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Tuesday, November 15, 2005

A brief note on copyright

There's a word for posting a nice, clean MP3 of a song on the Internet for anyone to download: "Theft." But at the same time, the Constitution recognizes citizens' right to violate that copyright through "fair use" of that property. I want to provide samples of this music for the purpose of informed comment, and so that people can decide to reward the artist by buying the album. Even where I have posted a track for the less-generous purposes of satire, I genuinely hope that someone, somewhere will really dig the music and buy it legally. The goal is to spur sales, not to encourage freeloading.

So here's the balance I struck: I will post crappy-quality MP3s (always ripped from albums that I personally own, not stolen), and I will keep them posted for only a limited time. You get the chance to sample the music, but I'm sure you wouldn't bother to keep it at that low bitrate. So if you want the song for real, you'll have to head somewhere like iTunes or Amazon to buy it. If you're an artist (or, more likely, an artist's lawyer) and you want the track removed, I'll be glad to pull it down.

Be a mensch. Buy some Christmas music.

 11:30 PM

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