“But without copyright, how will artists and writers make a living?”

===”But without copyright, how will artists and writers make a living?”===
This is a great example of a question that is best answered by being unasked.
Copyright is not how artists and writers make a living today and it has never been.
Copyright isn’t paying anyone’s living. There are a few superstars, Stephen King is doing well off copyright. It doesn’t make any sense for society to organize the way it shares information on the production of a few superstars. While everybody else either ends up in debt or breaks even. The way that creativity makes a living, meaning not just writing but music or in performing arts, in general are through a variety of means that have been true for centuries, before copyright, during copyright, and from now on. They will be continue to be true. Patronage, the day job, subscriptions, performances, piece-work commissions (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Piece_work) for example in magazines. And the magazines revenue themselves are not heavily dependent on royalties, it is dependent on advertising and subscriptions. And traditional publishing still works without copyright. By signing a contract with the writer, they cause the work to come into existence, they can control over the timing and marketing and it makes sense to pay someone to produce the work which is then going to be free and are going to be the first in the market with thousands of copies.
There are also new methods of supporting creativity, the free-flow of information, the attachment of easy meta-data, and micro-payments.

Suppose there is a new writer who wants to write her next novel, and she knows it will cost her $50,000 just to pay for rent and groceries just for the time it will take for her to write her novel. So she goes to 3rd party intermediary organization. That organization takes a cut in the deal of $5000. The organization will go around asking known fans. “Please make your pledges. You can pay any sum of money you like. We won’t collect until the sum of $55,000 in pledges have been reached.”
If the author is famous, it doesn’t take a huge amount of pledges to reach the $55,000 in sum. Once the sum is reached, the writer writes the work, under a contract with the intermediary, and releases the work to the world for free on the internet and then the pledges gets called in and pays for the writer.

1) The work exists for free for the whole world.
2) The writer got the money she needs to pay for her bills.
3) And nobody paid more for the work than they are willing to pay.
4) There is no need to restrict sharing in order to pay for things!

  • Karl Fogel