As a writer, I fully appreciate what David Lowery (Cracker, Camper Van Beethoven) has to say on music piracy, even if I envy his writing skills.
I also find this all this sort of sad. Many in your generation are willing to pay a little extra to buy “fair trade” coffee that insures the workers that harvested the coffee were paid fairly. Many in your generation will pay a little more to buy clothing and shoes from manufacturers that certify they don’t use sweatshops. Many in your generation pressured Apple to examine working conditions at Foxconn in China. Your generation is largely responsible for the recent cultural changes that has given more equality to same sex couples. On nearly every count your generation is much more ethical and fair than my generation. Except for one thing. Artist rights.
via Letter to Emily White at NPR All Songs Considered. | The Trichordist.
4 thoughts on “David Lowery sets the record straight on the “free music” generation”
It’s going to be very difficult to chance the attitude and behavior that music is something that is free and should never be paid for. In a very small way, I’m guilty of offering music for free when I would upload mp3 to my blog. At the time, I just wanted people to get excited about the music (and go and buy the CDs). But clearly that intended altruism really didn’t translate into a kind of “Yeah, I’ll buy the CD” from readers. Part of the reason was that CDs were not seen as a valuable purchase (too many crappy songs for $15.99), and the other part was that mp3 was (and is) the most popular format (even though the sound quality is crappy) and you could get free mp3s on tons of site, torrents, and blogs. And if you didn’t like the quality, you could spend 99 cents and buy legally legit mp3s from Amazon or iTunes.
Lowery makes a huge over-generalization on that topic. This entire generation, including myself, does not like to see artist’s rights get trampled on. In fact, because of this many people have created DIY services (which do not work for everyone) to make it so artists retain the rights to their work.
He also completely avoids the fact that some labels have exploited bands as bad as the pirates.
He addresses that in paragraphs 6-8 and again later.