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Bob rocks! Monday, April 24, 2006

Posted by Sami Oinonen in musiikki, trendit.

Avantgarde-mies Bob Ostertag on vapauttanut musiikkinsa vapaasti ladattavaksi Creative Commonsin Attribution Non-commerical-lisenssillä. Bobin perustelut ovat erittäin virkistävää luettavaa ja toivottavasti tomivat motivoijana monelle muulle vastaavassa tilanteessa olevalle artistille. Allaoleva teksti kannattaa pureskella ja lukea vaikka useamman kerran.

I have decided to make all my recordings to which I have the rights freely available as digital downloads from my web site.

These works are now covered by a Creative Commons "Attribution Non-commercial" license that permits you to freely download, copy, remix, sample, manipulate, fold, spindle, tamper with, defuse, detox, or deconstruct – as long as you credit my work as a source, and the work you make is not marketed commercially.

This will make my music far more accessible to people around the globe, but my principal interest is not in music distribution per se, but in the free exchange of information and ideas. "Free" exchange is of course a tricky concept; more precisely, I mean the exchange of ideas that is not regulated, taxed, and ultimately controlled by some of the world’s most powerful corporations.

"Intellectual property rights" have become so absurdly swollen that they now constitute a smokescreen hiding a corporate power grab on a scale rivaling the great robber barons of the nineteenth century. Instead of grabbing land or oil, today's corporate crooks are seizing control of culture.

I have made money selling these recordings in the past. It may be my income suffers from giving away these recordings for free. Conversely, it may turn out that my former royalty income will be replaced and perhaps even surpassed by increased income from concert fees due to wider circulation of my music. Who knows? What is known is the cost the corporate "intellectual property rights" battering ram is imposing on culture.

Saying goodbye to record royalties is in any event no great sacrifice for a musician such as myself, whose music has always been too adventurous to be valued by the mass market anyway. Strangely, many musicians I know whose work lies outside the mainstream remain much more invested in the idea of selling their recordings than their actual experience in the market would seem to justify.

I will continue to sell CDs in addition to offering the free downloads because the sound quality is superior, and many people continue to want a physical object to associate with the music. As my work is about sound first and foremost, there is still good reason to want a full-fidelity CD instead of a compressed MP3 file. I may also make new releases CD-only for an initial period, to defray initial production expenses.

I do have serious reservations about this step, however, but they have nothing to do with money. My music is made for sustained, concentrated listening. This kind of listening is increasingly rare in our busy, caffeine-driven, media-drenched, networked world I suspect it is even rarer for music that was downloaded for free, broken up and shuffled through fleeting "playlists," and not objectified in an object that one can hold in one's hand, file on the shelf, or give to a friend. But ultimately this concern has nothing to do whether we charge money to hear recorded music, and everything to do with how we live in a culture in which there is a surplus of information and a scarcity of time to pay attention.

[Bob Ostertag]



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