Saturday, August 9, 2014

Copyright inherently encourages art for the lowest common denominator

Copyright helps works with questionable artistic merit, like "Honey Boo Boo" and "Keeping up with Kardarisans". These works get great financial and market success. Why?

Many works of music, film, literature are expensive to make. But most costs are non-marginal costs, that is costs involved in creation of the first copy of the work, the master. There are marginal costs, costs in distribution and manufacturing. However, in the digital world most would agree that they declined significantly, but they've never been all that significant in the first place. (Copyright proponents will say, perhaps with inherent truth, the cost of creating the work has not gone down. The so called non-marginal costs, these may have not gone down in the digital age.)

Recouping your investment in a system of copyright requires selling copies or access of this created work. Because the margins of returns on copies are so high, there is an incentive to sell as much of possible of the work. Success in the market is strongly tied to how many copies (DVDs, CDs, downloads, movie tickets, eyeballs on TVs, etc.) are sold in relation to the work.

But to make a work that many people are willing to buy or otherwise "consume", it has to have universal appeal. Unfortunately, to do so you have to cater to the lowest common denominator.

Thus copyright in a sense, encourages artistic works that cater to the lowest common denominator. These works will naturally sell the best, therefore provide the best return for investment to investors, which will then encourage creations of more works of similar merit, leaving the content industry creating endless amounts of idiotic drivel.

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