Sunday, June 25, 2006
I'm totally confused about putting music online. On one hand, there is a lot to be said to just putting stuff out there. Webspace is cheap and up- and download times are brief, so it all should be pretty easy. A lot of my colleagues are going the MySpace.com route, which I've just learned is part of an evil empire. On the other hand, my rights organization (GEMA, the German equivalent of ASCAP or BMI) wants to make me pay a license fee upfront if I want to put my own music online, which strikes me as circuitous and perhaps a real loss of my own rights, rather than protection. I do appreciate the fact that GEMA does a fair job of collecting fees for physical recordings, concerts and broadcasts, and I want musicians to be able to earn a fair income from any innovative technologies for reproduction and transfer, but I don't see even the outlines of a workable plan for doing this yet. I could wax a little rhapsodic legalese over the brewing conflict between 19th and 21st century conceptions of intellectual property rights, but the issue for me is a practical and immediate one. At the moment, I'm only putting scores, occasional works and juvenalia online, things not registered with GEMA, and will wait and see about the rest. But I'm totally open to other suggestions.