[Wolves] Really Free music

Andy Wootton andy.wootton at wyrley.demon.co.uk
Mon Dec 13 00:21:48 GMT 2004

There was a recent discussion here about the best place to find music on 
the Internet. I was surprised how different most people's views about 
music and software copyright were. Individuals who would defend free 
software ideals to the death seem quite happy to buy iPods and pay for 
music. Why is it evil to charge for mutliple copies of software that 
took months to write but OK for someone to become rich by selling 
millions of copies of a song that they may have written and recorded in 
a  couple of days? Please note that I'm still not sure which approach is 

Isn't a live music performance the equivalent of providing a software 
service? Should all songs be published freely on the Internet under a 
free licence? It would then be up to the public to decide if the author 
offered the best value 'performance service' of their songs.

I like the Apple iPod but I won't buy one because Apple don't provide a 
mechanism by which I can listen to Ogg Vorbis downloads. This would 
guarantee that performers with no budget will always be able to compete 
on equal terms. I don't want iTunes to control the creation of music any 
more than I want Microsoft to control the production of software.

I think the free/open music standards like Ogg Vorbis need to allow the 
option to encode with PKI systems and charge for music to get the 
support of recording companies.  We in the market can then decide 
whether we are willing to pay for music or not. This should allow new 
bands to break into the market without being signed by a record company 
and to build a fan base. Bands with a following would be able to charge. 
This should improve quality and reduce the average price of recorded 
music? Concert prices reflect artist's popularity; so why is it not also 
reflected in the price of their recordings?


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