Reply to post: Re: First questions first

The case for ethical ad-blocking

P. Lee Silver badge

Re: First questions first

I'm not sure "who doesn't filter adverts" is the first question.

The first question is, to what extent should artists be paid when they aren't performing?

A couple of things stood out in the article:

1. there is no natural "right" to "intellectual property." IP is a fiction. Perhaps a useful fiction, but complaining that your monopoly is legally protected enough seems like a bad PR campaign. You might not notice a dip in revenue if youtube disappeared, but quite frankly, if most of the artists disappeared, most people wouldn't notice. Some people would, but you could lose an awful lot before most people noticed. Excludability might be the most "property-like" property of Intellectual Property, but intellectual property isn't property and in the UK at least, we often have public rights of way which (Horror!) trump private ownership.

2. "The all-powerful middleman today is Big Tech. But changing copyright in favour of the little guy takes time, and isn't easy" Would that be the "little guys" like Sony BMG et al? Do we need to strengthen the rights holders like Simon Cowell? How many "little guys" are there who would have made it, if only youtube and the ASCAP/PRS hadn't tragically taken the money that was meant to feed their starving children? If we did what the article suggests, are we just shifting profit from one middleman (big tech) to another (the music label)? Which serves the public good better?

My personal opinion is that it isn't generally the artists' skill which brings success, but the marketing. Certainly, skill is important, but the real money in the media industry comes from taking a cheap product and running a successful marketing campaign. Rinse and repeat. I'm not convinced that the film and music industries, while fun, actually improve the world that much.

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