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where's the money?

with all this discussion of declining CD sales, "selling ourselves" and so forth, i was wondering... it seems to me that most artists' don't make most of their income from CD sales. there are artists like Brian Eno, John Cage, philosopher-types one might say, who have managed to brand themselves essentially and are far more well known than their record sales would indicate. Eno said he'd never sold more than 10,000 copies of a record. but you can find his name in any history of modern music, and he makes pretty good money on associated activities like speaking engagements, production, etc.  plus, he gets to do whatever he really wants without being restricted by thoughts of how much his new CD might sell, thoughts of suicide at over-commercialization, or who copies it off the web for free. or, take even a hyper-commercial artist that does sell a lot of "records", for example U2. i imagine U2 makes considerably more money on concert tours and promotional deals (film licensing also, etc.) than from album sales. the record company might make more on the CD sales... but not the artist. so, the solution seems to be that if you want to make your own music and do the things that interest you (music and otherwise) try and brand yourself and sell/perform that. it can't be copied illegally or downloaded, whatever. and it's tough for others to take a cut. plus, it's gotta be a lot more fun. in this multi-media age i don't think an artist should be restricted to the sound on a disc as a complete representation of their work (which is to say, of themselves). make what is of value how you do something and the ideas behind it rather than the resulting object/ossification from one instance of that process.

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Woody Guthrie:

"This song is Copyrighted in U.S., under Seal of Copyright #154085, for a period of 28 years, and anybody caught singin it without our permission, will be mighty good friends of ourn, cause we don't give a dern. Publish it. Write it. Sing it. Swing to it. Yodel it. We wrote it, that's all we wanted to do."