Some of my music, and that of friends, colleagues and contemporaries is being ‘farmed’ by websites which provide ringtones for a (an extortionate) fee. Now, how these companies or individuals make money is neither here nor there. But to take ‘free’ tracks, available under a Creative Commons licence, and charge customers for them, is morally wrong in my opinion. I have provided some of my tracks as ‘no strings attached’ free downloads, because I happen to believe that, regardless of ‘quality’, some music should be provided for free. As an artform, or means of entertainment, music is a commodity…… however, I feel it should be shared. If music was my only means of income, I may feel differently about this; but it isn’t, and I like the idea of people getting something for nothing if they like the ‘product’ in this commodity-fuelled world.
So, for some talentless entrepreneur with a business plan which involves fucking people over to take advantage of this arrangement (to make money for themselves) is wrong in my view. The music is free, so get it from the free source. Don’t pay or subscribe to get it!
Anyway, I’ve withdrawn all my free tracks, mainly from http://www.last.fm. The reason for this is only to avoid anyone else making illegitimate revenue from it. My only completely free album was available through last.fm: it seemed to be fairly popular (in relation to my other albums); but it is now no longer available completely freely. However I will soon put it on http://www.dementio13.bandcamp.com as a ‘pay as you wish’ album (with no minimum price); so it can still be purchased for free if you wish. Bandcamp operates via a Java player/downloader, which (thus far) seems impervious to the scammers, so the tracks should not appear on a ringtone website in the near future.