the narrative

There is a poster in the club, “If you download music you’re cheating a musician from their livelihood.” Lot of people think that is the main way musicians lose. It blames consumers and omits other considerations re: how musical income is diluted. It’s ordinary now to not guarantee musicians anything except the opportunity to pass a hat, ordinary for film producers to take the publishing of a composer, ordinary in certain cities to expect artists to pay to play. Some even imagine a world where instead of using the blank tape levy (over 100 million collected) and redistributing that money to publishers and big selling artists it might instead use that “tax” to fund music in schools, emergency welfare money or not for profit recording studios.

On the Bathurst streetcar there is an advertisement by the Toronto Transit Commission. In large letters “Thanks for paying your share” and next to it “to every customer who pays their fare, thank you. Your fares allow us to maintain and upgrade.” But no mention of reduced investments from the province of Ontario and the federal government. Not paying their share too, no? The slogan blames the consumers and omits shining any light on other concentrations of power. Some imagine a world where instead of investing 1.2 billion dollars on Atomic Energy Canada, government could make major city transportation free.

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