In the old days, musicians were employed by record labels who took most of the money and paid musicians a certain stipulated amount. Nowadays, cheap digital recording devices and online file sharing made this model obsolete. Musicians can, if they want, bypass the record labels and record and distribute their music from their their home.
This development led to an ongoing debate. Many record labels and artists claim that this development destroyed their livelihood and damages the quality of music we hear. Others (including some artists) claim that these new technological breakthrough freed art from commerce. From their perspective, musicians now enjoy more freedom and creativity flourishes.
What would Marx have to say about this change?
Analyze these developments and debates using Marxist terms (mode of production, forces of production, ideology, surplus value, exploitation, alienation)
Does the fact that music is not sold for money a good thing?
Does it mean that artists are no longer alienated?
Or, is it the case that artists are now being exploited more than ever before?
If so, by whom?
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People have been making music for centuries, but the music industry as we know it today is a relatively new phenomenon. Even newer are record labels. Record labels emerged in the first half of the twentieth century with the rise in prominence of new sound recording technologies. Labels were meant to benefit artists, bands and musicians by aiding with the promotion of their skills and recordings, as well ensuring that they were guaranteed an economic return for their work....
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