Problems with matching payments to goods and services (original version)

This originally was posted to Reddit on 2018-02-26.

(At the moment, I'm typing on my phone and under a time limit, so all links are omitted from the initial version of this comment. Expect thorough revision, including the addition of extensive links, roughly five hours after its initial posting. A copy of the original version will remain available.)

An entertaining argument recently reminded me that the matching of payments to goods and services can be impossible. For example:

I probably would pay fifteen or twenty dollars to ShaperV to reward him for writing Time Braid and to encourage him to finish Indomitable. However, copyright laws forbid me from doing so. Instead, if I want to buy anything from ShaperV, it must be one of his original works. However, I don't find his original works to be worth rewarding or encouraging (based on several chapters of Fimbulwinter and (IIRC) several summaries of his other works). I therefore find myself in a dilemma: I must, either buy ShaperV's original work and run the risk that he'll be encouraged to keep writing books that I don't like, or not buy it and run the risk of his being discouraged from ALL writing.

Likewise, shortly after the completion of HPMoR (for which I probably would pay ten dollars if I could), the org. that employed Prophet Yud (pbuh) saw fit to publish another, non-fiction work of his. I was forced to confront a similar problem: Should I pay an extra sum of ten dollars (above the five-buck suggested price, which I found reasonable for the nonfic book on its own merits) and risk sending the wrong message, or should I refrain from paying that premium and risk damaging the author's future willingness/ability to entertain me? I chose the middle course of paying a two-dollar premium.

(Alternatively, did I actually consider From AI to Zombies valueless and intend the whole seven bucks for HPMoR? I can't remember.)

A third example is FilthyRobot. After watching hundreds of this Twitch streamer's videos on YouTube, I subscribed to his Patreon for 5 $/month. However, he produces both videos that I watch (Battle Brothers, XCOM 2, Darkest Dungeon) and videos that I don't watch (Divinity, Mordheim, They Are Billions). I can't mark my Patreon subscription "Do not interpret as supporting Mordheim content", any more than my Amazon purchase of a ShaperV book as "Do not interpret as supporting Daniel Black" or my MIRI purchase of From AI to Zombies as "Only 5$ for From AI to Zombies"--or, if I could, it would be ridiculous to expect the content creator to read and interpret all those hundreds or thousands of messages that he would get. So, my support of FilthyRobot is of dubious merit.

Conclusions: (1) Bundle deals that force people to buy what they don't want are bad (see also ESPN and r/cordcutters); (2) as applied to sale of derivative works, copyright laws are bad (leaving aside the argument linked above, which was about unauthorized distribution) (see also openly-sold Japanese doujinshi and FIMFiction commissioned stories).