CD swapping service Lala.com recently launched their Z Foudation to give back some of their revenue to musicians. Mark at DigitalOn thinks the setup of the foundation is unfair:

"It states that the musician's "music-related income accounts for more than half of their total income." The world's artists who are truly in need of these benefits are the ones who, at this very moment, write lyrics at 3 o'clock in the morning after working a full-time job, and can only afford the time to perform at a local bar on weekends."

While I think it's fair to question the effectiveness of something like the Z Foundation - after all, Lala.com only pledged to contribute between 10.000 and 50.000 10,000 and 50,000 dollars per month - Mark seems to be missing the point here. Musicians who have given up their day job aren't "already established" in terms of secure income - in fact, many of them are struggling somewere around the poverty line, and few can afford health insurance. However, if you decide to keep your dayjob, then that job should provide benefits for you.

Mark thinks that the step to become a full-time musicans should be easier:

"The foundation will not encourage music as a viable way to make a living for new artists. It will only serve to aid the musicians who are already doing music for a living."

I'd instead argue that if you better the situation of people who are trying to make a living with music, you also encourage newcomers to take their art more serious.

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