Friday, January 30, 2009

yacht vs. analog industries


http://www.analogindustries.com/blog/entry.jsp?msgid=1232779669878

i found this blog post pretty interesting. in my circle of friends and co workers and acquaintances the idea that musicians deserve a living wage comes up quite a bit, but i never hear about software designers deserving a living wage.
any how, i think this raises a few questions...
do 1's and 0's used to make music have the same value as guitars or drums or the computers that use the 1's and 0's? maybe not but i think they could at least equate to an effects pedal or something...
is it unethical to use pirated software to make music that you then license to commercials?
shouldn't people who make money off of licensing and playing festivals be able to afford these programs in the first place? it seems to me like they should.

i'm not sure where i stand on most of this stuff right now... i am hoping that this at least causes some discussion.

10 comments:

bp baggins said...

p.s.
there's a prince controversy album picture on this post because this issue is so controversial

The Bat-Hombre said...

BP,

Putting aside the issue of logistics (should everyone who plays music get a living wage?), why would anyone think that they deserve a living wage for their hobby? (And I'm not saying you think this way) Does Mom deserve a living wage for her quilting? If Mom tried to earn a living wage w/ her quilting but couldn't, no one would think the state owed her a living wage. There's all sorts of work she can do - quilting is just a hobby. It's unfortunate that Moe Tucker worked at WalMart, but not moreso than the fact that anyone would have to work at WalMart.

From what I read of the Analog Industries post, the issue isn't "Do software programmers deserve a living wage" (I'll assume/hope the programmers in question are earning a living wage) but whether or not it's okay to steal their product. You'd think the fact that the person who created the product is telling you that it's not okay to steal would be sufficient reason to think "actually, it's not okay to steal this plug-in".

Anyway, the part that cracked me up is where Jona Becholt (and later that States Rights label guy) claim that it's okay that he steals stuff from them, because people steal music from him all the time and he doesn't get upset. It's the sort of dumb-ass hippie statement that I don't even know how to respond due because it shows such a lack of basic moral reasoning. "It's okay for me to do things to you that you don't like, because other people do them to me and I don't mind." How dumb do you have to be to think like that?

Christopher said...

Music pirates generally don't end up making money from the music they've stolen. YACHT has openly admitted that he profits based on stolen goods. One simply cannot equate the two. Now I not only have distaste for his music, I have a moral repulsion.

maggie said...

well I would say that someone like yacht isn't a hobbyist with his music. many many many people are but someone who makes his living off of music and tours as much as he does just isn't a hobbyist. the mom quilt argument doesn't make much sense in this context. maybe if the dude sat around and never left his house and wrote a couple songs a year but that's not so much the case.

maggie said...

also re: the quilt thing if it were a stranger making the quilt (not mom or dad) I would fully expect to compensate them for their work, hobby or no. but I guess I am weird because I actually like to pay people for their hard work? I think it's important. I like to pay for software. I mean it's hard for me to be excited about paying for excel (but we do of course) but cool little programs that help my life I like to support esp when I know most of those are designed by a couple people working for themselves.

rhinestone neckbrace said...

i have to say bat hombre, your post came off a pretty douchey, i bet you dont pay for music, because after all , why pay someone for their hobby?

benjamin said...

i can vouch that bat hombre has never downloaded a recording before. he freaked out when i tried to download "splish splash" for a birthday party.

benjamin said...

i also read bat hombre's post as why should people doing a hobby feel entitled to be paid by the state? not why shouldn't you pay somebody for something they are selling...

The Bat-Hombre said...

Hi Maggie and RN. I think I may have not presented my points clearly. Let me try again.

BP said that his community often discusses whether musicians deserve a living wage. Of course, everyone deserves a living wage. The problem is do you deserve a living wage for whatever you want to do. Due to various problems that I don't need to tell you about most musicians aren't able to earn a living wage from their music. Is it the state's role to pick up the slack for all the clubs that don't pay well enough and all the lost record sales due to downloading, etc.? I'm thinking no.

I didn't say that music is just a hobby for the Yacht guy.

As for the Mom quilt thing I was just trying to make a point that the govt. shouldn't have to subsidize your work if you fail to make a living wage when other avenues are open. We wouldn't do that for quilters. Why think musicians are special?

RN: As BP said, I haven't illegally downloaded any music. I was born in 76 so I didn't grow up w/ the idea that you can download all the music you want. It seemed like a pretty clear cut case of stealing to me. So I'm not sure how you inferred that.

I guess you found the term 'hobby' offensive? I don't. Most of the music and labels I like are hobby labels (Siltbreeze type stuff, etc.) At least I assume they have day jobs.

You are right though in that it was kind of douchey and intentionally so. Fines don't seem to work as a deterrent for downloading since the risk of being caught is so low. So I think people who are interested in seeing others be be paid for their musical/software/etc efforts should try shaming people instead. When people aren't receptive to sound moral arguments, try shame.

Tabitha Says said...

Would wages for housework include quilt making? I'm thinking they might.