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A professional musician writes about why free music on the Internet isn't really free, debunks some myths about how and where pro musicians get paid (e.g., most don't make much money on touring; Spotify pays musicians almost nothing), and describes some charities you can support if you end up deciding that you did a wrong thing by downloading free music, or if you just want to help pro musicians.


I don't agree with the implication that it's a particular generation of people who are primarily downloading stuff on the Internet in violation of copyright. People of all ages do it.
I also think there are huge problems with copyright law and with the way corporations sometimes go about protecting their copyrights. And I support transformative fanworks, which often involve working with copyrighted material. It's not a simple issue. And I take digital stuff without paying for it sometimes, so I'm not shaking fingers at people.

This issue is also relevant to all sorts of other artists producing material that can be digitized. I find it interesting what justifications people give for their choices. And it's interesting to think about what the availability of free copies of digital stuff means, going forward, in terms of how art is made and who makes art and who can make a living at it and how people get access to art.

This entry was originally posted at http://firecat.dreamwidth.org/779177.html, where there are comment count unavailable comments. I prefer that you comment on Dreamwidth, but it's also OK to comment here.


( 5 comments — Leave a comment )
Jun. 27th, 2012 11:42 pm (UTC)
I read that this morning, and while there are some valid points, I do have some problems with it. One is the suggestion that composers should consider concert tickets and t-shirts to be the only way to make money. That's fine if you're the kind of band who can sell concert tickets and t-shirts, but it very narrowly defines what music should be allowed to make money. There are a lot of artists who aren't likely to sell t-shirts, and often if you're not a somewhat successful act, you are either giving the venue the ticket proceeds or actively paying the venue to let you play. The second is the suggestion that expecting to sell music is totally unreasonable. Even if it were true that it were currently commercially viable because of the climate of sharing and so on, that doesn't make having the idea that you should be able to do that an unreasonable position. And the last is the suggestion that NOBODY AT ALL pays for music anymore, which is clearly untrue, given the wild continuing success of record labels and of services like iTunes. It's one thing to say that it's a reality that a lot of people are relying on subscription-based cloud services or on piracy. It's another thing (and a clearly false thing) to say that ALL people are.
Jun. 27th, 2012 11:52 pm (UTC)
Either I didn't read it very carefully or you read a different article than I did. I think this article makes all the same points that you do.
Jun. 28th, 2012 04:53 am (UTC)
I read this, and am keeping the tab up because I'm having trouble with some underlying concepts and want to write about my misgivings further -- the "corporate-led Free Culture Movement," what?

There's an ongoing tension among ownership, protest against over-protective copyright laws, public domain and use, deliberate appropriation, and of course laziness and the desire to not expend resources.

A lot of what you wrote speaks for my position. Details to come, I hope.
Jun. 28th, 2012 07:12 am (UTC)
the "corporate-led Free Culture Movement"

Yeah, that's...odd.

I look forward to seeing what you have to say.
Jun. 28th, 2012 10:27 am (UTC)
Ah, I haven't explored all the links within it, but the article someone mentioned on the Dreamwidth lobe of your post might say a lot of what I mean:

( 5 comments — Leave a comment )

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