Sunday, January 22, 2012

WE NEED THE MONEY


People who pinch what other people make and do for a living should stop and think about how those other people get to eat.

If the florist creates a display for a wedding would he be entitled to be paid for it? If the carpenter makes a table would you expect her to let you just take it away? Would the plumber fix your leaking pipes for nothing? Would a barrister defend you in court without sending a bill?

Why then should people who make music, or write stories, or paint pictures, be expected not to complain when other people steal their livelihood?

People who do these things, who create original works for other people to enjoy, do so because they want to, and because it is their profession. They fill in that box on forms marked occupation with “writer” or “musician” or “artist" or "photographer". Just like the carpenter, the florist, the plumber and the lawyer.

And when those works have been created, the rights of those works belong, as of right, to the people who created them. That is their copyright. That is how they make a living. They allow other people to enjoy their music by buying the CDs. They encourage other people to read their stories by buying the books. They want people to go to the movies to see their films by buying tickets.

That is how they get to eat.

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