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Re: FSF : lackeys of their corporate masters

From: Stefaan A Eeckels
Subject: Re: FSF : lackeys of their corporate masters
Date: Fri, 7 May 2004 00:19:24 +0200

On Thu, 06 May 2004 18:51:14 +0200
Martin Dickopp <> wrote:

> Stefaan A Eeckels <> writes:
> > On Thu, 06 May 2004 13:21:03 +0200
> > Martin Dickopp <> wrote:
> >
> >> > It is fairly obvious that today, the
> >> > system is out of kilter, but it's equally obvious that the 
> >> > availability of cheap reproduction makes it impossible to
> >> > produce certain (maybe desirable) reproducible goods.
> >> 
> >> Maybe I'm missing something, but the latter is not obvious to me at
> >>all. What goods are impossible to produce due to cheap reproduction?
> >
> > If it costs me $1000 to produce the first copy of my
> > music CD, and I cannot hope to recoup these
> > costs because the first bloke who buys it makes copies
> > without paying me a dime, I'll think twice about 
> > spending $1000. Maybe I'll revert to composing music
> > for the guy who pays me to play at his table, or
> > maybe I play someone else's music because I have
> > no time to compose. Or maybe I only make music to 
> > relax, and sell insurance for a living.
> IMHO, your view is somewhat too economy centered.  Art has been created
> from millennia, long before the present "Western" copyright system
> existed.  For example, many painters of the past (whose paintings are
> nowadays traded for tens of millions) have died in poverty, but the fact
> that they couldn't make a living by creating artwork during their
> lifetime hasn't stopped them from doing so.  In short, people sometimes
> do things even without economic incentive.

Indeed - which is why I said that it would become impossible
to produce _certain (maybe desirable) reproducible goods_.
Painters aren't a good example - their economic success wasn't,
and isn't, linked to the sale of copies, but the sale of 
original works. Hence painters dying in poverty simply means
that they weren't appreciated in their time.

> I agree that nowadays, it is becoming increasingly difficult to make a
> profit by /distributing/ music, but at the same time, the need for
> companies in the business of distributing music decreases.  So while I
> do indeed believe that the future for the "music industry" looks rather
> dark, I don't think less music will be created.

Actually, being able to make a profit from selling recorded
music isn't under threat at all. People still buy CDs, and
unless the new media allow the package to be duplicated in its
entirety, people will continue to buy the genuine item. That
being said, if the genuine article is an overhyped bit of trivia
performed by an artistic non-entity, one shouldn't be surprised
it doesn't sell as well as some uncultured and boorish exectives
project. In addition, not every MP3 downloaded is a CD sale lost.

As to no less music being created if people stop paying for access
to music on CDs or in MP3s, I agree with you. But that music
might linger in the composer's archives after having been 
performed live a few times. The real contribution of affordable
recorded music is that millions have been able to discover and
enjoy music they would otherwise not even know existed. 

Also, don't forget that software isn't an art form, and that
without economic motivation, most of it would neither be
created nor maintained. 

Take care,

"What is stated clearly conceives easily."  -- Inspired sales droid

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