Sunday, December 13, 2015

Fish Out Of Water

I'm not talking about the Australian "Climbing Perch", the mangrove rivulus, or the mud skipper. 
I'm talking about creative people who are being forced--indirectly-- by "the sharing economy" to perform unnatural acts... like performing.

If you can access it, read Authors Guild president Roxana Robinson's piece "Should Writers Be Performers?" in which she memorably retorts,
"Going to a local restaurant and asking them to find 10 people who are willing to pay $150 to watch you eat is a really different thing. It's hard enough for a new writer to ask a local bookstore to stock her book."

My favorite musician-blogger is David C Lowery, for his music-business-related blogging. His blog has long talked about the upending of the music business, where touring once was a promotional activity to spur vinyl sales, and now is the bread winner; while pittance-paying digital plays are the promotion.

Last week, he compared free streaming to the cut-out bin.... and struck a chord with me.

The cut out bin is the musical equivalent of the Remainder Bin. Amazon and the DOJ (which appears to me to be Amazon's enforcer) have convinced many writers to publish their new works directly into the ebook equivalent of the bricks and mortar bookstore remainder bin. That is totally backwards. New works should not be priced like overstock that cannot be sold into a saturated market.

I'm afraid that ebook subscription models are very much like streaming. IMHO, the purpose of copyright is/should be to protect quality in that which is created.
However, there is some (more) positive news from Europe:

"Overall, the Commission wants to make sure that Europeans can access a wide legal offer of content, while ensuring that authors and other rights holders are better protected and fairly remunerated." 

(They will) "....
work on a European framework to "follow-the-money" and cut the financial flows to businesses which make money out of piracy. This will involve all relevant partners (rights holders, advertising and payment service providers, consumers associations, etc.)"

All the best,

Rowena Cherry 

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