4 comments on “Why I don’t give my music away

  1. Well said, Pete! I share your convictions. There’s far too much “entitlement” attitude nowadays, which has been enabled by the digital revolution. People think they should be given the fruits of the artist’s labels for nothing, simply because it’s so much easier to steal than to create. There’s no consideration for the artist’s rights to their work, or their need to make a living. As you said, not to minimize anyone who chooses to give their work away (as some truly amazing musicians do), but the “commodity” meme will always be an artist’s nemesis. Music is supposed to be magic – not used twice and then discarded, like a briefly-fashionable pair of shoes.

  2. I hope you share this on Relaxed Machinery, because I think it’s an issue that touches so many artists/labels/consumers there and it would be a worthwhile discussion.

    As somebody who runs a free netlabel (and who focuses a blog and podcast on free music), this is something I have definitely thought about. I want to take some time and compose a post that enters into this conversation. (Don’t get scared. I agree wholeheartedly with everything you say here. I want to lay out some ideas about free music and how it can fit into the whole picture of music distribution.)

    I will, however, say here that while I focus on promoting and distributing free music, I too don’t like the attitude that it is necessarily morally superior.

    Look for a post soon. And thanks for speaking your mind and getting these thoughts out there.

  3. Thanks for your considered comments, Greg and Brad.

    In hindsight, perhaps I should have balanced my original post with examples of free releases that to me have significant ‘musical value’ – I’m thinking of works by Lucette bourdin, Matthew Florianz and Kit Watkins, for example.

    The primary reason for my post was not really why I choose to charge for my work but to make the point that its okay to do so and not feel like some kind of ‘bread-head’. The number of artists who choose not to give their work away is diminishing.

    For me, I would carry on releasing work if nobody bought it, but I still wouldn’t give it away.

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