News


You pay for copyright all the time

Sheila Chandra - Monday, April 10, 2017

 

I’m going to address a controversial subject – with some of the public anyway…. copyright. More specifically, paying extra for the copyright element of a product. Or in many cases, paying for it at all…

 

The public thinks artistic endeavour should be free

Now I understand why this is. Creativity is typically portrayed as something creative people ‘can’t help’ doing. So why, this section of the public thinks, should I be paying for something those people would do anyway? Let me try not paying for it, and see if I still get the benefits.

 

Creativity isn’t like that

It isn’t something we can’t help doing. It isn’t something we can always afford to do anyway, if we also have to do something else to earn enough to live. It isn’t something that abundantly spills out of us. It’s work. Hard work. You get up in the morning – sometimes excited, sometimes dreading it. And you begin. Whether you want to or not.

You sit there with a blank page. Or with a project idea that you know you have to do, but which will be controversial and you’ll get criticised for. You hit blocks. You’re unhappy with the quality of work that day. You have to get it finished to a deadline. Doesn’t that sound like work – and pretty scary work – to you?

 

Creativity isn’t easier for good artists

Sometimes it can be. For others, it’s increasing pressure to be good. Eric Morecambe probably died early due to the pressure of writing good material for the legendary Morecambe and Wise Christmas specials. Spike Milligan credited his terrible depressions and breakdowns as being precipitated by the pressure of writing. And although I’ve been praised for the innovative quality of my musical work – much of which was down to the ground-breaking material I wrote for myself − I can tell you I absolutely hated every damned minute of writing it. I’m not a natural songwriter. And the ‘coal face’ of creativity isn’t an easy place to be.

 

People think they should get artistic product for free

There’s a peculiar inconsistency about demanding that in the age of the internet, creative product should be free. We don’t demand other online goods for free. Not physical products. Not books. But music and in some cases, images ‘should’ be apparently. And why? Because so much of it has been pirated that it can be. In other words the logic seems to be, ‘If I can steal it easily, it should have been free in the first place….’ This is so obviously a post-fact justification for theft.

 

“But I really believe that ‘stuff for free’ is the future!”

There are those who say that they’re stealing artist’s work (or letting their stealing and consequent devaluing of music affect the market so much that even legitimate outlets only charge a pittance for it) because the future is a world where everything is free. Now I’m with you on this one. I’d love this to be true. We’re the only animal that actually pays to live on a planet which is our birthright. But…. food, energy, shelter etc. aren’t free. Not yet anyway. So why are you singling out creators? Because those of you who choose to, physically can without prosecution. That’s the real answer.

 

You already pay for copyright on other things without begrudging it

Oh yes you do, you little rascal! You pay for branded drugs that cost drug companies R&D to create which are copyrighted (or the NHS does, and you pay them back via your taxes). You do it every time you buy ‘Nurofen’ instead of a generic ibuprofen capsule. Where apps are free, you’re paying the developer from the ‘upselling’ that the app encourages you to do.

That lovely ‘Apple’ device in your pocket or on your desk? You’ve paid a premium for copyright on that because it took a lot of R&D to develop it and now Apple has to get it back. Those Heinz beans? You’re paying copyright on their secret recipe. And you’re happy to pay the premium price to get what you want. Why? Because if you want it, you don’t have a choice.

So why aren’t you happy to pay a decent price for creative product, again?

By now it should be obvious that begrudging musicians and in some cases, photographers, alone a decent price on their work and respect for their copyright, is a double standard. If you really think all copyrighted items ‘should be free’ on principle, then you should be stealing branded beans and demanding that Apple give you ipads for free – or at big discounts. That isn’t going to work anytime soon.

And before you protest that those items are ‘different’ because they exist in the physical world, remember so does an MP3 or Jpeg file. And those files take at least as much time, energy and money to create as a branded can of beans. So before we arrive at an ‘everything is free’ nirvana, please understand that creative people have to live, pay bills etc. and support the idea of paying them properly so that they can afford to keep creating.It’s simply the only way to treat everyone, from Apple to your local band, equally.

 


Comments

Post a Comment




Captcha Image


×

Recent Posts


Tags

workspaces making decisions clearing as you go sacrifice wardrobe options ‘stories’ about your possessions buying happiness slim-line wardrobe just in case work trips working class artists peer-to-peer networks emotionally secure artist under-confidence well organized low maintenance subconscious mind clearing clutter career strategy why organise artist inspiration emotional balance mess emotional support collections peacefulness artist mentors much better friend focus funding artists creative confidence goals clarity of thought arrogance networking effectively clutter addict hotel room tortoise and hare static spaces buying youth working class culture emotional resilience tension proposal writing nurture creativity buying hope display items commitment professional encouragement boredom buying stardust quality resentment stay on top of email binge lifetimes double standard self promotion creative people procrastination partners too busy fall of innocence creative wellbeing great art disorganization staying in control tidy work/home life balance clutter email overload how to be naturally tidy artist materials diary minimalists clearing multiple lifetimes tips for clearing email bankruptcy creative career coaching work life creativity dynamic spaces vulnerability how to work efficiently loss streamlining routines brilliant creator domestic life organise popular culture business-like clean desk business-speak low maintenance strategies smart artists introverts symptoms of creativity creative magic innocence absences green room magic culture letting go creative commissions buy fewer clothes professional creative career good creative habits organizing for creative people warm down diagnosis appointments friendships home organising stardust pop music nurturing creative work too many commitments long-term artistic development good art work lazy work efficiently wind down inconvenience cry concentrated creative time work priorities storage productivity creative career successful artist cupboard of shame the void chaotic precious memories ‘creativity’ artist workspaces 2018 goals proposals mature artists housework much quicker home care compulsion trope effortlessly tidy artistry great artists grief hostile clutter spree social media networking fine art home life childhood slow and steady theft tidier to do list new year cleaning clear desk branding well curated closet email anxiety how to save time writing funding campaigns vocation creative identity creative person elevator pitch pop culture criteria for letting go of stuff celebrity endorsed products imagination morning routines temperament feeling creative business overwork creative ambitions creative spark artist goals professional mentors living mess free normality network touring stop cluttering living clutter free loving your audience platform organisation getting ready for work artistic conviction hijacking creativity exhaustion good friend nipping things in the bud guilty purchases being organized confident in clothes hoarding artist mentoring Sheila Chandra author networking friends motivation myth creativity diary bulk buy mornings creative culture control buying wealth stay tidy automatically time clutter business interface to creative businesses cleaning your desk card jealousy sheila chandra coaching social media car saving time visualising clearing in short bursts critical acclaim feel like creatiing clear outs artistic chaos efficient work patterns : clothes hobbies tidiness in living spaces parent stop hoarding stuff crowdfunding copyright being tripped up nascent artists VIPs tidy people brands tidy desk missed opportunities creative organising

Archive

    ×