[LINK] Artists Should Be Compensated For Their Work

Kim Holburn kim at holburn.net
Mon Oct 12 00:14:49 AEDT 2009

Nina Palay is Artist in Residence at QuestionCopyright.org.


> Since we've been in a massive artistic crisis for decades, maybe  
> people have given up on asking whether the top .5% of artists  
> deserve their monetary compensation. If I sing and prance around on  
> stage, am I entitled to $110 million a year? It's the same work  
> Madonna does, and that's what she makes. But Madonna arranged to be  
> paid in advance of the singing and prancing, and performed it as work.
> And if artists deserve to be compensated, then how much do they  
> deserve? Isn't art priceless? How do you determine how much it's  
> worth?
> We could let the market decide. That could work... IF WE GET RID OF  
> MONOPOLIES. The Free Market only works without monopolies.  
> Information monopolies like copyright destroy that system. I'm all  
> for allowing the Free Market to function, but it can only function  
> without copyright.
> Indeed, Madonna is not compensated as an artist; she is reaping  
> profits from her information monopoly — that is, the copyright that  
> restricts her Art. So if Madonna is your model, you aren't rooting  
> for artists; you are rooting for monopolists. If your mechanism for  
> "compensating" artists requires them to become monopolists and to  
> grow and position their monopolies as monopolists do, then you are  
> championing monopolies, not Art.
> Art is not a commodity, it is a gift. If you want to produce a  
> commodity, negotiate its worth in advance. Art is made on the  
> initiative of the artist. Otherwise, it's commissioned work, which  
> obviously compensates the worker. But the the commissioner is often  
> a corporation or investment group, who will expect a monopolist's  
> return on their investment. So the pro-copyright argument is simply  
> in favor of maintaining the oligarchy whose elites happen to be the  
> main patrons of art in our age. It's like supporting monarchies  
> because kings and queens patronize artists.
> This may be hard to hear, but: many artists who claim they just want  
> to eat and pay rent are lying (perhaps to themselves). Most artists  
> don't want a living wage — they want to win the lottery. Suggest to  
> most filmmakers and musicians that "success" is about $75,000 a  
> year, and they'll turn up their noses. You call that a jackpot?  
> They're only in it for the millions, baby. If that means working a  
> day job and remaining obscure, so be it. Millions need to be poor so  
> that one can be rich; they're willing to do their time being poor,  
> so that one day they can be rich at the expense of others. Their  
> turn will come, they think.

Kim Holburn
IT Network & Security Consultant
Ph: +39 06 855 4294  M: +39 3494957443
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