Saturday, May 21, 2016

Comment

In the wake of a rash of these sorts of articles about the price of art and also, a decision by my own government (the Australian government that is), I feel compelled to weigh in.

My question is, when did we, as a society, decide that art was worth nothing, that it was ok to steal it? Movies, tv shows, music, books. Why is it ok to steal these? To illegally download them or to return them after reading them for a full refund because 99 cents is too much for something a lot of people have put a lot of time and effort into making.
Why are these less worthy of our hard earned cash then say, a sports match? Is it the perceived vast amounts of cash floating around in these circles? Coz Tom Brady's latest contract was for $60 million, my book, for example, is on sale for $1.99. I know, how dare I? But why is my book seen as less in the eyes of society? Why am I, as a writer, seen as not worthy, or as someone who doesn't create something worth protecting? Or something that contributes to Society? How am I any less important than Tom Brady? He throws around a (under inflated) leather ball, I write words in a page. Neither of us are curing cancer, but yet, he is seen as a worthy contributer to society while I am not.
Why are people willing to pay hundreds of dollars to see him play, to support him and his team, but $1.99 for my book, something i put just as much passion into as Tom Brady does when he plays, is seen as too much?

The Australian government sees me, and my industry, as a drain on the economy, as a waste of talent. As a lifelong liberal voter, this hurts. They don't feel I should have the rights to my work after a, fairly, short, period of time, much less than copyright says I should have. I am proud to be Australian, I am happy with our current government, but I cannot condone what they want to do with my industry. It is so sad, that despite the value I place on them, they do not value me.

It's a terrible feeling to know that society does not seem you, your work - your heart and soul, as worthy of the cost of less than a cup of coffee. I found my place in this world and to be told it's not worth anything? I work with some fantastic people, people who work hard, much harder than I do to be honest. They put a lot of time and effort into creating something people enjoy, well, most people. I think if people knew how much time and effort goes on behind the scenes they'd have a much different opinion.

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