Re: [rumori] FW: Regarding the Changes (for artists)

From: Steev Hise (
Date: Thu Dec 12 2002 - 10:42:06 PST

 The most important thing I see here is a sort of wake-up call
embodied in this Jianda Johnson person's letter. Like she said,
years ago (and still), bands didn't (and don't) mind paying $20 a
month, and a lot more, for all sorts of things: photocopying
fliers, taking out ads, gas for driving to gigs. beer at the
gigs. whatever. hell, how much do musicians spend on their
instruments and supplies (guitar strings, drum sticks, blank cds,
etc etc)?

But here we are in this absurd situation where no one would
consider paying anything for anything on the internet. There's
this expectation that everything is free on the internet.

Well, there ain't no free lunch. The last 6 or 7 years of Net
Cornucopia and Irrational Exuberance were just a tremendous loss
leader for late capitalism. Now the party's over. Get used to
it, and take an intelligent look at what you're getting for your

I'm not trying to sell or anything. I've always thought
and said that using them can be a bad idea, for all sorts of
other reasons. But there are advantages to them as well, even for
$20 a month. And I also am not meaning to dis anybody here -
yeah, it sucks to get something for free for a long time and then
have to pay for it. But I'm just saying, let's be realistic.

Of course this links in quite nicely to the recent thread about
cost of server bandwidth, etcetera etcetera. People running their
own sites and servers, like Detritus and Sensoryresearch, are
making an attempted end-run around the corporate, not-really-free
internet, and yet, as we've discussed, that's not cheap to do

So the internet reveals itself to be really not that different
than any other media distribution channel. To distribute material
in any large quantity, one needs correspondingly large funds.
One big difference though, is in what a panelist at the New
Gatekeepers conference I was just at called "normative
expectation": people have come to expect things for free on the
internet. And there's the myth that things can be free. But
they're not really free. Someone is paying for it somewhere. It
may be cheaper than printing a book or pressing a CD, and
distributing the same. But it costs something. Yet most internet
users have no willingness to pay even a paltry sum a la
micropayments, or subscribe to anything. The exception is
probably pornography (and interestingly enough, i believe the
throttle software i use was originally written for the needs of
the web porn industry).

So, the more popular you get, the more of a "problem" you have,
unless you are part of the mainstream major media company world.
It's still true: Freedom of the Press, for whoever owns a press.

And if you're totally obscure, but not dedicated enough to your
own art to invest even a paltry sum in getting it out to people,
then, well, frankly, maybe you should stay obscure. who said you
were entitled to free fame and fortune?

I mean, how much is enough? What is "fair"? Should the government
come down from on high and give every budding artist a free
guitar, 3 gigs of diskspace and a recording contract? Fuck, we
can't even get governments to clean up all the unexploded bombs
and landmines they leave in all the countries they blew the fuck
out of. Did you know it takes about $15,000 to fund a 24-person
de-mining team in Afghanistan for one month? And that there are
somewhere between 640,000 and 20 million landmines in

So, if you choose not to be a Premium Artist at, maybe
consider sending the $20 to Adopt-A-Minefield instead:

Or even better, if you pay taxes in the U.S. maybe take the money
you're paying in taxes every year to fund the military, and
withold that. Take $240 a year from that to pay your
bill, and give the rest to Adopt-A-Landmine or some other charity
of your choice.

Here I am ranting.. am i being a jerk again? I apologize in
advance. Bring on the flames.



Steev Hise, Technical Thug
*Recycled Culture: *Recordings:
*Want Peace? Stop Paying for War:
"You'll be happy to learn I grepped the entire source tree for
GOTOs and swear words! Let's review."

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