The biggest catastrophic event in artists earning a living is not the Internet, and it’s not piracy.

It was the advent of recording. Some people got rich. Other working musicians wound up out of a job.

If you pay attention to that history, it puts recent changes in a different context and on a different scale. The real question is why anyone debating music compensation would ignore its single most transformative moment. Any view of the future that involves history must take it into account. And maybe then we’d ask different, deeper questions about what’s next.