Digital Britain Minister Insists No One Is Creative If They Don't Earn Money

from the oh-really,-now? dept

Andrew Dubber does a nice job taking Digital Britain minister Stephen Timms to task for claiming that "If people can't be paid for their creativity, they're going to stop being creative."
On the face of it, that's an incredibly stupid thing to say, and is amazingly offensive to the vast majority of people in the world who are creative amateurs.

Note: I did not say "the vast amount of creative people in the world who are amateurs", though this would also be true. Most people in the world do creative things for no money. The vast majority of music in the world is made for cultural reasons that are not economic. To suggest that the only reason to be creative is with the expectation of payment is utterly offensive.

Beyond stupidity
But it's not just stupid and offensive -- it's corrupt. It's so manifestly and obviously false that it could not possibly be the considered belief of a rational human being.

The alternative (and indeed, the only plausible conclusion) is that it's a deliberate falsehood in order to support something that is utterly indefensible when examined with any intellectual honesty.

It's the direct result of corporate lobbying, it's entirely disingenuous, and it's a bald-faced lie echoed to support the interests of powerful and moneyed multinational organisations.
He goes on to suggest that a statement like that, so revealing in how Timms views the world, should get Timms fired, as he's basically admitting that he's only there to protect corporate interests, rather than actual creativity.

Filed Under: amateurs, business models, copyright, creativity, money, music, professionals, stephen timms


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  1. icon
    Henry Emrich (profile), 15 Feb 2010 @ 5:48pm

    Re: Re:

    "Just what the words mean".

    Who created the catagories, and decided that they should be mutually exclusive?

    In other words, is your quibble "descriptive" (in that you're discussing how the majority of people use the two words) or "prescriptive", in that you believe that the two mutually-exclusive categories *designated* by such words, have some sort of empirical merit?

    It's "hard to tell the difference" between the two, because ultimately there *is* no difference. Under the old (dying) RIAA-style corporate paradigm, the *sole* source of revenue for even so-called "professional" musicians was never *solely* the music. Everything from T-shirts and memorabilia, to product endorsements represented a "stream of income".

    So the claim that the status of "professional" ever required that one's "profession" was *ever* the sole revenue-stream, has always been specious.

    Funny, with all the negative connotations that the corporate megaliths/their apologists tie to the idea of "patronage" (whatever form it takes), at base, their business-model was *all* about acting as their contractees "patrons" -- and taking the lion's share of any potential financial returns.

    My point was, that if the mark of a "professional" is that one's *sole* source of income be related to a single activity -- or class of activities -- then there have *never* been "professionals", of any kind.

    There may have been *primary* areas of relative specialization, but to the extent that, for example, Doctors dealt in real-estate, or any other income-generating actitvity (even "on the side"), it neccesarily follows that the practice of medicine was *never* their SOLE source of income.

    So why do *some* musicians/authors scoff at the notion that multiple streams of income should be unneccesary for *them*? Is it because their present patrons (the multi-national corporate media megaliths) have spent decades training them to implicitly *or explicitly* view themselves as an "elite" group? I'm pretty sure that has *something* to do with it.

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