Thursday, January 17, 2008

The Complete Works of Bach--for free

Not far from my computer desk is a boring little book on copyright law as it applies to musicians. I've never read it, and I don't intend to read this heap of positivism. My hope is that within my lifetime most of it will become irrelevant, as intellectual property laws often hurt creators rather than help them.

We are making progress. One need look no further than the Choral Public Domain Library. But there is more. Many artists themselves are catching on to the reality that if they offer something for free, the sales of that item and the general benefit to them increases sharply, most famously the band Radio Head, which released its most recent album online in a pay-what-you-wish format.

Following in Radio Head's footsteps is Dr. James Kibbie of the University of Michigan, who is in the midst of recording the complete organ works of J.S. Bach and posting them online for free.

Bravo to the professor for taking this step. I hope many more follow after him.

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