I Downloader #5 - Are the Fundamentals Solid?

as formerly industrial economies/countries transit to a virtual/digital economy, a lot of the old ways don't apply anymore. there is one legacy of industrial society, though, that is still useful - an understanding of the fundamentals of the Market, in an old-school, bare knuckles Adam Smith kind of way.

it's one of the elephants in the room whenever the catechism of "artists being paid for their work" gets passed around -   not as a suggestion, or aspiration or plan of action, but as a self-evident truth with a side of subtext: the implicit appropriation of the highest of the moral high grounds.

the belief that a noble moral imperative has value in a corporate culture is interesting. the belief that
corporations would spend millions of dollars on a moral imperative would lead to make it so is simply delusional.


long before we get to that promised land, where everyone is a vegan on a bicycle and all the artists get paid for their work, there are some serious speed bumps that might slow things down.


the first one is "supply and demand".

it doesn't take too much Googling or very many hours on the information superhighway to learn that there is a lot of music out there. there is more music than anyone could ever want or need, or even find the waking hours to hear... and every day there's more and more and more of it.

a lot of that music is available to anyone who wants it, legally, for free. the leading contributors are Artists few have heard or heard of, who just want people to hear it.  

it's the way it is.

but according to market theory, when the supply of anything exceeds the demand for it, prices are going to go down. if that supply continues to grow more quickly than the demand, the value - real and imagined - will go down too. the more of it is free, the greater this effect will be...


this market fundamental is never referenced in the talking points of the Industry or their acolytes. as truths go, it's beyond inconvenient but it's more likely that this complication has simply never even occurred to them.


there are more Artists creating art of the planet now than ever before in human history. anyone can be an Artist. when people ask "what do you do?", you just say "i'm an artist".

ba da bing.
ba da boom.

it's fine. it's tickety-boo.

you can call yourself an Artist. you can call yourself the King of Spain or Mahdi the Expected One or Donny the Bag of Frozen Peas.


it doesn't matter that much, because it doesn't entitle you to anything. it certainly doesn't entitle you to expect people to pony up front for 'work' they never asked you to do.

the tax/levee/surcharge whatever on blank cassettes, CDRs and soon/now on MP3 players are punitive and unfair and people know it. what was once a bad idea is now a bad practice- a transparent cash grab, predicated on specious statistics and a profoundly misanthropic view of the rest of us.

the only upside is they give everyone who pays them an emotional incentive to go out and rip some free music.

wtf, they've already paid.


like so many of the legislative proposals emanating from the copyright cartels, it is a stupid idea. wrapping a stupid idea in swaddling clothes and cliches about The Suffering Artists of today, and building a better future for the young artists of tomorrow doesn't make it any the less stupid.

it's just the fig leaf.

what's double-plus ungood about it all is they are now the foundation of, and the justification for,
the draconian measures proposed by the Industry, which carry the force of law in a growing number of northern/industrialized countries.

propositions this stupid only come from thinking that's so far inside the box that there is no outside. it only makes sense inside the box.


it can't be discussed with anyone outside the box, because it only makes sense to the self-interested.

it's a world-view of infantile self-absorption, with a sociopathic tendency or two in the mix. you think that's harsh?
read the signs!

- stay tuned for part 6 -


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