Steal this album: What happens if no one pays for music? - Art in Crisis
2011 Record Store Day
Plan9 Music, Richmond, Virginia
Photo by Emaleigh Franzak
Here's another chapter in the never ending debate on the subject of art and commerce.
We've waded into this debate from time to time over the years and let's just agree that not everyone agrees on the subject.
From Steal this album: What happens if no one pays for music? - Art in Crisis - Salon.com By Scott Timberg:
The dissonance here between fan and musician emerges from one of the key conflicts of our time: How should we pay for culture in the Internet era, and if we don’t pay, what happens to the producers of culture? It was only a matter of time before an exchange like this would make the terms of the debate clear.
Over the weekend, Emily White, an NPR intern and general manager at American University’s WVAU, posted a piece on NPR’s All Songs Considered blog called “I Never Owned Any Music to Begin With,http://www2.blogger.com/img/blank.gif” in which she explains, in a reasonable, matter-of-fact tone, that despite being an enormous music fan, with a library of more than 11,000 songs, she has paid for almost none of it. Part of what’s striking is that she is not a culture-wants-to-be-free zealot, an unrepentant pirate or a feckless, that’s-just-the-way-I-roll Millennial. She seems to suspect there’s something wrong with this picture, but is not sure how wrong, and not sure how to fix it.
Camper van Beethoven/Cracker singer David Lowery, a singer/guitarist whose profile was highest back when indie rock was called college radio, in the mid-’80s to early ‘90s, responded with a long post on the Trichordist, a community blog run by “Artists for an Ethical Internet.” He argues that by taking and listening to music without paying a record store or label or Internet service like Spotify, she and her generational peers are effectively cheating musicians out of the value of their work.
Obviously, we have an interest in this debate.
As our long time readers know, we essentially blog for free. Sure, we generate some Amazon commissions and donations, but we certainly don't come close to earning a minimum or living wage doing this. Like many artists, we do what we do for the love of it. Simply celebrating Neil Young and his music is enough, along with the camaraderie of fellow fans.
So Thanks for Your 15 Years of Support to Thrasher's Wheat!
So what do folks think? All you can eat for free on the internet? Or support what you enjoy?