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"You can't take the song from musician. It is mine, made by me. It is not a free good unless I, and only I, deem it so."

RICKIE LEE JONES VS. NAPSTER

Artist Says Decision To Offer Free Music Is Hers Alone
I like this Napster discussion. I like to see things shaking up the incredibly rotund mass that the record business has become. It is bloated with greed and money. We make a good living doing a lovely job. We are lucky we don't have to work for half the minimum wage because some asshole might tip us a buck for his sandwich.

I am happy to offer free music for two reasons. First, because it is right to hear music for free, and second, because alot of people bootleg my work for sale. If I offer bootlegs for free it will diminish others making a profit off my work. I don't want other people to sneak in to my shows or sneak off with my demos and sell them. That pisses me off. At least ask, or send me one, or something. Don't rip me off.

But I like that fans exchange goods, that the music has a life of its own. I don't like people totally uninvolved making money off it. If they exchange goods, that's OK. I am not suffering. If I or any of my own were suffering and these people were making money, then I would have a complaint, but that is not the case. The exchange, as far as I am concerned, is good, for the most part.

So I will be offering pieces from concerts that are unavailable elsewhere for free on my Web site. I don't think, though, that anyone else should be able to do this. This becomes pirating. No one has the right to take another person's work from them. You can't steal the goods out of the back of a truck, you can't take the candy bar from the grocery store, you can't take the song from musician. It is mine, made by me. It is not a free good unless I, and only I, deem it so.

The fact that record companies make outrageous profits is another discussion entirely, and should not enter into this discussion about pirating people's work.

Love,

Rickie Lee Jones

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