Other people’s music

Persistent middlemen

Back in the old days, when the Internet was only among a very few companies, making music for a large audience was not easy. There were a lot of steps to go through before you finally could have your song on an LP, and each of those steps cost a lot of money. The listener on the other hand had only a few options how he could enjoy music: he could go to a concert, listen to the radio or buy an LP. Obviously, to make things more easy for both the listener and the artist, middlemen were needed. These middlemen had the right amount of money, had the right contacts and they had the noble goal to make life easier for both listener and artist.

http://robmyers.org/weblog/2009/12/14/ - Remix of Rob Myer's slides

Nowadays, things got quite different: sharing music on-line is easy, recording music does not require highly advanced technology anymore, recording has become quite affordable, etc. However, sharing music got this funny name ‘piracy’, given by companies who once were the middlemen with the noble goal to protect consumer and artist. Instead of those protectors they became the consumer’s worst enemy: we can no longer share files with our friends, because sharing became theft, and artist tend only to get a very low percent of their music’s gain. With pitiable words, these middlemen nowadays try to keep doing the same as they were doing in those days.

To those relentless speeches on piracy however, I say «amen». Because that’s what you say when a prayer comes to its end. It’s a reckless effort to keep this business in copyrights alive.

You know, at one time there must have been dozens of companies making buggy whips. And I’ll bet the last company around was the one that made the best goddamn buggy whip you ever saw. Now, how would you have liked to have been a stockholder in that company?
Other people’s money, DeVito’s speech

steal_this_comic.png - xkcd.com

Free culture (as in freedom)

Today I can say with almost no doubt that you agree with my opinion on free culture, since you are already living it. You listen to some music and when you like it you might want to buy a CD, get to attend a concert, or share the music with other friends. I stand for all those things, except, I want to legalize it in a very nifty way. Artists have to realize these middlemen nowadays cause more problems than anyone else. Get rid of these guys who say your fans cannot listen to your music unless they pay. Fans want to promote your music and want to put it on their site without having copyright claims, they want to play it on their birthday-party without being scumbags since they’re promoting your music.

Yes, you got it right, I do not want you to change whatever you were doing. I only want you to realize this can be legal and can exist without all these uncertainties. If you’re an artist then please read about the creative commons licenses. They allow you to make free culture, as in freedom, the freedom to experience your art in any way.

-Pieter – follow me on identi.ca


A lot of artist are already using free culture licenses on their music. Check out jamendo.com, http://creativecommons.org/audio/, CC mixter, The Archive


One comment

  1. Pingback: Belgian copytax illegal? « Bon sans nom

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