Why We Don't Need To 'Think Of The Artists': They're Doing Fine
from the what's-the-problem? dept
They claim they are being hit so badly by piracy that artists are suffering as a result. But that's a little hard to square with the fact that media companies still manage to pay their CEOs huge salaries. This suggests (a) the media companies are not doing too badly and (b) that if they really cared about the woes of their artists, they could alleviate it by redirecting some of their fat cats' hefty salary downstairs.
Of course, most people have long ago seen through this rather implausible concern on the part of the copyright industries, but that still leaves open the question of how artists are faring. Here's some interesting evidence that in Australia, musicians, at least, aren't doing too badly:
Even though recorded music sales are down, artists are taking a bigger slice of the overall music industry revenue pie - and more total revenue - than they have in decades. Largely fuelled by copyright-based performance royalties collected on their behalf by APRA and AMCOS, artists' revenues from public performance royalties have doubled in Australia from $110 million in 2000 to $220 million in the past 10 years. Compare that with the recording industry, where wholesale sales have dropped from $594 million to $384 million over the past decade and it seems that it is the record labels that are feeling more pain than the artists they claim are the major victims of online piracy.As the writer points out, this suggests that artists aren't really suffering from the supposed scourge of piracy. And since everyone – even the record labels, apparently – agrees that what really matters is whether creators are able to make a living from their work, and thus carry on creating, this has to be good news. It also indicates politicians should stop trying to prop up the copyright industries' old business models and just let the artists get on with it.
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