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Robert Smith on Free Music: “It Is An Idiot Conceit”

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The Cure frontman Robert Smith has taken to the Internet to slam the idea of musicians making songs available for free—and he is very sure of how he feels.

 

The notion in question—that artists should make their material available for free and subsist on licensing, merchandise, and performances—isn’t so outlandish in a world where nobody pays for music anyway.  But Smith contends that this proposal undermines artistic merit:

 

WHAT I AM ESSENTIALLY SAYING IS THIS:

WHATEVER ‘BRIGHT NEW WORLD’ I AM EXPECTED TO ENJOY

ONE IN WHICH SONGWRITERS/MUSICIANS ARE OBLIGED TO MAKE THEIR MUSIC AVAILABLE FOR FREE

IS ONE THAT IS TOTALLY UNFAIR 

AND THAT WELL ESTABLISHED AND SUCCESSFUL (IE WELL OFF!) ARTISTS

WHO DO THIS BECAUSE THEY CAN AFFORD TO DO IT

ARE HELPING TO CREATE AND SUSTAIN A CULTURAL ENVIRONMENT OF EXPECTATION:

 

THE EXPECTATION THAT ALL MUSIC SHOULD BE ‘FREE’

 

 

IT IS A DISMAL POSITION

 Okay, so he has a point, but the caps just make it feel like he’s yelling. Then again, maybe it’s our fault for actually being surprised that Robert Smith is upset about something.

 

  [ The Cure via Aversion ]

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