Steve Coleman: Music and the Internet

Posted by: Dave Douglas on August 10, 2005 @ 8:02 am
Filed under: Music

Steve Coleman makes quite a bit of his music and thoughts available online. Here’s a link to his essay about downloading.

Many people have asked me what are my reasons for giving away music for free.

Well, why not? Why should everything always cost something? For me music is organized sound that can be used as sonic symbols to communicate ideas. Since my main goal is the communication of these ideas to the people, then why not provide this music for free and thereby facilitating the distribution of this music to the people. However the distribution of music in this way is not in the best interest of commercial music companies, i.e. record companies, music distributors, retail stores etc.

My reasons for providing free music comes from my belief that musical ideas should not be owned by anyone. I believe that ideas should be free for anyone to use (but not to necessarily sell to others or make others pay for the use of these ideas). The concept of a commons area where ideas can be used for the benefit of all but for the profit of no one may seem like an unrealizable concept in the world today. Basically greed runs the world today and it is because of this that the concept of ownership exits.

There would be no need to own something exclusively unless the use of it was restricted to the owner for reasons of conservation, or the owner wishes to rent out the use of the item to others for a fee. The concept of wealth also stems from ownership and control of resources.


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