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Free Music – Free as in Freedom

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The world today is bound by so many rules. I would to take a leaf out of the revolutionary open-source movement which started at MIT and gave this world a very powerful, free operating system, Linux, that brings with it a great set of tools. I realise free software is more about the philosophy and the changes it brings to this world than the software itself. I am curious if this can be applied to music too.

I am a would-be engineer, and my life has pretty much revolved around my studies. I’ve always a big fan of both technology and music – neither of these work without the other for me. Hence I have tried to find a correlation between these two. I believe very firmly in the philosophy of Free software and the Open Source movement. The motivation is not technology or software – it’s the underlying objectives and the goal of a harmonious society.

I feel much better when I am able to share code or applications I like to use with my friends without being worried about copyright. What if the law catches up with me?

Imagine a world wherein a child is reprimanded simply because he shared his favourite cartoon episode with his friend, simply because the copyright notice makes him a pirate. Is this the world we really want to pass on to the next generation? Definitely not. Why not aspire for a world where there is a free flow of knowledge ,information and opportunity?

Music has become a very important part of our lives. Everyone listens to some music and they feels better every time they do so. Sometimes it soothes you, sometimes it inspires you, sometimes it make you think.

When there is so much importance attached to music, why not apply the same software model to music too?

An open model of music wherein people create music and put up tracks for downloads allowing the listener to share them with anyone they want. A free flow of music or sounds that can motivate people, that can make people think , that can make people smile.

I realise when I say this that it cuts down heavily on the income of people. For today music is a thriving industry. I did say though that the philosophy of the free software movement is more about the philosophy than the technology it aspires to change.

Music is more about the people it manages to reach than the people who create it.

Imagine a time when we don’t have to wait outside a music shop to buy the music that is supposed to be great or creative. Imagine the day when you can upload your favourite song on the Internet and let everyone appreciate it.

About S Theyagarajan

  • http:/cse/iitm.ac.in/~meera Meera

    that was a nice insight.But music is unlike software.IN software you can earn money through consultancies and service.While how can you implementsuch a thing on music ?
    Remember everyone has a right to income.

    Meera

  • http://freeshell.in/~taggy Taggy

    Yes its true meera eveyone has a right to income.
    But how much ? is the question .One really has to try and answer.
    In the end it comes down to ones own values and ethics. “SUCCESS” is the way you define it to be.
    Richard stallman is no way near being called rich.But people will definitely tell you ,he is one of the greates philosophers of our time.His success doesnt fit the definition that we pursue.But that doesnt take anything away from him or his work.
    Taggy

  • Guppusmaximus

    What I think Taggy is trying to say is that Music is like software nowadays because money is the importance rather than the substance. These copyright laws used to be about keeping people from selling the originator’s works but nowadays it’s more about suppressing the originator’s works. If you think about it… recording a tv show is a form of piracy.
    I give credit to the gentleman who created Linux, even though I don’t have a clue on how to use it, because he saw that Microsoft was more interested in Monetarial gain as opposed to substance.
    Though I don’t really see this happening with the commercial music industry because,in my opinion, there aren’t any real pioneers in that field. These people are more concerned with MTV Cribs than with releasing any ground breaking work!!

  • http://desicritics.org Aaman

    Have you heard of the ‘Creative Commons’ license – a lot of artists, musicians included, release their music under ‘Creative Commons’ – which can be free to share, based on the terms of the license. Perhaps you can do a followup article once you’ve read up on the ‘Creative Commons’

  • Guppusmaximus

    Aaman,I wonder does open source software licensing bond users without them expressively agreeing or knowing about it? Plus, I don’t see any real musicians releasing any quality material under this type of license, especially nothing like Linux is to “Open-Source”… If Taggy did a review of ‘Creative Commons’ then I think it would be purely pro vs. con…Not very interesting.