My Steve Earle Dilemma…and what would you do?
A few weeks ago I heard about Earle’s tribute to Townes and have enjoyed reading about it here and there. As so many of us on this site are, I’m a huge fan and never can seem to get enough of whatever he puts out. Heck, I’ll even take the turntables and digital voice-thing when I have to.
This morning on the community Jeff Giddens posted a thoroughly thoughtful run through on the new release, and I also enjoyed Grant’s comments. I figured the advance releases were hitting the reviewer’s desks and radio stations so out of curiosity I did a quick search and found the entire CD available for download on an extremely active and popular bittorrent site. Free. Hmmm……
Throughout the day I kept checking in and watched with amazement how many downloads were taking place. I don’t know why, but Earle has always been a worldwide download fave and by the time I got home this evening it was ranked in the top 100. As someone else posted here a few hours ago, Amazon is already selling four individual tracks for .99 each. But there it is…out there….full and complete….free. Five weeks before it’s official release date. Hmmm…..
A dilemma is defined as a problem offering at least two possibilities, none of which that are acceptable. And mine is to wait for the official release date in May, download the whole thing to enjoy now, just pay the four bucks for four tracks to Amazon, or call a friend at the record label and have a promotional copy sent out to me in time for the weekend. (The latter insures that the artist and composer will receive no compensation…so it’s not really any different than stealing it in my opinion. I’m neither a reviewer nor radio station.)
There’s been quite a few posts here about the “new business model”: free streaming, how composers can get compensated, who owns the videos or recordings, the demise of record stores, the quality of an MP3, placing value on creativity…etc. I think this is a pretty good example to test the waters.
So fellow Earle fans and all you music junkies: what would you do? Or what will you do, or have done already? Show this poor boy the way….