D3V1ANT 1, thank you for your thoughtful perspective on the changes in the industry. My girlfriend is a big fan of blown glass and we frequent shows and purchase from the unique artisans whose work we appreciate.
"i dont get paid because others can get what ive made for free or almost free somewhere else,thats just too bad for me i guess,"
I have good news for you. Your guess is wrong. The basic premise for doing business in a civilized society is a 'contract', which can be written or verbal. If you are not paid on your work, you have a right to demand payment, and sue if necessary. This is because you gave them in exchange for a promise of payment.
If you pull into a gas station, fill up your car, then drive away without paying, the gas company would try to track you down and sue you for stealing. It's a breach of an unwritten contract.
Your argument is that, if enough people steal, it is no longer stealing - it's just progress.
I also understand the argument that many have bought albums that they never would have found without the benefit of illegal downloading. I do not argue that fact. And if that happened more often than not, the record industry would not be up in arms, for, although the practice would technically be illegal, they would not be egar to sue, as they would be showing a benefit from the practice due to record sales going up!
According to this report on National Public Radio, sales have dropped by 20% so far this year! It also states that illegal downloads are 12 times that of legal downloads. This report was published yesterday, but the trend has been going on since 2000, when P2P went mainstream.
The other issue you describe is a problem that faces many businesses. How dow you compete with an off shore company undercutting you with immitations of your work? Ross Perot has made the argument that to compete, we must surpass the quality of work done overseas. I feel that is your best defense in the blown glass industry, for as an artisan who puts your name on your art, the care you give will easily distinguish your product. It is unique. In the automotive industry, the popularity of Toyota has not reduced the value of Mercedes.
In the music industry, the original performance of the artist is near impossible to imitate. A couple of minutes in a Karaoke Bar, or a listen to any 'tribute' album prove this to be true. So, the original has more value than any copy - EXCEPT an exact copy of the original! Modern technology has provided common people with the power to create exact copies, and P2P sharing enables the crime. The gun is not illegal, but it is important to teach the law to those who own them, and protect the rights of victims when they do not.
So, I appreciate your sympathy for my situation, and I encourage you to stand up for your rights when you are wronged, to continue to surpass your competition's quality, and to use ethics in your downloading.....peace.