Crosbie Fitch: What is needed is a mechanism or marketplace to permit an artist to exchange the publication of their art for the money of their interested audience
I am a copyright abolitionist and readily recognise that artists must be able to do business with those who value their work, to make an exchange: art for money, money for art.
I’d not suggest an artist adopts the approach of ‘Give it away and pray’, though publishing one’s art without payment can certainly be a good promotional strategy.
I also don’t recommend artists bank on people simply donating money to them (in the hope they’ll continue publishing good work).
What is needed is a mechanism or marketplace to permit an artist to exchange the publication of their art for the money of their interested audience (fans) – without 99% of the money ending up in the hands of a publishing agent (as happens today).
Artists and their fans can already begin to make such direct bargains using online facilities such as http://Kickstarter.com . For my own part, I’m working on something a little more sophisticated, i.e.http://contingencymarket.com
Incidentally, the term ‘free rider’ is a bogey man. People who visit libraries and enjoy mankind’s knowledge without payment are free riders. Everyone should be a free rider on all published works. In the software industry all those who use ‘free software’ are free riders. However, that doesn’t prevent those who produce such works from charging people to produce them. Free as in free speech, not as in free beer.
There is no ‘status quo’ to be supported. The market for copies has ended. Copyright is an ineffective anachronism. The problem isn’t how to better ‘educate’ the masses, but how to stop copyright holding corporations persecuting those poor individuals who’ve failed to respect their 18th century privileges.