Ian MacKaye (Fugazi, Dischord Records, pictured above in photo by Amy Farina) had this to say on Pitchfork this week:

“I’m all for file sharing. That’s great—as long as people are prepared for the significant consequences. One is that music will become completely couched in advertising. That’s already happened. And another is that people should be prepared to have fun with the past because the only music that can possibly be free is the music that’s from the past. It costs money to make music. And if people are prepared to only have the past to listen to, then let it be free. But if they want new music then they are going to have to figure out a way to be patrons of the arts. And they will.”

I agree with everything Ian says here, except his rather optimistic conclusion that the arts will somehow be saved by a newly enlightened and dynamized public. I don’t see that happening anytime soon, and I wonder why Ian thinks it will.

While we’re waiting on that, I recommend checking out Robert B. Levine’s FREE RIDE: How Digital Parasites are Destroying the Culture Business, and How the Culture Business Can Fight Back, based on strength of the recent review by Jeffrey Rosen in the New York Times and Levine’s own excellent Twitter feed.

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