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I am a cookbook author and host of www.betterbaking.com. I am a cookbook author. I trained 3 years as a chef and went to university for Literature and Journalism. I have 25 years learning my craft. I didn't just one day proclaim myself an expert. I have followed this copyright debate for the least 12 years.
We can send men and women to the moon; find life curing vaccines, and someone changed the world with the Internet. Surely we can find a way to allow artists and creators to earn by their craft. The old paradigm was copies of art (music, photos, etc.) was where the money was. Now with everyone able to digitalize and access everything — with or without creators' agreement, the old paradigm of charging for copies is gone. Surely we can figure out another system.
For some reason, many think what photographers do, writers, authors, musicians — their labors and inventions should be 'free'. No one drives a bus for free, or tailors suits or teaches — for free. No one creates software for free or builds cars for free. Why is everything aside from 'art' more real and has a price tag and 'art' and artists should just donate their services? (Plus those in art — do try other things. most times, it seems clear they are destined to do what they do)
To me, the first issue is — we do no not think what creative people (who trained in what they do — as well as being blessed with talent and are hard working) offer services that have a fiscal value. There is presumption that art is 'free'. This is an old perception and in some ways, thanks goodness for the Internet and its blessings and abuses that has brought copyright issues to light more clearly than ever before.
If I could — I would give away my works for free but I am human— and have a family to raise and once raised, myself to support. The idea that I cannot earn a living doing what I was trained for and am impassioned about — is one I will never accept.
Creative people (and this is a broad term) are part of the economy in all ways. We are contributors and citizens and what we do is consumed and wanted. We also — in our way, inspire, impassion, communicate and shift the world in unique, uplifting ways. We do not make 'art' just for our own delight.
We feel dedicated in what we do and that we have purpose and mission. How can you listen to a song, view a painting, make the perfect muffin (from my cookbooks!), or enjoy any creative output and not realize it comes from somewhere, from someone? It is not just 'out there'. It has an originator — someone with a soul, spirit, voice and rent to pay and groceries to buy. Many consumers want to somehow imagine art just comes out of the vapors or all artists are either millionaires or enjoy a romantic and lean life — that art is orphaned — once it is 'out there' or artists are wealthy or choose to starve. None of this is true.
When you make it hard — no — impossible to earn a living by one's craft — you not only stifle the artist's voice — you siphon off your own access to beauty and inspiration in this world — the stuff that keeps us going (after the bills have been paid). Art in all its forms — lifts up the world — brings peace, stills the soul, and redirects the spirit to higher things.
Respecting copyright is respecting integrity. It's good for artists —it's good for the soul — collectively.