Man, I always get a little spooked when government agencies send out spokesbots with a message like "Black is white, until the legislation deeming it so is repealed or revised. We will not be responding to questions at this time.".
They always do it with a straight face.
ref: Harry Reid justifying public employee payoffs via unneeded postal service offices because "Old people need junk mail to feel connected to society."
"We need to be able to determine citizens' location, 24/7, or we will be unable to protect them from crime." ~DEA, FBI, etc.
or (as noted above):
"It would be a violation of citizens' privacy for us to tell them if we were spying on them. We will not be responding to questions at this time." ~NSA
And if by "niche" musicians, you mean those who, while enjoying eating, having instruments to play and a place to live and therefore being all for "gettin' paid", still choose to make the music they love and are driven to make despite indications that there are not millions to had in the endeavor...then yeah, the followers of this kind of "niche artist" are very prone to making sure they are supported financially when that is economically feasible. (note: submit this for a Dirtie in the "Longest Sentence" category. What? No, man, they're like the Oscars...they really don't? Shit.)
And surely it's better, for musicians at least, to have among their committed fans some poor people; than to have a record label armed with attack lawyers making sure no one heard them who could not buy a $15.00 CD.
Most "niche" musicians seem to get this, at least a little. It's a conflict for some. As Gillian Welch sings in the bittersweet "Everything is Free": We're gonna do it anyway, even if it doesn't pay. Though she points out in the song that she doesn't HAVE to make the music that gets pirated, the chorus is a concession that, in fact, she does. And that's what makes it worth paying for.
If we had a million "niches" and no multi-million-selling, industry-created, entertainment-media-promoted pop supertars...I could live with that.
At least, if you want ideas to be useful. Then you have to differentiate between "bad" and "good" ideas.
Most people find that the "good" (useful) ideas are the TRUE ones. If you don't believe there are actually bad ideas, please be the first to drive over that bridge built of balsa wood and wishful thinking.
If the record companies can point to the hole in their inventory where the file I (hypothetically) got USED to be, I'll confess to theft.
Oh, but wait. Are they talking about not getting a hypothetical $0.99 for something that cost them $0.00 to produce? Sorry, I'm just a dumb boy who doesn't find the theft in this. Especially since the hypothetical track sucked so bad. They wouldn't have given me my $0.99 back, would they?
Re: Re: Re: I wrote this but it got moderated (maybe it is nonsense?)
Good alt. taste there. Gillian Welch, Sara Jarosz...these aren't really the people most filesharers and music labels are talking about, but they are people who would never have gotten a penny from me sans filesharing.
As a proof-of-concept, I obtained the entire Welch/Rawlings back catalog (before Harrow and the Harvest, which I did purchase) and then sent them money...and I figure it was more money than they would have received if I had bought two copies of every album. So...am I a pirate, Mr. Lowery?? If so, I'm comfortable with the fact that I haven't hurt, by my piracy, the people who produce the music I like to listen to.
Should it be our goal, in structuring media distribution, to ensure that "artists" (many of whom make crappy, totally derivative, unoriginal noise, by my own standards) all make a million dollars. I, for one, will not be sad to see rock stars with enough money to pay for totally trashing hotels at every stop, and to buy enough drugs to short circuit their own productivity.
More importantly, should it be the goal of any real "artist" to achieve the rarified level of "ROCK SUPERSTAR" and multi-millionaire?? Because that's been the carrot the labels have used for years. Not "we'll help you make your music, promote it and you'll make some money" but "we'll take all your contract bonus in recording and A&R fees, neglect to promote your music and pay you a pittance per sale BUT!! You MIGHT become Led Zeppelin!"
Oh dear, another one that didn't get the memo? You didn't see it? It was, like, a piece of paper, with a bold header!
What did it say? Ummm..."getting an education and then taking a job you're overqualified for". I think that was it. Part of it, yeah. And you won't get 'rich' but the work will be easy and you'll still have a lifestyle that kings from 200 years ago would kill for. "Lowered expectations..." Yeah.