The Scott Shaw Blog Be Positive

Finances and Ways to Never Get Paid

Every now and then I will come upon one of my books that has been translated and published in some new language. Sometimes someone from some country will hit me up and thank me for having my book translated into their native language. The only problem is, I had no idea that the book had been translated. The original publisher of the book never told me or paid me for the new edition, even though that is part of our deal.

For those books, translated into various languages, the publishers in those countries are supposed to pay me royalties. With very few expectations, of all the books of mine that have been translated into all kinds of languages, I have not been paid anything. Zero… I guess they just think, out of sight, out of mind. Not cool, but that’s the way it is. What can I do about it?

The thing is… And, my problem with this whole equation, they are making money off of my writings. But me, the author, is not. That’s just not right.

Sometime people offer my movies via offshore download sites. Movies they have no right to distribute. I’ve always been a big opponent of that. But, there is only so much anyone can do. So, they make money from them but me, the creator, I do not. Again, that is just not right.

The people that review my films on YouTube are making money off of them, because they have ads and stuff in association with their reviews. I never really thought that was fair. Do you? They had nothing to do with making the film but simply by talking about it and using copyrighted footage they make a living. I always found that to be a strange approach to life. Again, equally no money to the creator. I consider that theft. How about you?

Most of my new Zen Films and those older rediscover pieces I offer on YouTube for free. Really for free… With no ads or anything like that. (I hate ads on YouTube). So, I’m not making any money on those films. But, that’s my choice. That’s my gift to anyone who desires to watch. So, no money coming in from them but, that’s okay. I’m just putting them out there as cinematic art. Make of it what you will.

The other day I was looking at some of my on-line music sales. I noticed that an obscure song I did in like 2001, for whatever reason, has been getting a number of downloads and plays. Me, I’m going to get like $55.00. At one cent per play that works out to like five-thousand downloads.

You know, ever since all of these music streaming services have taken over the music distribution industry, the artist gets paid like a penny per play, which I don’t really think is fair or cool but at least we get paid. So, there is at least some level of honesty in all that.

In contrast, a couple of years ago this music licensing firm sold some of my EDM Techno music to this company to soundtrack their video game. I still haven't seen a dime from that deal.

We all need money to survive. I do. You do. You have your way of making yours. And, I have my way of making mine. But, the problem that comes into play is when other people climb into your sandbox. They want to play with your toys. But, they didn’t bring any of their own toys along. They want what they want for free. They want to make money off of what someone else has created and they do not want to pay for the service. Is that right?

If you are a creator, I am sure you have pondered this question. If you are a consumer, maybe not. One way or the other, I believe it is important to actually think about what you are receiving; who is involved and how the people who are selling it to you came to the position of offering it to you in the first place. Mostly, what I am saying is I think you really need to look to the deeper aspects of consumption verses distribution and how what you consume actually affects the sourcepoint creation or the creator.

Think before you consume. Think about who is getting paid, who is not, and why.