Thanks to Rob Levine for asking me to moderate the "Conversation with Creators" panel last April at the OnCopyright 2014 conference in NYC. After working with Marc Ribot and Tift Merritt on the Content Creators Coalition Artists' Pay For Radio Play event in February, it was a pleasure to step back and give them the "Freeloading treatment" as it were. In a little over 30 mins, and despite some rambling on my part, we were able to cover an awful lot of ground. Even though the subject of the conversation is a relative bummer, Marc and Tift shared their experiences with humor, soul and intelligence. I remain a believer in the idea that if music fans--at least--can stop and listen to stories like theirs the debate over commercial piracy and artists' rights will continue to progress.
But I also understand now, as opposed to when I wrote Freeloading, that talk isn't enough. To achieve lasting change, there is a need to organize and channel the resources of artists to combat the more culturally self-destructive effects that have blown in with digitization. Again, much ground is covered here, but at the end we discuss the prospects of the Content Creators Coalition. Check it out.