Friday, March 9, 2012

Amour & Discipline

Amour & Discipline


How much does a band earn when you’re sharing their music with a friend, or when you're using P2P or direct download services to get it?
Well, ok, zero.

But how much does a band earn when you buy a $10 CD in a store ?
$1.20 .

How much does a band earn when you buy a $0.99 song on Itunes ?
$0.15 .

How much does a band earn when you listen to a song one hundred times on Spotify ?
$0.20 .

How much would a band earn if you sent them a free donation ?
The exact amount you chose to give.

Of course, these are average figures regarding both indie and mainstream artists ; some manage to get better deals, others get worse. But most of the time, no matter how you listen to music, the artist gets very little financial support.

In recent years, technology has made music shift from scarce goods to infinite goods : once the original is made, it takes zero marginal cost to make a digital copy and distribute it. All the music in the world is available for (almost) nothing, and less and less people are buying physical records. Global Non-Commercial Culture Sharing is now a reality – which, don't get us wrong, is simply great -, but the problem of decently funding artistic creation remains.

But Why?

  • a lot of people want to maintain old centralized models of distribution in the digital world, creating artificial scarcity on infinite goods, and pretending global culture sharing never happened
  • big entertainment corporations keep laying down the law
  • many middlemen are still involved. Some of them are valuable (independent labels), some have to be questioned

So, why not directly support those who create music and those who really help to produce it?

This is what we’re experimenting with this Donation Platform. A&D project is not about charity, but Gift Economy. It is not about guilt, but common decency. Of course, good ways to support bands/labels already exist (buying stuff directly from them, for example).

Of course, good ways to support bands/labels already exist and crucial ideas still have to be tested, but we think A&D can be a useful step to promote two fundamental and inseparable points :

  1. Non-Commercial Culture Sharing is essential and legitimate
  2. We can and we must find new ways to support independent authors and producers, so the aforementioned fact won’t cast them in the sewers where they will starve alone

We think the combination of coercive (i.e. governments) and mercantile (i.e. corporations) tactics should certainly not be the only ones driving the legislation, distribution, and financing of culture. On the contrary, we believe the present situation urges us to invent new alternative strategies."- Amour & Discipline

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