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Re: <nettime> a free letter to cultural institutions
Magnus Boman on Tue, 17 Jun 2014 14:01:47 +0200 (CEST)

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Re: <nettime> a free letter to cultural institutions

Great examples from Florian Cramer. Having run an indie record company
and music publishing house for 32 years, I could add that punk
attitude is something that extends far beyond any musical genre (punk
included) and that incorporates a disdain from any representative of
jurisprudence. The latter represent a world of order, when in fact the
bands want chaos. A great example is the Pirate Bay guys' decidedly
punk attitude towards lawyers in the AFK movie.

I have through the years tried everything from putting c's in circles
and paid the fees for it, to paying nothing and putting "unauthorized
-> hospitalized" on an LP label. I have as an artist put out music on
indie labels up to the world's biggest label (Warner). IThe result is
always the same. I (label and artist) was paid nearly nothing for ANY
use of my work. My music has been used for jingles, opera, theatre
plays, signature tunes to what I am told is a popular radio show in
Estonia. All without permission from me, regardless of "protection" of
my "art".

If you want to be radical, I found, take what money you have to spare
and spend it on releasing records that you give away for free. This
really irritates a lot of people (a good thing). My own favourite
experience here was when I curated Roboculture, the cultural part
of the 2nd (as I recall) robotic soccer world cup in 1999. Sony was
a sponsor, so they also paid for the cultural event, which included
modern dance, photography, and lots more, including a commissioned
theme song that could definitely be used for torture. I had lots of
records made and gave them away to left and right - all paid for by

My experience is typical, just a little bit longer than that of most
people I guess, and so we pass on the wisdom to the young of what
Florian Cramer is talking about: even the nice, cool, well-meaning
people will not deliver. Just get in control of your stuff any way
you can, and make money any way you can. Never mind the rules, never
mind the law. We have WFMU, Ubuweb, and today even a youtube full of
bootleg recordings. We have lots of bands putting out vinyl and tapes,
and doing OK. Things are looking good for creative people from where I
stand, viz. in the trenches.


On 14 June 2014 14:20, Florian Cramer <fcramer {AT} pleintekst.nl> wrote:

> >
> > I'd be very interested to hear why a punk band wouldn't want to release
> > music under a free license.
> >
> For example, because it doesn't want - for political reasons - its music to
> end up on Spotify, Google or similar corporate services, against which free
> licenses provide no means of intervention. Or because it wants to retain a
> means of preventing that work is being politically misappropriated. For
> example, if the punk band were the Dead Kennedys, and it would have
> released "California Uber Alles" under a truly free license, it would have
> no means to intervene if a Neonazi band performed the same song with no
> irony intended.

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