Update
A really smart guy I know has left a few comments to this entry, so do check those out!

Cory Doctorow has a 23+ minute video that includes some thought-provoking words. I will have to listen again to really wrap my head around it and see what I think. He suggests (around 14:45) that most artists have never made a living making art. Discouraging or just truth?

He also says these things:

  • 10:30 The purpose of copyright law can’t be to ensure that this person gets rich or that person gets rich … the purpose of copyright law needs to be creativity itself.

  • 13:28 Technology giveth and technology taketh away. The point of copyright shouldn’t be to say that the way that we started making money for musicians in 1930 will be the way that we continue to make money for musicians in 2030 It should be that we ensure that we have the maximum number of musicians making the maximum amount of music that reaches the largest possible audience.

I’ve never read anything of Mr. Doctorow’s, nor had I seen his site before; a friend alerted a group I’m in to this video, so I checked it out, especially because the quote that my friend sent to us was about the “maximum amount of music” quote. (I did notice there wasn’t anything about quality in that quote. Perhaps it went without saying that the music should be of high quality? Or perhaps it’s just that quality is in the eye ear of the beholder?)

In any case, some might read the quote or hear him talk and be ready for a fight. Me? I honestly am still pondering.

Do I make a living? I don’t know! What is “a living”? I’m married, and my husband has a full time job. So it’s always difficult for me to figure out if I could survive on my own as an oboist. I think I could. I’d be a rotten, rotten waitress.

2 Comments

  1. “10:30 The purpose of copyright law can’t be to ensure that this person gets rich or that person gets rich … the purpose of copyright law needs to be creativity itself.”

    That is an extraordinarily disingenuous statement. It is true that copyright law was not created to make sure that “this person gets rich,” in fact one of the primary purposes of creating copyright law was to ensure that those who created original work had an incentive to do so in that they would be protected for a time from others who would try to profit from their creativity.

    Doctorow is tremendously misleading in this statement. He’d make a great politician…

  2. To add to the above, the idea of copyright was to encourage creative work by ensuring that those who did it could expect a reasonable financial reward for their work. It explicitly recognized, as apparently Doctorow does not, that failing to protect rights of creators would _discourage_ creativity or at least the dissemination of creative work.

    Basically, he has it backwards.