22 October 2009

Artists to Fans to Artists: Positive Feedback

One of the sad things about the current mess in the music industry is that artists are too often pitted against fans, when in fact both want the same thing: good music in a convenient format at a fair price. Here's a welcome initiative that's trying to bridge that gulf of misunderstanding:

Artists need to be paid, and fans want to pay them.

Our goals at a2f2a are:

* Help each community better understand the other;

* Help find a practical and workable system which offers artists fair remuneration in exchange for access to material by fans; and

* Help set the agenda for discussions about the role P2P can play within the emergent digital record industry.

Together, we can do it – artist to fan to artist.

What I particularly like about this - aside from the dialogue - is that it starts from the premise that people *do* want to pay for stuff. I think that's absolutely central: most people realise that artists need to be supported, and that if everyone pays, the overall price will be lower. But the music industry likes to portray the public as split in two: those who don't want to pay anything, ever, and those who will meekly pay whatever exorbitant price the labels demand. It ain't that Manichean, and if a2f2a can help to dispel that myth, that's got to be good news.

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