Home > Music > Brief, disjointed thoughts on the changing face of music

Brief, disjointed thoughts on the changing face of music

I haven’t truly made up my mind yet. What’s going on with the music business? Is technology helping or hurting the entertainment industries? What do we do about copyright law? Is it fine? Should it be amended?

These are tough questions and I really have no answer yet. There are truly valid arguments on both sides. As a creator of content myself, I feel that it should be somehow protected. I don’t want some advertising campaign to pick up one of my songs and use it to make a million dollars while I’m wondering where my family’s next meal is coming from. Most of the arguments made on this subject pertain to the major music labels and artists that already have a comfortable savings account, rather than we artists who dream of doing our craft full time. Sadly, it seems that dream is just that — a dream.

A couple of films I’ve seen recently (Steal This Film and Rip! A Remix Manifesto) put forth the philosophical notion that all artistic content belongs to culture and should be distributed freely and at no cost. They argue that no one can own an idea. This, of course, is coming mainly from a contingent of people sitting at home on their computers with little to no creative urges or talents of their own. There is a lot of entitlement out there, and it’s not fair to the artists that work hard to do what they do. If an artist wants to put their stuff out there for free, that’s a marketing practice. That’s their decision. I have no problem with free music. I like free music. What I have a problem with is the philosophy that I shouldn’t be able to get by on my musicianship and business savvy alone. I have to come up with some other method of creation. My music becomes an advertisement for the bonus material. That’s not cool at all. So, you’re an accountant. You went to school for it. You’re good at it. Wanna do my taxes for free? Of course not. That’s ludicrous. But, that’s the mindset, just in a different industry.

There are many, many arguments that go into this on both sides. There is no easy answer. Some people say these problems help creativity, some say they destroy. I’m not entirely sure where I sit just yet. I work hard for my art and I do give most of it away for free. But I resent the notion that because I create art I should have to give it to culture for free.

What do you think? Watch these films and see what you get from them.

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Categories: Music
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