actuality.log


Wednesday, October the 29th, 2003

Today was quite decent. Got quite a bit of stuff done, for a change. And just as things are beginning to fall out of out of place, everyone’s favorite phenomenon is setting in again.

But I don’t mind. This intense need to do other random things is an inherent indicator that I am ok with the way the extremely important things are going along. I think. And anyway, I care about these other issues just as much. Or so I have to tell myself to justify slacking off.

With all this RIAA suing 12 year olds, MPAA attempting to warn innocent people, SCO vs GNU/Linux (and the rest of the sane world) and other such related madness, I’ve decided to make even bigger concrete steps towards a world where I use only freely available stuff. And I mean, free, as in speech. Most people who know the geeky me realize that I am a long time user, advocate and “attempt to shove down your throat whether you like it or not”er of Free Software. It is an important part of who I’ve become over time and now more of a religious rather than technical issue.

People like to share things. If you’re done reading this great book, and someone expresses interest in reading it, you give it to her. If the lady next door would like to know your recipe for chocolate eclair cake, you write it down for her. That’s an entirely natural sequence of events, the way things are supposed to be. If someone asks her for it in turn, she gives it to them, with her changes, as she’s most defintely made some. If you happen to actually like the music your obnoxious and loud neighbour’s playing, you ask him and he gives you a copy.

(This same logic can be applied to almost everything. Information is most useful to a maximum number of people if shared freely. Media reaches most people and artists get their ideas and whatever they wish to convey to the largest audience if it is shared freely. The same goes for software, as the more open the ideas and implementation, the more places it ends up at and more people end up benefiting.)

What is entirely unnatural however is me going, umm no. I read that recipe from this book copyrighted by blah person in blah year, and hence me giving you the recipe is a) Illegal b) Causing her to starve because no one is buying her book. Just as important, you also, as a result, won’t get to know any of my small (I feel enhancing) changes.

That’s just inherently not right.

I have had tons of arguments with people who are and/or will be writing software for a living about this, so I don’t plan to go down that road again, right now. Today, I decided to focus on something that’s as or even more important to me, music.

I’ve been doing a bit of snooping around to find places where music can be downloaded (in Ogg Vorbis, MP3 and other formats) or streamed freely. And legally. Here are some of the places.

For starters, please try Irate.

(Personal Favourites – Winamp’s Listening Party. When the band’s good. Like now, it’s REM. I have to warn you it’s highly addictive and you’ll most probably, if you are weak like me, end up buying the album. And Emusic, which is not free, as in cost.)

http://www.epitonic.com/
http://www.vorbis.com/music_links/
http://www.mp3.com/
http://www.peoplesound.com/

And suddenly, I’ve decided it’s a better idea (and easier for now) to maintain a meta list. I will try these sites slowly and move ones I find useful to my own list.

http://www.kuro5hin.org/story/2003/10/22/02551/056
http://www.kuro5hin.org/story/2003/9/5/05113/70314
http://www.goingware.com/tips/legal-downloads.html

And even more suddenly, I decided to stop. This needs a lot more work/sorting to be moderately useful.

Sure, this is a very preliminary (and clearly not very useful) list but it should grow/improve steadily with time. Even faster if you help.

And sure, you won’t probably find the big-big name label backed “music stars”. But I don’t think that’s an issue really. These “stars” aren’t any better than most of the other insanely talented people out there. They just happened to get huge marketing behind them.

And on a sinister(er) note, I hope such non-backing of such “mainstream stars” will eventually lead to their demise.

*Pinky to my nose*
Muahaha. Muahahahahahaah. MUAHAHHAHAHHAHAHHAAH.

You’re a meanie, you don’t care whether the poor artists eat.
No, I do care. And there are tons of ways they can more than support themselves.

This is a printer-friendly version of the journal entry “Free your music” from actuality.log. Visit http://emphaticallystatic.org/earlier/free-your-music/ to read the original entry and follow any responses to it.

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1 people conned into wasting their bandwidth.