Why Free Music?

I just received a lovely piano compilation by Michael Crawford, Geometric Visions: The Rough Draft. His music is released under CC BY-SA 3.0 Unported, and enclosed in the CD cover is this beautiful message:

Why Free Music?

I don’t charge money for my music — recordings or scores — and have placed it under the “Free-as-in-Freedom” Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License so more people can get to know my music than would be possible if I sold it, or restricted copying. I actually give a Free compact disc to everyone I meet!

Music makes us human: in its creation, we can laugh, cry, celebrate and mourn. We can love and hate. We can allow our souls to soar. Music speaks to the very core of our sense of Freedom.

Furthermore, setting my music Free is The Right Thing to Do. I am inspired by Richard Stallman and his Free Software movement; my music is “Free” as in “Free Speech” rather than “free beer.” It’s a matter of liberty and not price.

It’s risky. Musicians have to eat. I plan to earn my keep by selling tickets to my shows, as well as T-shirts, posters, and other tokens of our mutual love of music. I hope that by making my music available to you for Free, you can learn to love it as I do, and will be there to attend my performances when the time comes:

I have studied piano intensively for several years, preparing to enroll in music school to study musical composition. I want to write symphonies!

The Recording Industry Association of America has threatened thousands with lawsuits for sharing music over the Internet. But it’s important to understand that, in America anyway, our Founding Fathers created copyright to benefit all of society, not merely copyright holders.

The framers of the US Constitution intended “to promote the progress of science and useful arts” by granting creative people temporary monopolies. But I feel that the power of computers and the Internet to send digital works, created in love, completely and faithfully anywhere
on Earth, at near-zero cost, outweighs by far the benefit to society of work created in order to gain copyright’s monopoly. So enjoy this music, and pass it along to your friends.

I love my music, so I set it Free. If music loves me it will return, all the greater for its freedom.

— Why Free Music? by Michael David Crawford is licensed under a
Creative Commons Attribution-No Derivative Works 3.0 Unported License.

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