- it's not very good
- it's my hobby
- I have a day job
- I believe in the ideas enunciated by people like Lawrence Lessig
Today, I learned of something that challenges all that. A while back I wrote gushingly about Zoe Keating's hauntingly beautiful work. Recently, a snippet was used in an episode of the NPR show All Things Considered. Zoe twittered about this, expressing some concern about the absence of credit. Expecting attribution, for me is a no brainer so fair enough. What struck me, however, was how the music was used. It was used to foreshadow a coming tragedy.
My reaction to this is mixed. On the one hand, as a listener, it was very evocative; exactly what a soundtrack producer is looking for. On the other hand, wearing my artist's empathy hat, I'd be completely creeped out if my music was used in this way. (Yes, you should listen to the story that I'm trying not to spoil; the music in question is played within the first two minutes or so)
Now, Zoe is a professional and operates in that parallel universe that us hobbyists can only dream about and I don't mean to imply that our situations are similar. This story does, however, make me wonder if I'm really ok giving away my music to all comers.
Ask yourself, do you want your music used in another production that is:
- an instructional video for teen suicide?
- promotional material for a hate group?
- Girls Gone Wild XIII?
- or just not very good?