Getting paid is the difference between Professional and Hobbyist. Your examples refer to children and students, who are not considered professionals. But after the student graduates, do you think they don't expect to get paid a fair wage,
But you've shown your hand with the last paragraph: you're the type who doesn't think anybody should have to pay for anything. Open source products have one inherent flaw that everyone knows and accepts: when you don't have to pay for it, don't complain about the quality or support. Know why company IT departments use Red Hat over Fedora? The extra green they spend on support.
And copyrights and patents don't exclude anyone from anything. It just prevents unscrupulous people from profiting of of someone else's work and potentially tarnishing the inventor's reputation.
You have to pay the city for every flush, don't you? And where do you have to pay every time you listen to a song or watch a movie? Streaming? Movie theaters? Buy the copy and enjoy it again and again. Like I said before, it's the difference between renting and owning.
So for the first 1-3 years you NEVER got paid?
I highly doubt it.
My father was in the trades and while he did as you mentioned, doing a little extra here and there for free, he ALWAYS charged for the work he was hired to do.
And spare me the "hard day's work" nonsense. If I'm hired to do a job and I complete it on time, within budget and with exceptional (hell, even satisfactory) quality, I expect a check at the end.
Are you actually suggesting that these two business models are in any way comparable?
1. Artistic works have a limited shelf life for a great deal of them, while a house is an investment, made to last year after year. So the availability of a house will last DECADES longer than the interest in an artistic work.
2. If an artistic work such as a painting or first-edition novel becomes rare enough to be considered an investment, the artist doesn't see a dime of the money from the sale of that work at auction, the owner of the work or copy does.
3. Most importantly, the business models are completely different. Artistic works such as songs, books and films are priced based on availability. With a house, there's only one of them, so they're priced quite a bit higher. But that's it, one shot. After that, they're both in the same market - re-sale.
That's the difference between renting and owning. You don't think an apartment owner has made their money back after a certain point and everyone after that is simply padding the wallet? Or the rental car company?
This is the downside of streaming/pay-per-view. And don't kid yourself, the artists don't see a whole lot of that money.
But I ask, who determines when you're "ready" to expect compensation? You? The Publisher? The Market?
This idea holds no water because the ultimate judge of your worthiness is the market, which, as we all know, makes absolutely no determination as to your skills as an artist. Take the "Twilight" series - the Author and Publisher are making a very good amount of money on the series (and subsequent movies), but the books themselves are not very good (and I'm not just talking about the writing style, the books themselves are poorly written). So why assume you need to go through some sort of "probationary period" before you can expect compensation? Throw it all out there and ask a decent price. If the Market likes it, then you'll get what you want. If they don't, then you won't and you'll have to try again.
It's just too easy to take advantage of the idea of "give it away for free until you're worthy".
The idea that artists don't deserve compensation for their work until after they've "established" themselves is ridiculous. If you do not expect SOME compensation from the start, then you should NEVER expect compensation. Godin states that he had to prove himself as a writer before expecting compensation, but who determines when you're "proven"? When is the magic time when you can start saying, "Okay, I've given enough away for free, now let's start making money"? And who's to say that the "demand" for your work isn't just due to the fact that you're giving it away?
Think about any other industry (plumbers were mentioned) - how many would have succeeded if we applied the same thought to them? How many plumbers do you know who spend the first 1-3 years doing stuff for free and then, when they've "proven" themselves, start to charge for their services?
My father always said, "Never be afraid to ask for fair pay for a day's work". I agree that it's time to stop thinking about artists as "special" and actually start thinking about them as "skilled labor" and let the market decide what their offerings are worth.
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