September 08, 2000
I don't want to pay record companies

The United States and British governments killed Iraqi children today.

Suck says the internet will not change the world, because The Lawyers rule, and will continue to rule. "the blind narcissism that leads geeks to confuse "can be done" with "will be allowed" is disastrously naive."

Nick Petrely: Information doesn't want to be free, people want it to be. It seems that the original quote that spawned the "wants to be free" catchphrase has been all but forgotten.

Stewart Brand said it, and his full quote was:

Information wants to be free -- because it is now so easy to copy and distribute casually -- and information wants to be expensive -- because in an Information Age, nothing is so valuable as the right information at the right time.

Petrely would have done well to look it up. However, this hardly dimishes his points, since hardly anyone who drops that line knows the full context of the quote.

I agree with Petrely's point in principle: if we really believe in free information, let's support musicians who copyleft their work, instead of stealing the work of the people who want money for their intellectual property.

However, it is my opinion that the record industry is so fundamentally corrupt that erasing the possibility of making a lot of money from Brittany Spears albums would be a good thing overall.

People who buy music don't really give a s#it if Ms. Spears makes $1.00 (if that) from a $15 purchase. If a lesser known artist supplies quality content freely on their website, however, there is a much better likelyhood that people who listen will say "this is worth my money", and if there's an easy way to send the artist $3 (Paypal, anyone?), then they might just do it.

If I have to pay $15 so that an artist can make $2 (and that's darned optimistic), then the economics just don't work for me. At that point, I'll download the songs from some hotline server, and since there's no easy way to send money to the artist, no one makes any money.

posted by dru in blog