We want to have a free culture, where we may freely share copies of things like literature, music, and movies, and where we can freely build on these works. We also want to reward the people who create the culture. Well: We want to reward people who are good at it, or show promise. We would be happy if talented artists can earn a decent living at it, so that they can spend their time creating more art for us to enjoy.
Someone might ask: “How will artists make a living in this la-la dreamland of sharing and cooperation and free love? How are we going to pay people to make all this great content to which you feel entitled?”
Well, I’m not 100% in love with your tone there, Mr. Someone, but one way of paying for free is to go back to the good old days of patronage. Paying artists directly to produce art. But in these good new days of the Internet, we don’t need kings, rich merchants, and other well-to-do types to commission the work. The Internet enables us little folk to cooperate and support creative work. We can be micropatrons of the arts.