[rumori] Re: pho: Voluntary payment - we practice what we preach


From: Don Joyce (djATwebbnet.com)
Date: Tue Mar 20 2001 - 13:14:14 PST


Dean's perspective is "worthless" because an idea's worth is totally
indeterminate. Maybe this is why email is cost free and maybe this cost
free condition is why we all appreciate this transmission of "worthless"
ideas so much. All art is "worthless" for the same reason. If you know
exactly what any given example of art is "worth," tell me exactly how much.
No one can do this because it has no determinable intrinsic worth
whatsoever. I mean NONE! There is nothing more arbitrary and utterly
meaningless in the world than the price of art.

My own feeling is that the best of it is probably worth more than anyone
can or will ever pay for it to get this "worth" which has nothing to do
with money, and in that sense the artist will always be underpaid according
to the phenomena of monetary worth. It is more useful to divorce monetary
"worth" from art entirely, considering it monetarily "worthless" in all
cases because its worth is inestimable in all cases. Art's main claim to
fame in the pantheon of human endeavors is that its worth is inestimable in
BOTH economic AND spiritual terms. This is the "mystery worth" that makes
it more valuable than money ever could.

Any artist who values their own work (at no particular worth) is not about
to think of themselves as worthless whether they get paid well or not. That
would be saying compensation determins the worth of their art which is
clearly not the case for most anyone who makes it. If someone gives an
artist $1.50 for downloading a CD's worth of their own tracks, that artist
has made more on that work then they would make for each one sold for them
by a label in a store! But there wont be enough consumers willing to do
this? I wonder how many though, and you should too.

But don't assume for artists that their own sense of self-worth resides in
a pay check. It only shows a gaping ignorance of why artists go to the
trouble to create something in the first place with no such guarantees at
all. OBVIOUSLY compensation is not the goal, just an always possible
byproduct, and the degree to which compensation is cultivated or fulfilled
has NOTHING to do with the degree of worth involved in the work itself in
100% of all cases.

If future compensation drops to a degree that will not support all those
who now live on the back of this worthless art stuff, presumably those
art-is-money parasites who have been clinging to it for its economic worth
to them will drop off to find a more lucrative kind of host to suck. So be
it, but this has nothing to do with art or artists' "worth," and art itself
may actually get better and "worth" even more to individual users by
becoming all the more "worthless" in terms of the economic siphoners who
now make it arbitrarily cost what it does.

DJ
Negativland

>Hi Dan:
>
>Although I only use it as an electronic calling card:
>http://home.earthlink.net/~deankay/
>Not for general public consumption. No donations, please.
>
>If you own your rights and think voluntary payments are the way you want
>to go -
>go for it.
>
>But,.my feeling is that voluntary payments set creators up as little more than
>panhandlers and set the benchmark for their creative endeavors at "worthless".
>
>As the payments trickle in (or don't) some creators are going to start
>thinking
>of themselves as "worthless" - "Gee, dad, someone just gave me $1.50,
>ain't that
>great? - Maybe if I sell pencils with my music I can make an extra 25!"
>Part of
>becoming a winner is visualizing yourself as one.
>
>Voluntary payments make it incumbent upon those who receive them to pay
>everyone
>else entitled to payment - songwriters, musicians, producers.... most
>recipients
>won't bother.
>
>Only a few well intentioned people will ever donate - and probably to the
>wrong
>party.
>
>I'll bet on myself every time. I'll take zip if that's how the cards fall
>- just
>as long as I'm not FORCED to take zip while waiting for one or two do
>gooders to
>throw me a bone.
>
>"Krimm, Dan" wrote:
>
>> Hey Dean,
>>
>> Just to play devil's advocate for a moment, would you ever consider putting
>> up a web page to promote yourself? Instead of being the invisible writer
>> behind the hits, make yourself visible, make your brand publicly explicit
>> (instead of an insider thing in the music biz) ... and then pass the hat ...
>> ;-)
>>
>> Maybe you can start to make up some of those shrinking royalties with
>> voluntary donations directly to you, yourself. Ever think of talking to
>> Amazon (not to mention Matt and Ian) about being included in their
>> download/donation system?
>>
>> Who out there would buy a Dean Kay T-shirt? Hire Dean Kay to speak for
>> their consumer product in a commercial? Use Dean Kay's name to promote a
>> music festival? Have Dean Kay be the host for a documentary on American pop
>> music?
>>
>> Nah, I didn't think so... ;-)
>>
>> Dan
>>
>> -----Original Message-----
>> From: Ian Clarke [mailto:listsAToctayne.com]
>> Sent: Monday, March 19, 2001 3:02 PM
>> To: Dean Kay
>> Cc: phoATonehouse.com
>> Subject: Re: pho: Voluntary payment - we practice what we preach
>>
>> On Sat, Mar 17, 2001 at 07:35:06AM -0800, Dean Kay wrote:
>> > Are those who "donate" liable for "contributory" copyright infringement?
>>
>> Oh sure, along with the inventor of the CD player, the computer,
>> electricity, rational scientific thought, and communication. All have
>> contributed to systems which allow people to infringe on copyright.
>> Hopefully you will be able to stop, and (even better!) reverse
>> scientific progress over the last thousand years, this should help to
>> prevent (but not eliminate) copyright infringement.
>>
>> Ian.
>>
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