What is the cost of FREE?

Another attack on our intellectual properties...


On a different note…. literally!

Recently, I was sent a Facebook message from a person in another country… Russia to be exact. It was a link sent as a gift thanking me for all we do to promote artists and further our mission, the blues. It was a link to a Russian website that holds a library of every song recorded by EVERY major artists from 1920s to present day. Downloadable all for free! And…. it works!

NO!!!! I WILL NOT SHARE NOR WILL I USE IT (past seeing if it worked, and… it did! Even with album art)!!!

Completely Disgusted! Another attack on our intellectual properties… What is the cost of FREE!

I didn’t and still don’t know what to say. I thanked him   and then told him my opinion about the theft of intellectual property.

It is sad to see how people feel it’s completely justified (in their own mind) to steal and share these works of art… Today the world we live in is ever changing, and rapidly with the internet. As the managing editor and creator of this magazine connected with an international audience, I encounter allot of different opinions and new ideas regarding the music business.. MANY artists entering into the music business give away (by choice) their music in order to gain a larger audience. I completely understand this concept and have done so myself with not only the magazine but with my own music as well.. It is hard to get your name out there and the use of marketing your music (by Choice) can be very useful in gaining and growing your audience. The key here is, that it’s by choice! But from my own personal experience, it’s very difficult to turn it around and start charging once it was free… People today have no respect or concept of anything but, the creative arts for free…

A new movement I’ve seen both for the unknown and some internationally known artists is to just give it all away for free on purpose. This is because the artists feels the public is just going to steal it anyway so just take the lead and make it ok, and use it as a tool to grow the artists success..

So now we have a situation that the music is free, all the expense of recording and the creation of making the music is passed on to performing concerts and merchandise. But…. So many venues are not paying artists or expect the artist to perform for free..  So what is the cost of FREE?

I ask you.. What do you think of this new movement to just make all your music be free digitally, and only worrying about selling hard copies.. Do people still buy hard copies of music? And Can you make enough from it?  What can be done to find ways to monetize our efforts as artists, in the world of free… and what does the future hold for the arts in a “free” mind set?


Myself, an artist, a musician, a writer, an inventor, a publisher… I am consumed with protecting my intellectual rights… What to do? And how do we, as a magazine who started offering our digital content for free, ever turn it around and charge for our content in a world of FREE! How do we ever turn around the ideal that it should be free and how do we monetize our effort to continue.

There is a cost to free! Don’t value your intellectual content at zero!



Wayne Rinehart Executive Editor and Publisher of Blues-E-News and indieGOrock Magazine.


Executive Editor, publisher and creator of Blues-E-News Wayne Rinehart
5 Comments on this post.
  • Dirk Jan den boggende
    4 January 2016 at 6:14 am

    Dear Wayne
    I understand your emotions about this,,but personally I think the days of illegal downloading are over due to the streamingpossibilities like Spotify. For myself I can only say that I haven’t bought many records or cd’s over the last 10 years. I do not want to own it anymore. I like the streaming since I can listen to mostly all songs I want and if I do like it and the need comes up to own it, I will buy it. But this has only happend once since the last 10 years. The music business is not the only industy that sufferds from this diseaes tough. I quess we all suffer more or less from this. I’m in the construction and building business and we get the same kind of problems. Customers ask an price estimate for a job, and we know they ask nearly every company they know for an estimate since it is so easy to send the request by email to 25 companies at the same time. So we calculate the request, knowing that we probably will not even get a reply unless we are the cheapest ( quality is not even considered or looked at!) sometimes this offers take an whole week to make! And we get no payment what so ever! So basicly we suffer also from the internet as well.
    Only time will tell what will happen.
    So just wait and see what will happen and don’t let it get to you.

  • Wayne Rinehart
    4 January 2016 at 9:55 am

    I understand the issues of making a bid for a job and then the client shopping your quote and sharing info in your quote to get a better price.. But this is different than downloading intellectual property that was stolen and being offered for free download without the artists permission. It cost money, allot of money and time to create the music. A better comparison would be to have you fix a hole in a wall for free and expect you to be happy to do it. A problem here is, services that stream music pay very little to nothing at all to the artists. Lesser known artists have even less oppertunity and less chances for compensation. The artists share their music hoping to grow their audiance and brand. Downloading is different as this is a product that typically should produce compensation to the artists. At some point if this cycle pf free continues, the music will suffer. Artists need to be able to make a living some way… it costs allot to take a band on the road and many venues cant or wont pay much. The only artits that can afford to give away their music and still pay the bills are the most popular more popular artits.

  • Dirk Jan den boggende
    4 January 2016 at 11:04 am

    Making a bid means for us that we have to find a solution for the problem ( figure out how we can make the product and work it out), than make all the auto cad drawings and calculate the whole thing. So,we have the same problem with the intelectual ownership, since our customer can easily copy our drawings even if we send it in PDF format! They can easily copy it by downloading a free programma that converts a PDF in Auto CAD ! Same problem, no money is been payed and our so called client has a solution for his problem. All he has to do is send our solution to other companies and they will make an offer far under,our price since they don’t have the costs of the calculatie and drawings.
    I agree with you that its a wrong path we are on, but we all have to figure out how we can deal with this. Stopping the problem is no answer since it can’t be stopped.

  • Raven
    4 January 2016 at 8:17 pm

    I agree completely with you Wayne. Dirk Jan Den Boggende doesn’t get it. I wonder if he thinks putting a quote in, getting the job, building the house, paying for the materials, paying all his workers and then not get paid one cent isn’t alright. Well I guess I would say to him “So just wait and see what will happen and don’t let it get to you.”

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