Thursday, November 26, 2015

The business of creation …

… Creators of the World Unite — The Los Angeles Review of Books. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)
Information Doesn’t Want to Be Free provides a helpful thumbnail sketch of the history of these struggles over who benefits from creative production. Here’s how it works, in miniature: The piano roll business got started back in the 1880s by pirating sheet music. Sheet music investors objected, and a form of compulsory license arose, obliging the piano rollers to pay a set fee. The piano rollers went legit, and became the recorded music business. Then, in the 1920s, radio came along and began pirating recorded music. The music publishing investors objected, and a compulsory license arose, obliging radio stations to pay a set fee to play each song. The radio stations went legit, and became the broadcasting industry.

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