Independent Music

Independent music, including unsigned musicians, musicians with independent labels, and those independent labels.

Organizations: Canadian Independent Recording Artists' Association (CIRAA), Canada music commons, Musical Artists' Global Independence Collaborative - MAGIC, Canadian Independent Record Production Association (Note: CIRPA does not appear very modern in their thinking)

"I cannot believe the future of music is giving it away"

Those are the words of Graham Henderson, the president of the Canadian Recording Industry Association, as quoted in a The Chronicle Herald article by Patricia Launt. Whether Mr. Henderson believes it or not, the authorized sharing of knowledge is the future.

The economics are simple: Knowledge has a marginal cost (The cost per additional unit) of production to the author of zero, and with modern communications tools the marginal cost of distribution is nearing zero as well. People who make a living in the knowledge economy have a choice: they can use older business models which focus on the collecting and policing the collection of an artificial marginal cost charged to the consumer, or they can find ways to find their one-time up-front costs and allow the marginal cost charged to the consumer to be zero.

Indie-Rock Revolution, Fueled by Net Neutrality

An article on, set up as part of the discussion in the USA about network neutrality, includes the following :

“For musicians, net neutrality means they should have the unfettered ability to make their work available to potential fans without undue interference from corporate gatekeepers. Similarly, music fans should have the ability to access this music via a range of legitimate business models. Net neutrality also ensures the continued innovation that has spurred the growth of the indie sector, the transition to a legitimate digital economy and, more widely, consumer adaptation of broadband services.

The attack on neutrality is just the latest attempt to put the Internet genie back in the bottle, with technological mandates like the DMCA (1996 WIPO treaties) and the "broadcast flag" type legislation being far more harmful. Hopefully the growing number of musicians releasing songs about these issues will be heard over the static of the old-economy lobby groups (CRIA/RIAA,etc).

Barenaked Ladies Are Me

Exciting news from Steve the Barnaked Ladies BLOG:

So, in case you haven't heard yet, the new album is called Barenaked Ladies Are Me, and will be coming out on September the 12th. It will be released in a few different versions: A 13-song physical release, a 15-song digital version and a full-length 29-song version which will be available online only (at least to start with). Right now, we're also offering downloads of the multitracks of our new single, "Easy". For free, you can download a 4-track version from our Myspace page, or for some money, you can get a fuller version from our site. We'll eventually be doing the same thing with 4 more tracks from BLAM. Do as you will with them - remix them, use them as the background for your home movies, blare them out of your car stereo (just don't sell them). Send your remixes back to us (and feel free to share them, too), and we'll choose our 5 favourites, which we'll release on a charity-benefit download.

I'm assuming the CD and the various downloads will all be DRM-free, and I know I'll be paying to get the high-quality physical and digital tracks as soon as they are available!

Notice from Jane Siberry about downloading changes at Sheeba

(Covered by mp3newswire, p2pnet)

I received the following notice from Jane Siberry about the music downloads at Sheeba records. It should remind musicians why it is so important to retain copyright of your work, and be very careful about the continuous attempts by intermediaries to take control of your music away from you.

Ten Mile Tide Denounces Kazaa Lawsuit Against

A press release from the band Ten Mile Tide includes:

Three years ago, executives from Sharman Networks—the parent company for the popular Kazaa P2P filesharing program--asked the independent San Francisco band Ten Mile Tide to work with them in a publicity campaign. To this day, Ten Mile Tide is the most downloaded independent band on Kazaa and has always been very vocal about their support of music file-sharing. For several years, Ten Mile Tide was featured in Kazaa ads and the company assisted with tour publicity for one of the band’s nationwide tours. Throughout this time, Ten Mile Tide has been an avid supporter of Kazaa and has publicly voiced their indignation with the RIAA lawsuits against users of Kazaa. But now things have changed. Ten Mile Tide has announced that they do not support the recent libel lawsuit Nikki Hemming and Sharman Networks have filed against the free speech site and as a result no longer choose to associate themselves with Kazaa.

See also: p2pnet

Future of Music Coalition Announces Dates for Sixth Annual Future of Music Policy Summit

October 5-7, 2006
McGill University¹s Schulich School of Music, Montreal, Canada in conjunction with Pop Montreal

WASHINGTON ­ Top names in music, technology, law, academia and policy will convene in Montreal, Canada from October 5-7, 2006 to discuss crucial issues facing musicians and the music industry. Presented in partnership with McGill University¹s Schulich School of Music and Pop Montreal, the Policy Summit will provide musicians, students, attorneys, advocates and policymakers with opportunity to examine the critical issues facing the international music community through a robust debate.

Artists revolt against CRIA policies

This Globe and Mail article by Jack Kapica includes:

"Record companies and music publishers are not our enemies," the coalition said in a statement released this morning, "but let's be clear: Lobbyists for major labels are looking out for their shareholders, and seldom speak for Canadian artists."

The new group's membership includes the Barenaked Ladies, Avril Lavigne, Sarah McLachlan, Chantal Kreviazuk, Sum 41, Stars, Raine Maida (Our Lady Peace), Dave Bidini (Rheostatics), Billy Talent, John K. Samson (Weakerthans), Broken Social Scene, Sloan, Andrew Cash and Bob Wiseman (co-founder of Blue Rodeo).

Industry Associations Not Immune to Tech Effect

Michael Geist's weekly Law Bytes column (Toronto Star version, homepage version) examines the recent resignations of six leading Canadian independent record labels from the Canadian Recording Industry Association as part of a larger trend of pressure on longstanding industry associations. In that regard, the column discusses the CCTA's decision to disband and the likely pressure within the Canadian Association of Broadcasters.

The Internet Way To Address Canada's Cultural Deficit

From Michael Geist's BLOG:

The departure of six leading indie labels from CRIA is timely given that my Lawbytes column this week (Ottawa Citizen version, homepage version) focuses on Canada's growing cultural deficit.  Late last month Statistics Canada released data on Canadian trade in cultural services.  The data tracks the import and export of cultural services such as film production, television broadcasts, and music royalties. The latest report reinforces the economic importance of cultural services - imports and exports total nearly $5 billion per year in Canada - as well as the apparent inability to reduce the "culture deficit."  That deficit, which reflects the gap between the amount of money flowing out of the country relative to the amount coming in, now stands $546 million dollars, up from $477 million the year before.

See also: Government policy may increase trade deficit that I wrote in March 2004.

CRIA - What Lies Ahead?

Howard Knopf has posted a very interesting article about some of the ongoing disputes between different factions within the music industry.

For those of us who believe that the future of music will have less involvement in the retailing of petrified "recordings" and more building of the personalities of the artists, this separation is welcome. It will allow the greater music industry to grow and flourish, rather than be held back by the decreasingly relevant business models of the recording industry.

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