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Old 06-03-2006, 10:12 AM   #16
CommanderROR
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@Bingle

you are actually terribly wrong about something there...

You write that before copyright was invented musicians also wrote music and authors also wrote books.
That is true...
however...
I know a bit about history, especially concerning music and composer:

In the early days a composer was "attached" to the court of some bishop or king or whatever and got paid. For that money he composed and performed music for that king/bishop/duke...whatever.
Composing without that support was more or less useless and could only be done as a "hobby". There were actually no "free" composers around because everybody had to earn money and didnt' have enough free time to do something like write music.
The kind of music those composers wrote was also very much limited by the tastes of their "masters" and of course by the number of musicians the court supported.

In the epoch mostly referred to as "classic" the three big composers Haydn, Mozart and Beethoven show the transition from the composer with a fixed contract at court and the free composer who then has to market his works very well.

Haydn still worked for the court of Esterhazy for a long time, only in his old age when he was rich enough to afford it did he start writing the music he liked for himself.
Mozart tried to work that way from the beginning but couldn't pull it off all that well, partly due to his slightly flippant personality and partly because the time was not quite right yet.
Beethoven was the first successful free composer, he managed to support himself with the money he arned through his compositions.
The most importnat factors here were:
1) The "little people" had more time and more money and were willing and capable of visiting concerts and making chamber music in their own homes, so it started to make sense to print sheet-music, for both concerts and chamber music.
2) Due to 1) the publishing industry started and the "concert industry" also began, concert halls and opera houses fluorished because they now had a large "fan-base" to cater to and thus could make money.

Due to these facts the composers could write the music they wanted and could then "sell" it to the people, using publishers as the connecting item.
If you take that possibility away by using your "all books should be free" strategy, you drive authors/composers back to either working for a certain comoany/governement with all the drawbacks that has, or you force them to have a "proper job" and do their writing as a hobby.

Do you really want that?
The main mistake you make, is to assume that something that is not physical (e.g. printed on paper) isn't worth anything!!!
This is a very grave mistake however. You can cut the publishers, you can cut the printing, but you can't cut the authors away as well...otherwise you'll get another "dark age" where only a few people are literate and books are only written for the church and maybe the governement.
So...make the ebooks realistically priced, not restrictive, but keep them as a buyable commodity so that we can enjoy the works of well-paid authors (that are also motivated and free autors) alive!
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Old 06-03-2006, 11:26 AM   #17
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Hi,

I agree that this is the big challenge of the era we are entering with cheap digital stuff, how to compensate authors in a fair way. As of now even Baen whom we all know as a big pioneer of drm free ebooks and inventive ebook models (Webscription, earcs..) still makes most money from print. If you read the Grantville Gazette it is instructive to read the preface to volume 6 by Mr. Flint about how still print dominates the revenue stream.
As an aside, Peter Hamilton wrote a book Mispent Youth (sort prequel to his Commonwealth's star saga) in which the main character invents the universal storage device and almost all creative works as we understand now stops soon after that exactly due to this issue of compensation, only "reality shows" (in a new version of course) survive.

Liviu



Quote:
Originally Posted by CommanderROR
@Bingle
Do you really want that?
The main mistake you make, is to assume that something that is not physical (e.g. printed on paper) isn't worth anything!!!
This is a very grave mistake however. You can cut the publishers, you can cut the printing, but you can't cut the authors away as well...otherwise you'll get another "dark age" where only a few people are literate and books are only written for the church and maybe the governement.
So...make the ebooks realistically priced, not restrictive, but keep them as a buyable commodity so that we can enjoy the works of well-paid authors (that are also motivated and free autors) alive!
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Old 06-08-2006, 06:06 PM   #18
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I will buy either a computer controlled telescope for $291....
OK, those are cool as long as you don't want to take good astro images with them or see faint stuff (for that they suck).

I would disagree on the Sony reader for two reasons:

1) There is a lot of non-DRM content out there and will always be. Since it can use .txt and .rtf, I would buy one just for that, never mind the Connect store.

2) It is cheap enough to buy just for the above.
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