I was going through Last.FM’s Best Music of 2008 charts when I came across Nine Inch Nails' album Ghosts I-IV. What really caught my eye was not that it was 4th in the top albums chart, but that the music was licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Non Commerical-Share Alike license!
In addition to the slew of albums available under similar licenses on Jamendo, it is heartening to see more mainstream music opting for this method of distribution – even Radiohead experimented with it not long ago.
The best way for us to fight the RIAA is by encouraging this type of music distribution, which directly pays the artist. Let’s not forget that associations like the RIAA are chiefly responsible for several draconian laws that plague our society today, and are also the primary driving force behind DRM technologies. Gone are the days where you need large amounts of money to produce and distribute your work of art. As I said earlier, the whole point of technology is to make things cheaper, faster and better for everyone involved, cutting out the middle-man wherever possible.
This holiday season, play your part by going and buying DRM-free music directly from the artist. It’s the least we can do to show that this open form of distribution actually works. My recommendations: Ghosts I-IV and The Raghu Dixit Project. Or sample music from Magnatune and then buy tracks that you like! Alternatively, pick out music from Jamendo and then donate to artists of your liking. A meal at your favorite fast-food restaraunt is all you have to sacrifice for the act ;)