- Paperback: 270 pages
- Publisher: OR Books (2012)
- ISBN-10: 1935928996
- ISBN-13: 978-1935928997
- Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,953,302 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Freeloading: How Our Insatiable Hunger for Free Content Starves Creativity Paperback – 2012
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Top Customer Reviews
I learned more about the modern music industry and the practical goals of both up-and-coming and already-made-it musicians than I thought there was to know. Whether or not you like their music, it's hard not to respect musicians who quit their day jobs to spend years at a time on the road, sleeping in vans with unwashed bandmates, all to generate enough interest in their work for fans to pirate the next album before it's even released.
One of the main points of discussion amongst musicians, managers and labels today is whether "patronage" (generally meaning corporate sponsorship) is the equivalent to selling out. The assumption amongst many freeloading music fans is that the bands make big bucks on the road, but this is only true for the elite groups, more often than not, legacy groups that became famous in past decades under the big label system. Making it today is as much about getting a song placed in a commercial or playing at corporate events as selling albums. It's hard to see how music fans can accept this as a positive outcome, but apparently, the price is right.
The author also does some investigative journalism into the funding behind the supposedly spontaneous anti-SOPA protests, under which Internet billionaires manipulated their captive followers into a frenzy of protest over a bill that most never bothered reading, all in the name of a mythical "slippery slope."
I told two friends with long histories in the music industry to buy this book and if they don't, I'll buy it for them.
In Freeloading, Chris attacks the issues head-on; in a cool, collected manner. His level-headedness is what kept me riveted to this book, as it would anyone currently in turmoil about the effects of music piracy and their reverberations throughout this once prosperous industry. That's not to say that he's entirely unbiased (as would be impossible), but he manages to articulate a certain respect for those who are fine with taking music and not paying for it. He's no apologist, as the main premise of the book speaks for itself, but he wants to address those who are on the fence about the issues, and make it clear WHY we need to pay musicians to continue to make music.
Complete with full interviews from independent musicians (and yes, their respective independent labels), Chris pulls back the curtain on the issues and essentially makes you confront your demons. But he does so in a very pleasant manner, and never falls prey to the cynicism that tends to plague the pro-IP crowd. I generally agree with everything Chris writes about in the book, so perhaps that makes me biased. But I'm glad to be grabbed and reminded what's right and wrong, but also reminded WHY it's right and wrong.Read more ›
Along the way we are exposed to the visceral reactions of those of us who felt challenged early on by questions he raised in his initial forays into this question of free...at what cost? He exposes his own thin skin, sharing his response to critique and condemnation alike. Luckily for us he toughened up and got serious about what might have remained occasional ruminations in blogging.
FreeLoading is a well written and insightful look at a practice that has changed, is changing and will change how we look at not just music, but art and creativity of all kind in our technologically gifted world. What the digitization and ability to download has done to music and musicians and if you care...to music companies, is already underway in literature. 3-D printing is opening new doors to the potential to have what someone else has created. The questions he raises and the answers he comes to are important issues that all of us have to grapple with. How we respond says more about us than we may care to admit.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This is an excellent, important, artist-centered book that clearly shows that the proclamations of supposed 'thought leaders' like Lawrence Lessig, Mike Masnik, Cory Doctorow and... Read morePublished 21 months ago by T. Hart
The great glut. The epic overabundance. The culmination of centuries of musical thought, of decades of recorded performances, of generations of songwriters desperately trying to... Read morePublished on June 30, 2013 by Anthony Patti
Chris Ruen takes his readers on an adventure of discovery. we grow along with him as he uncovers the impact of certain corporate practices that were seemingly benign, but which... Read morePublished on May 6, 2013 by id veritas