In contrast to the moanings and wailings of RIAA and a handful of millionaire artists, here’s a very good article from recording artist Janis Ian in support of free music downloads. The whole thing is worth a read, and she makes a nice, clear argument that free downloads give musicians the exposure they need to actually get their albums purchased. She draws nice parallels to what’s happening in book publishing with on-line books. Particularly interesting, though, is:
And for those of us with major label contracts who want some of our music available for free downloading\x85 well, the record companies own our masters, our outtakes, even our demos, and they won’t allow it. Furthermore, they own our voices for the duration of the contract, so we can’t even post a live track for downloading!
Sure, the record company has invested money in producing the albums and wants to make sure they get a financial return. But as the article as a whole makes very clear, RIAA isn’t fighting this battle for the interests of the poor, powerless musicians, no matter what they claim.