This blog post is pretty old (June 2010, so old in internet time), but it just came to my attention care of John August. It’s an incredibly interesting exchange between a teenage girl and Jason Robert Brown (who I’m not familiar with, but who is a very accomplished songwriter) on sharing copyrighted material on the internet. It’s pretty obvious who will take which side and I’ve got to say, as someone who still buys albums and movies, I side with Mr. Brown (I also have a lot of thoughts on the subject, but this isn’t the place to share them). Here’s a few quotes to intrigue:
Eleanor — If you’re really who you claim to be, then I assume you know that Parade, Last Five Years, 13 The Musical, etc. are all genius pieces of work and that a lot of people who would love to have that sheet music can’t afford it. Thus the term “starving artist.” Performers really need quick and easy ways to attain good sheet music and you’re stopping a lot of people from getting what they need. It matters a great deal to them that they can get it for free. Why does it matter so much to you that they don’t?
JRB — You assume that because a good thing comes from an illegal act, it’s therefore mitigated. That’s nonsense. I’m glad people want to sing my songs, and I’m glad that when other people hear them, they enjoy them – that doesn’t mean I surrender my right to get paid for providing the sheet music.
Anyway, click the link above. It’s always interesting hearing the creator’s perspective on the issue (see Gary Larson for another example). And definitely follow the link provided in the “All Right, One Last Thing” post-script.