a product is anything produced, that is made by human labor. It is irrelephant how much effort or capital goes into it. But we were talking about commodities (maybe I should have used that term instead of "product" in the quote you gave. It was the beginning of my post and I didn't have everything layed out yet.) and it is products as commodities that are relevant here.
But I guess your general point is: Recording music is expensive.
My general reply is: Yes. And even if it can be done in less expensive ways, it is still an effort to record music.
Exactly. I buy books because I like to read longer text from hardcopy stuff. But to be more to point: You say: The people who record music should be compensated for their effort and I agree. You say that therefore one should buy every album or song one wants to listen to on CD and I disagree. There are many other ways this could work. E.g. Bands could consider recording and spreading music a method of marketing in order to get people to come to their shows.Of course the data medium is exchangeable, therefore the media change as time goes by, from gramophone records to blu-rays, and nowadays quite a lot of music is sold "without" such a medium, via the internet. It´s still a product and the makers deserve their money if you want to have it.
You could also say that a book is just the medium for a text, and since you can copy a text easily with a computer you shouldn´t be charged for it.
Of course not everybody that downloads an album illegally would have bought it if he/she wouldn´t have had the opportunity to download it for free. But some certainly would.
By downloading it, the even get extra value. They get great usability (transfer to any mp3 player without copy protection fucking stuff up), no wear and tear (CDs often become scratched,...) and finally control and power over something they care about and that is a part of the cultural identity. All things they lack under the monopoly of the reproduction industry.Like you said, having a cd in a jewel case isn´t crucial nowadays, so a lot of people will download the music illegaly instead of buying it since they don´t get any corresponding added value.
So saying the artist deserves to be payed for his work is "nothing but the lies and moaning of a handful of people" who are "perfectly willing to ruin the lives of school children, turn huge masses of people into criminals and sacrifice everyone's freedom."? I would like to meet one single artist who lives on his work to approve this view.
But this far different than arguing that I should pay a company for the right to listen to a particular piece of music.
A simple example of digital freedom: The ability to let JoeyHell676, nice guy I just met, listen to some music I really dig. In a post in metal section, where someone asked for power metal recommendations, I posted a long list of youtube links, all illegal, to let him check out what I thought was great music.I do not see how producing art, information and knowledge, free or not, is an "important part of digital freedom". Especially when talking of music, I don´t see what its production has to do with digital freedom.
Here is more: When a record company feels that I cannot sell enough of a certain album anymore to make a profit (or if the company goes out of business), the album goes out of print, being lost to future generations and consigned to the "rare" stack. Digital freedom allows for the preservation of music no longer considered profitable by the reproduction industry.
Structures, such as the GEMA in Germany, exist that force artist into licensing their music on pain of commercial failure.
Finally, there are traditions of sampling and playing covers, which clearly fall into the field of production rather than reproduction. But if you really are curious, google "creative commons".
I don't know about other fields, but in my field, the number of people who recieve amounts of money worth talking about from book deals is minuscule. Daniel Dennet maybe.About the reproduction, that point is very contentious. Not only when talking of art, but also of "information and knowledge". I don´t actually know what you do for a living, based on some of your utterances I assume it is something academic/scholarly, and more or less the whole academic branch is based on the valuation of information and knowledge, respectively on how to gain and distribute it. Don´t you think a scientist deserves money for books he writes?
And at least in philosophy there is a growing tendency of everyone just publishing their stuff on their personal websites (in addition to publishing in journals, because that's what you have to do to get a name and a good position, which is a bit silly and bad for science and scholarship all by itself). In any case most professionals earn their money by teaching or through research grants.
And that is the essence of science: the achieve the greatest possible understanding by a free and open exchange of ideas. And if some people are excluded from that exchange because science books cost a bloody fortune, than so much worse for science. People should be paid for the work they do, not for its marketability.
My point is simply this:And what is your point? That the artist deserves money for people who want to see them play their music but not for the fact that they record music, giving people the opportunity to listen to it whenever they want instead of once in four years? That artists are generally overpayed?
1. Art as a industrially reproducible commodity is a very young phenomenon.
2. There was art before that.
3. For a time, a certain group of people (record labels, the music industry, the recording industry, the film industry, whatever you call them) had the means and power to cheaply and quickly reproduce art and no one else had that power. This allowed them to make a good profit.
4. This situation is changing. Now a vast number of people have the means and power to cheaply and quickly reproduce art and no one has a technological monopoly on that anymore. And that means that the business model of the reproduction industry is about to fail.
5. The reproduction industry, having already invested vast amounts of capital in their business scheme feel very threatened by this and lash out with any means available and in utter disregard of the costs of their actions.
6. Among other things, they tell you that if they are no longer around to hand out some morsels to the artists, no one will hand out any morsels to the artists.
7. But remember 2., there was art before and there will be art after their business model.
I don't make it my business to predict the future, but I can tell you that thinking that the way things have been done for the last 100 or so years is the only way things can be is mistaken.
Merchandising and gigs are two ways that currently offer an alternative (and generally much higher) income to musicians than selling records to labels who reproduce them and sell the reproductions is. I don't think that paying people for live performances will ever go out of fashion and I don't see clothes and posters and bottle openers and mugs being digitalized anytime soon either. Maybe with nanotech factories. But that is all science fiction. Maybe our children's children will get a Star Trekian post-scarcity socialism. In Star Trek, copyright would mean you would only be allowed to replicate certain things, while to replicate certain other things, you would need to buy a license.Who are you to judge on what part of their work they are allowed to put a price on?
By the way, if you consider it right to listen to their music anytime and see them playing anytime(since probably you don´t exclude dvd´s from your list) for free, why should they be allowed to charge you for a live concert? They can´t really charge you for the athmosphere, since that´s hardly a product. They could charge you for the time and money they need to go to a certain location and play there so you could see them, but following this trail they could also charge you for the time and money they need to record and produce the music you want to listen to for free. That´s just contradictionary.
And who knows about merchandise, maybe in a few years we can produce shirts and sweaters at home as easily as we now can rip and burn a cd. Why sell merchandise then?
What is a fact is that reproducible art has technologically moved beyond scarcity and for the first time ever, thanks to the internet and the abundance of computers "we, the people" have a shot to actualize at least a small part of a post-scarcity world. That is worth a high price. Even Hansi and company losing out on some profits. Certainly, it is worth record companies going out of business.
When sheet music had to be hand copied, it was naturally scarce, mostly made to order and therefore not a commodity. Later it was printed for a certain part of the population who could afford it and acquired some commodity features. All in all, an tiny opportunity for printers and publishers to make some money, but hardly a way for composers to live. Indeed, most where paid by patrons. The same goes for orchestras.Before you could purchase recorded music, it was popular to purchase sheet music of well-known pieces, edited and transcribed for piano, what was a common instrument in the wealthier households, so you could play them yourself and catch a glimpse of the original enjoyment at home. Of course, these editions were sold for money. And how do you think Mozart and his contemporaries could afford being full-time musicians? They were either quite rich themselves, or they were employed by patrons or churches and payed for composing by them. Not to mention that orchestra musicians (that are usually required to perform a piece) weren´t cheap either. But they´re just a medium too, if you want to put it that way. Don´t you see where that leads to?
But look beyond that. People playing not the rich and lordly but for normal people. Mostly, they were just their peers, not dedicated musicians. And they still composed and made up songs. Traditional music did come from somewhere. And ironically enough, classical music still is not possible outside of patron ship. It was the traditional music and what came of it that allowed for commercial success once it became reproducible.
And again: The point is simply that different ways (call them social technologies if you will) to enable music (and other art) to be created existed, many still exist in some form or another and the business model of the record industry is just one way among many. The future, with changing technologies, will hold different ways, I am sure.
Arts and culture, next to education, are among the fields were most cuts came. Between bankrupt communities and national budge cuts, there is not much being done. I admit to having exaggerated, though.But they do! Nearly every western country puts large amounts of money into the education of musicians and other artists. Most of them also subsidize selectet exhibitions, performances of plays or music, and other stuff. Why sould they instead (or additionally) pay for the expenses of artists who can earn their money themselves? - oh yeah, we don´t pay them anymore, I forgot.
But, to come up with some handy conclusion:
I assume that your point is that we need to support the reproduction industry in its business practices because else, musicians will not be able to live by making music anymore.
I argue that the business model of the reproduction industry is outdated and their attempts to save it are disastrous to the general public and public interest.
I argue that said business model has been around for only a rather short time and that other ways for musicians to make a living existed before, exist now and we can expect that unforeseen ways will exist in the future.
But even if you were right, that would still be a price worth paying.