I understand where this line of thinking is coming from, but I sense some combination of fear, jealousy, and narcissism in it. We already have models where “it is cool to pay,” they are Bandcamp and the iTunes store. They are not good choices for me, but I know people who sadly will not accept music from elsewhere.

He raises some good questions but there are no real answers to Lovink’s questions, so I’ll answer the question that titles the article:

Free and Open got me an audience.


The Dutch theorist Geert Lovink has a long history of activistic academia – often talking about tactical uses of the media. Here he discusses several issues that I’ve been thinking about lately.

“In these times of ongoing financial crisis we can no longer afford to celebrate ‘free’ and ‘open’ as the default on the Web and pretend that it is everyone’s private business how they are going to make a living. [..] We need to politicize this situation and not presume that ways of making an income is a private matter”. For me this is spot on. Artists think too much about themselves. Why is there so little politics in electronic music? Why is it normal to use corporate tools to make, distribute and archive music into eternity? Perhaps “The main enemy is our own naïve passion to forget the politics of the tools that we fall in love with, time…

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