The reality is that even the best tools are seldom enough and that although the Internet has solved some problems, the biggest ones still remain – the chief of those being the ability to make your existence known to a wider audience. Plus, the same tools that enable you to enter the market at lower cost also make it easier for bad actors to do so – lifting your work in the process. If Love Lieberman was able to make any money from Art4Love, he did so by exploiting the standard pirate advantages – costless access to a large and varied body of work and the risk-minimsation that comes with it. He could even tailor the site’s offer to reflect the results achieved – phasing out disappointing works, introducing new ones and promoting those that found the most buyers. No individual artist could do the same, since they’d be restricted to the work that they had produced themselves.
Whenever an online business decides to profit from piracy – and gets called out on it – we hear the usual suspects crying out that “rent-seeking Big Media” is trying to crush “innovation”. I put it to you that most of the time what we’re actually seeing is just the “cut (or copy), paste” bit.
[Powerful piece. Rings true to me.]