Stop the presses! In the "news you already knew" category, a study by Martin Kretschmer
in the peer-reviewed Internet journal First Monday says online
distribution may not be revolutionizing professional, and most
musicians in Germany can't live off royalty income. (via boing boing)
Of course, what Kretschmer does successfully is change the terms.
Musicians already know you can't make significant income off royalties
except at the very top of the business, but with all the discussion of
"copyright", the general public may assume otherwise. As Kretschmer
points out, "copyright-related income" (which really has always meant
royalties) is rarely the majority of artists' income and almost never
enough to live on. (About 1,200 are doing very well — wonder how that
compares to the US numbers?)
So what's new here? The study goes on to complain about the damage
sample laws do to new forms of electronic music — and there's the rub.
Since technology has encouraged music making from sampling, the
copyright law itself has become the enemy.
More fundamentally, the study observes, the structure of copyright law
is geared at publishers rather than artists. Exclusivity is designed to
serve publishers, not owners; creators' interests aren't really being
I know, stop the presses. But you can add another voice (with some decent hard-line research) to the chorus.