2.3. Getting Paid

There is a lot of controversy about digital media, copy protection, fair use, and the Internet. In most cases, from the viewpoint of legislators trying to react to lobbyists, as I understand it, it boils down to one question: How will the artists get paid? My answer is simple: Artists will get paid the same way artists have always gotten paid. I wrote an essay to examine that issue to see how it applies to today's world. As you'll see, it also addresses people's motivation.


Throughout history there have been a variety of ways that artists have gotten paid so they can create their work: through an ecosystem that looks to a mixture of amateur, performance, patronage, and commission forms of payment. This essay explores that ecosystem.


For as long as we know, humans have had art. We find paintings in caves. The Bible talks about the songs of leader Moses's sister Miriam celebrating national deliverance at the Red Sea and the artisan Betzalel who was "filled ... with the spirit of God, in practical-wisdom, in discernment and in knowledge, and in all kinds of workmanship to design designs ... to make carvings ... jewel-cuttings ... embroidery ... and weaving ..."[] and led the building of the Tabernacle using materials donated by the Israelites. The songs of King David are still with us today, as is the melody of the medieval Greensleeves (with many different lyrics). (Coincidentally, as I write this flying on an airplane, I'm ...

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