Download This! Part II

Although there is much squawking and paltry caterwauling in the news today over the issues of illegal downloading there are still legal, viable, and exciting methods of getting the music you love while giving back to the artists and their community of fans. While the talking heads on the idiot box mumble and grumble back and forth over lawsuits and subpoenas there are diligent, avid music fans with extensive programming knowledge building and delivering ‘cooperative’ P2P networks fueled by the fan base and supported by the artists they follow. The taping of live performances and trading them is an entire subculture in and of itself. While the RIAA and major record labels furiously try to dig themselves out of the pits of their own ignorance and laziness there exists a beacon of positive energy building a new model for artists and digital delivery of their music. Terabytes of musical bliss pump merrily along, day after day, into the hands of satisfied fans and the more that passes across the matrix of servers and networks this community of traders gets deeper and stronger in numbers as more become educated.

Why would any band or music artist not openly support this level of commitment from its fan base and deny them permission to trade live performances? Why wouldn’t you allow fans to record, trade, and deliver your message into thousands of waiting hands? The answer is simple: Some bands are motivated by the all-mighty dollar and some aren’t. Don’t they realize that they will sell more tickets to concerts and immensely benefit with no more effort than taking the stage and having a good time? Sounds like a win-win situation to me….

No matter what becomes of the ‘RIAA vs. itself’ and all the noise being made in the press you will see two nodes of digital delivery establish itself and prosper and it’s just a matter of time. Once the dust clears and the lawyers have walked away with millions over an issue that should have been solved without them, the two new models will exist and they will evolve again within themselves. One genus of this will be the Pop culture digital delivery system where everyone gets their precious money right down to the micro-cent and they will be happy. The other genus, the live music trading community, will continue to be one big road trip of happiness and continue to lead the way with positive energy as its fuel.

The most important issue is that no matter what side of the fence you fall upon, no matter if you are into Pop music or Jam bands, that you support the artists so they can continue to entertain you. Being under the illusion that everything should be free and compensation doesn’t matter is completely absurd. Don’t be a part of the problem and contribute your time and energy to Kazaa and the like who only care about the millions they will gain in force feeding you advertising in exchange for killing an industry and musicians careers.

If you are in search of some good live music, are willing to share and not freeload, and have the tenacity to educate yourself in digital audio formatting and trading then here are my top picks for where you should start your journey: etree.org, FurthurNet, SharingTheGroove.org. Read the FAQ’s and sticky posts before you begin, be kind and others will be kind in return. That’s the way it should be.

S. Remington – Editor
Questions or Comments: editor@phreshwater.com

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