A musical rebuttal to an Altlantic piece about “freeloaders”

Posted by Rob Walker on May 5, 2010
Posted Under: Backlashing,Music

Illustration by Jeremy Traum; click for more on the first seven interpretations.

This month’s Atlantic includes a piece by Megan McArdle called The Freeloaders: How a generation of file-sharers is ruining the future of entertainment. It struck me as a rather retro argument at this late date, but Marc Weidenbaum over at Disquiet had a more interesting response. He critiques the essays specific points here. Even better than his written reply, however, is the musical one that he proceeded to curate.

Marc (a greatly respected friend) took particular issue with McArdle’s matter-of-fact equation of the fate of “the music industry” with the fate of music, which struck him as a non-contribution to the important discussion of copyright and culture in the digital era. He figures there has been, and will continue to be, plenty of worthwhile music made whether or not the present major record labels figure out profitable business models. Now, it’s easy to say that — but Marc did something specific to make his point. Noting that the piece was accompanied by an illustration that happens to incorporate a musical score (above), he invited musicians to compose new interpretations of the illustration. So far seven have done so — for free — and Marc has posted those on his site — also for free. It adds up to 55-minute musical response. Give it a listen here.

He has also has an open call out for more musical interpretation/responses; contact on Disquiet.com.

Further diversion may be found at MKTG Tumblr, and the Consumed Facebook page.

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