Why Music Has Always Been Free

I’ve been really trying to keep my mouth shut about this whole Spotify vs. Taylor Swift drama, but I have been really thinking about things a bit more than I originally had planned. When I first heard that T. Swift took off all her music from one of my favorite places to listen to music, I was really sad. I had plans of listening to it and hopefully doing my review of it being an all pop album. When I saw her reasons for taking them off Spotify was because “music shouldn’t be free.” I got mad. The first thought that came through my mind was that she sounds greedy. That’s me being honest. Music should never be free, but as times have continued on I don’t think we’ve done anything to stop it. I don’t think Spotify is the enemy, I find and listen to new music I get on there and once I have enough money, I buy an iTunes card and buy the songs that I have “starred” on one of my many playlists. So I don’t illegally take music, I just listen to it.

People do this on YouTube frequently, as different users create amazing lyric videos that are sometimes better and readable than the original lyric videos that the artist/band record productions make up. Since not every song of the album is going to become a music or lyric video, these people are generous enough to create the videos and help fellow listeners out there figure out the words better. Am I guilty of looking for leaked videos of new music? Yes, I am. I seriously try not to do this, but if I see a video floating around on social media sites, I’ll cave in and listen to it. Sometimes by the time I finally watch it, it’s been taken off for copyright polices and all is left are the beautiful videos of words, but no music. Another thing about using music on videos, how about flash mobs, cat videos, and etc? They can play music throughout the whole video. People have used music on those because they’re less suspecting, do you think it would be awesome if you took the music off an amazing flash mob video? Nobody would watch it and everybody that took the time out of their day to create such a piece of art, would be devastated.

One of the biggest things that has come to my mind is from my childhood. If you’re from the late 80’s, 90’s, and 00’s you’ve all done this at one point of your lives. I remembering being in middle school, I didn’t have an iPod at the time. Honestly nobody did either. So CDs were our lives. That was the time that we relied on these physical CDs that entered our stereos in our rooms or cars, we jammed to them all the time. At school, your friends would get into an innocent conversation about the different music you had, somebody would ask if you could make them a burnable CD of different music you had. Burning music onto a CD was basically the best thing because in a way, it felt like you had a secret job, like a dealer except you thought this was just for fun. In reality, our parents told us that we couldn’t get paid for selling them because of copyright issues and you could go to jail for it. That was the perfect scare for any kid at that time. You still burned CDs for everybody, you just couldn’t get paid for them. This was our first “free music sharing” we ever did and we didn’t even know it become a bigger problem than anyone ever imagined.

In high school, different friends were discussing how they were downloading music off the internet. Everybody knew it was illegal, but nobody gave a damn. Different music downloading sites became everybody’s best friend; even though they gave you one hell of virus once you downloaded the program onto your computer. These sites were the start of the legal iTunes store. They gave a 30 second listen, but were free for all! The other draw back was there were a lot of songs that had crappy volume and quality. How do I know this? I had a few CDs back then that had songs that were awful! Even when we had those cassettes our parents had songs that they liked on the radio and recorded the song through that. I remember playing those cassettes just for that reason! They were a bitch to rewind but they still worked and at the time that was the best you had. When everybody had CDs somebody was obviously playing attention because you couldn’t do it with a CD. And trust me, I tried when I was a kid.

My whole point on writing this post was to show everybody that even though people think Spotify is the problem, maybe it’s been us all along. I mean, we’ve taken music and not paid for it for years without even realizing it. And we’re just now freaking about it. I mean, come on! Have a little bit more understanding of the times before. Remember your childhood, we’ve all broken a few rules at some point in our lives. Just so everybody understands I’ve only been honest here, I’m not being paid to represent anybody!