Brad Defends the Universe
Here's an interesting rant. In it, a woman named Shannon Campbell takes swearing issue with me and my stupid idea. There are a lot of things I'd like to say about this, but I'll try to keep it brief so I don't bore the tar out of you. Some replies to specific things she wrote:
I offer a great deal of my music for free - but all of my songs are copyrighted. The difference between Brad and myself, that I can see, is that if both of us were to get heard by some huge recording industry mogul on the same day, and said mogul wanted to record one of our tracks, said mogul would have to buy my track and pay me a royalty every time that bastard saw the light of day - but he could take Brad's track, completely fuck up the arrangement, change the lyrics around to better suit Brittaney or NSYNC or Pink, and then sell a billion copies of the single without ever giving a dime (or a writing/arrangement/etc credit) to Brad.
That seems like kind of a silly thing to worry about, the odds of that happening being as poor as they are. In the absolute worst case -- and least likely -- scenario, I may miss out on a staggeringly huge paycheck and credit for songs I've written. That would be a drag, but I'm not playing the lottery here. I'm pretty sure that if I'm doing work good enough for moguls to steal and good enough to sell a billion copies, I'll be okay in the long run.
To quote Eminem: What the fuck, is you stupid?
I think I'm about average.
The RIAA is never going to be able to stop an artist from distributing their own material, because the artist is the copyright holder. Brad's distributing music that doesn't belong to anyone (which I guess makes it public domain) and relying upon the kindness of strangers to give him a leg up somewhere down the road.
I always hope for kindness, but I don't rely on it. It's not like I'm mortgaging the house on this principle. What can anyone honestly expect from people? "Wow, a musician is giving his music away for free on the Internet! Honey, get me the checkbook!" It just doesn't happen like that.
If there's a living to be made in this crazy new frontier of Internet music, I think it'll come from building an audience. Maybe touring, maybe merchandising, maybe a lot of other interesting ideas people have had. In the dark cyber-y future of the Internet, I don't think copyright is going to matter much. It's been mattering less and less every day since Napster hit the scene and it doesn't take a genius to realize that that will probably continue.