NPR All Songs Considered intern Emily White recently sparked a heated debate on the station's blog about music consumption in the digital age.
In her post, she was responding to comments that erupted when Bob Boilen wrote a piece about putting all of his personal music in the cloud. But her response garnered its own form of criticism when she mentioned how little of her music she's actually paid for in her lifetime.
From her NPR post:
But I didn't illegally download (most) of my songs. A few are, admittedly, from a stint in the 5th grade with the file-sharing program Kazaa. Some are from my family. I've swapped hundreds of mix CDs with friends. My senior prom date took my iPod home once and returned it to me with 15 gigs of Big Star, The Velvet Underground and Yo La Tengo (I owe him one).
During my first semester at college, my music library more than tripled. I spent hours sitting on the floor of my college radio station, ripping music onto my laptop. The walls were lined with hundreds of albums sent by promo companies and labels to our station over the years.
Cracker and Camper Van Beethoven frontman David Lowery posted a heated response to White on Trichordist:
Many in your generation are willing to pay a little extra to buy "fair trade" coffee that insures the workers that harvested the coffee were paid fairly. Many in your generation will pay a little more to buy clothing and shoes from manufacturers that certify they don't use sweatshops. Many in your generation pressured Apple to examine working conditions at Foxconn in China. Your generation is largely responsible for the recent cultural changes that has given more equality to same sex couples. On nearly every count your generation is much more ethical and fair than my generation. Except for one thing. Artist rights.
What is the future of owning music and what does it mean for the industry? Nancy Sims, University of Minnesota Libraries' subject specialist on copyright issues, will join The Daily Circuit Monday to discuss music in the digital age. She will be joined by local artists Sean McPherson and Jeremy Messersmith.
"The single biggest thing someone can do to support my music is by sharing it with someone," Messersmith told The Current. "It can be via mixtape, Facebook wall post, email or whatever. If people don't want to pay as much for records, then I better get a lot more people listening!"
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