May 10, 2011
There are some very good artists releasing music under the Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike license out there. This means that you are free to download, share and remix the music, as long as you give credit and share derived work under a similar or the same license.
How do these artists make money from their music?
Giving your music away for free does not collide with making money from it!
I actually think most people are willing to pay, under three conditions:
- It just has to be really easy for them to pay. PayPal donations are not easy! Flattr for example is.
- They get to decide how much money they want to pay.This means that you don’t attach a price label to digital content. Flattr has the great concept where you always know: no matter how often I flattr this month, I won’t spend more than the money I put in it at the beginning. There is no way of loosing track about how much money you spent.
- They pay voluntarily. This includes of course that you are not restricted to first paying and then downloading a song but rather get a completely free song and pay whenever you want and only if you want.
I am pretty sure that there is no way of financing Britney Spears or Lady Gaga this way. But creative, independent music? Probably.
You can’t do anything against music getting illegaly distributed via torrent, usenet, etc.. I think it is a much better concept to take this as a fact and see the pros in it: It is very easy to share and distribute music today, which makes it very easy to get popular and get a large fanbase these days.
My utopian vision of the digital content future is that there is a “Pay/Flattr/Donate” button for the artist on last.fm, on youtube, in your torrent client, etc..
Actually there are several problems (at least in germany) right now: The GEMA forbids artists who are with them to license any of the work they do under a free license. It is also forbidden to double license work, with for example a commercial and a free license.
In my opinion the reason why most artists releasing free music are not very popular is simply because many people just don’t know them. So these are five completely free songs, which I wanted to share.
- Emerald Park — Ume
- My Bubba & Mi — Satisfied mind
- Brad Sucks — Understood by Your Dad
- Shearer — Say My Name
- nocreeps — R.I.P
If you want to read further on this topic you should check out these sources: