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Re: <nettime> "China:Imitation Nation"-Salon
Plasma Studii on Thu, 11 Jul 2002 15:19:44 +0200 (CEST)


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Re: <nettime> "China:Imitation Nation"-Salon



(if anybody didn't catch the note below, read it.  it's really cool)

but then this seems like the big paradigm shift.

eventually, no one can expect to make money from copywriting!  One 
result will be that the most creative industries (record labels, 
etc) will suffer (and surely are suffering) incredibly.  may wipe 
them out (like the radioactive meteor that took out the dinosaurs). 
ok.  well, then what would happen if there was no commercial music? 
what if it really became so unprofitable everywhere, everyone just 
quit.

one result, would be, there would be nothing to pirate, the 
software/hardware would fade away from disuse eventually and then 
the commercialization would return.

The interim will most likely consist of abysmal work.  Culture will 
be devoid of inspiration.  Movements replaced by band-wagon trends. 
(oh wait, that's already well under way)  We are prolonging the 
interim period by resisting this change.  If we want it to pass in 
our lifetime, we'll have to wade through this now.

In the interim, music may be just awful.  DIY basement garage bands 
are a fun novelty, but only as a contrast to goofy madonna-esque 
sheen.  likewise, DIY art is everywhere.  the "my 6 year-old could 
have made that" stuff is worthless without a backdrop of 
"masterpieces".  Look to the past because there will be nothing to 
look at for a while.

audiences now don't nearly pay the cost for theater productions. 
Most big shows are funded by the government or foundations (that are 
indirectly supported by the government).  Most actors, musicians, 
artists work for free or ridiculously low pay.  Yet audiences will 
not pay for the madonna-esque sheen they expect to be provided.

So where are the public's priorities?  Hopefully, this radical 
decimation of all kinds of arty/show biz will result in changing 
that.  But that's where industries pick up the slack.  They make it 
more economically feasible by doling out resources to a cluster of 
artists.

what you are discribing (musicians who can't afford to keep at it 
for so little money) is basically what we have now in all the arts. 
just as forest fires are actually part of a trees reproductive 
strategy, we need to wipe out the old system completely for it to 
repair itself.  Sad for most of us but too bad.

judson


ps. the 'information wants to be free' idea is one of the stupider 
concepts of the last 20 years.  information doesn't just sit there 
(content or not), it is like the beam from a spot light.  many folks 
try to pick at it and put it in their pocket.  But we are swimming 
in information, billions of beams from every angle and most of it we 
will never recognize.  Info is already as free as it wants to be.




>As a DJ/musician who has lived in Hong Kong for most of the past seven
>years and worked frequently in China, in my experience it is also fair to
>say that the weakness of Chinese IP law has led to a situation in which it
>is virtually impossible for Chinese musicians/artists/writers to make a
>living from their work. Some musicians whose CDs are believed to sell in
>the millions of copies nationwide are still living penniless in Beijing
>because 95% of their sales are from pirate copies. Many bands in China
>break up after making one CD because it is economically impossible for
>them to continue making records. Some groups on the nascent Chinese dance
>music scene (such as the recently popular MP4) have used their popularity
>gained from pirate CD sales and downloads to increase the price they ask
>for live gigs, although I believe this has been difficult for many of the
>rock groups because of gov't restrictions on live performances.
>
>Although I generally support a less restrictive approach to IP,
>nonetheless the situation of artists in China should be a cautionary tale
>for those who think 'information wants to be free' means that we should
>forego any kind of copyright protection whatsoever.
>
>Also -- Confucian values aside, I have noticed that Westerners resident in
>HK/China inevitably begin buying and using pirated products themselves,
>even while 'knowing it is wrong' as suggested below. After all,
>everybody's doing it...
>
>John
>
>
>
>
>
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~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

PLASMA STUDII
http://plasmastudii.org
223 E 10th Street
PMB 130
New York, NY  10003

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