Information Doesn’t Want to Be Free, review

Cory Doctorow, co-founder of BoingBoing, has written this book about the intersection of art, technology, and copyright law. From our vantage point 15 years after the explosion of the web into the mainstream, there’s much that has changed in the music industry.

Classically-trained musicians have just as much at stake in how the new industry of music shakes out, even though it is our friends in popular music that seem to be on the forefront of these sorts of discussions.

This book outlines the core systemic issues surrounding copyright and how it works, the major label music production system, and how that interacts with the interests of audiences and artists.

Some specifically worthwhile things to consider are brought up including whether the bigger problem is obscurity or not getting paid. Normally, these sorts of conversations are being put forth by the sorts of people who are getting paid–and this is no exception to that. But it’s still worthwhile to consider.

The challenge for musicians–the part that I don’t hear much about from anyone–is how to turn non-obscurity into something that can sustain an artist.

We’re still in early days on however the new music industry will arrange itself.

We’re aren’t going to go back to a world where people buy music objects like CDs in volumes high enough to support the music industry.

I’m ok with that. That system didn’t necessarily work for all that many musicians anyway.

It’s our job as musicians, to start examining how and where we obtain the resources to do our work in the years ahead.

And I’m pretty hopeful that there will be some amazing opportunities that have never before been possible–especially for smaller genres of music.

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