If you follow debates about music, technology and how artists earn a living, you probably caught this post from David Lowery (Camper Van Beethoven; Cracker). Lowery’s lengthy missive was in response to a blog post by a 21 year-old NPR intern, Emily White, who talked about how she never really paid for music, but nonetheless has 11,000 songs in her iTunes library.
This exchange of perspective has definitely touched a nerve in the artist community. We don’t want to get into a point-by-point breakdown of everything that does or doesn’t ring true about Lowery’s piece, nor do we care to cross-examine White about her choices. What we’ve learned over the past 12 years of being an organization at the front lines of these kinds of debates is that things can get really heated really quickly. And, while there’s certainly every reason to feel passionately about artist compensation (we sure do!), emotional responses are typically not the best starting point for orienting us toward practical solutions. Again, you can read Emily White’s original post here; David Lowery’s response is here. For extra credit, check out musician and FMC Board member Erin McKeown’s observations.