paying artists (was: Re: Freedom or Copyright? - GNU Project - Free Software Foundation) (FSF)

Alex Hudson home at
Thu Feb 14 09:36:04 UTC 2008

On Wed, 2008-02-13 at 15:52 +0000, David Gerard wrote:
> The current system is expressly designed by and for the middlemen; the
> artists are milked like cattle. I urge Alex (and all here) to reread
> Steve Albini's description of how the system worked as of 1994:

Sure, and you can say the same about practically any organisation which
is built around the work of a few - I would never claim it's anything
close to perfect (although Albini's description only briefly alludes to
the numbers employed in that system, and doesn't look at the numbers
where an album doesn't sell well - which I would venture is the more
common scenario).

It still comes back to the basic issue with earning a living from this
kind of art. There are plenty of people willing to pay money for it, but
there are up-front costs which need to be covered, thus you need
investment. If self-publishing and gathering income that way were so
easy, bands would be doing that instead of getting record contracts (and
a good proportion of them actually do; not many make a living from it
though). I haven't seen [m]any examples of where that was done before
the artist was sufficiently well-known to be able to do it.



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