free culture

The Meaning of Netlabel Day

I’m not sure what happened, but it seems like I took notes for a short essay that I wanted to write for Netlabel Day 2016, but never got to it. But the notes seem to be quite to the point. So I’m simply leaving this here. Enjoy.


Netlabel Day means
– freedom from the middlemen
– low production costs for bedroom producers
– asking ourselves what does the value of music depend on
– asking ourselves what platforms do we use for distribution

This has nothing to do with the physical media and wonderful sound of the vinyl.
This is not against the right that musican should be able to earn a living with their music.

Netlabel Day means this: music being at the center stage with help of digital distribution networks embracing the idea that information and artistic expression wants to be freely distributed.

This is about re-evaluating platforms like iTunes, Spotify, Apple Music. This is about re-evaluating how much of a slave each and every musician is to the music industry, to commodification of music, to the capitalism and exploitation.

This is not about the idea that everything should be free and costless while still costing many hours of work. It’s about thinking about in what system do we work and create, how this system forces us to sell our own work and ourselves and how free online access to music bypasses such systems.

It’s also an opportunity to think about how democratisation of taste and free access to all cultural works at any time from everywhere is really beneficial and how it is hurting creators & musicians.

Netlabel Day offers us an opportunity to think about the world of musical creativity and its distribution, which is far from simple black or white, good or bad.

Sharing: Culture and the Economy in the Internet Age

This seems like an important book, that deals with current pressing issues about file sharing. It was written by one of the founders of La Quadrature du Net ( – an advocacy group defending the rights and freedoms of citizens on the Internet – Philippe Aigrain. Here’s a bit or two from the introduction which sets the tone refreshingly: a research that has a statement, an oppinion. That’s rare.

File sharing is the act of making a file available to other individuals by putting it on-line, by sending a copy, or by rendering it accessible through a file sharing software. We defend the view that sharing without direct or indirect monetary transaction – or “non-market” sharing – is legitimate. We also claim that sharing is socially and culturally valuable and will play a key role in the future of our culture and the creative economies.

– The non-market sharing of digital works is valuable and must be recognized as a legitimate activity (chapter 3).
– New financing schemes are needed to turn the potential of a many-to-all creative world into a reality (chapter 4). In such an environment, all will have access to works, the right to share them and the technical means to produce new works. Many will build new capabilities in informing others, expressing oneself, and creativity. They will catch the interest of some, and some – more numerous that today – will attract the interest of many.

The book is free for download, and is also an ‘open book’, which means it will be updated frequently online and is open for comments and debate.

(via icommons-si list)