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So how DO we balance the need for creative people to get paid for their work with the ideals of a creative, sharing culture?

I'm reading the debates on SOPA and the comments of some its defenders with great interest.

I am eager to protect the free exchange of information as necessary to democracy, and I also think that YouTube and similar sites are actually greatly enriching to our culture.

I'm also a part time musician. I understand the desire of musicians and performing artists to get paid for the time, energy, and creativity they put into their work. I know full time musicians, excellent performers, who are getting paid the same amount for club gigs today as they did in the 1980s. Their bills haven't stayed the same. I think the American Federation of Musicians is wrong to defend SOPA, but I agree with their commitment " to protecting our members' ability to create and to earn a living while doing so." How can we/they structure things so creative performance artists can earn a fair amount for their work?

Does the answer lie with those performers who have chosen a form of "online busking" -- "download what you want, pay what you see fit"?
Does it lie in fan-funding projects on sites like Kickstarter -- "hey fans, pay us now, get the recording later?"

What do you all think? How do we balance these two ideals to keep creativity flowing -- for the largest number of people?


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  • Jan 30 2012: Considering the artist only gets $1 out of the $30 I pay for a cd/dvd I would have no problem paying this dollar directly to the artist. Even Itunes, which is widely used,charges more then that.

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