If you like vintage records then you’d love Cliff Bolling. This guy is such an enthusiast that he digitized his collection, started a website, and began uploading his music to it to share. The first thing that comes to mind is copyright of course. But most of these records are apparently no longer for sale so there is no damage to the artists. But even if they were it is unlikely that 1 out of 100,000 people would know about these artists and an even smaller percentage would buy one of their records. So let’s say one of the artists would like to get paid some small amount if possible but the records are not being made anymore nor are they being made in CD format or available in MP3 format at online music venues. Likely the musician’s target audience is as old as he is. Let’s say 60-80 year olds. Likely they are not surfing the internet to get his 1940 hit in mp3 format and since the music is not available in physical form they cannot get it that way. The way I see it is the musician needs a new younger audience so the only way that audience will be created is by good people like Mr. Bolling sharing his collection online. The problem most artists, musicians, writers, etc have is their obscurity not people pirating their materials. If no one knows about your work how you can sell it? Would it be better to have 1 million downloads of your 1942 song go out free to possible new customers or have zero downloads go out? The answer is obvious. If no one knows about you are you really in business? Last year my cousin said he had just bought a USb turntable to convert old records. They were from her family’s skating rink back in the day. He said he and his son had a great time listening to all those songs that you rarely hear now. I bet at least a few mp3 downloads happened from that experience.
As of today Mr. Bolling’s website is down. According to the article update linked at the bottom of this post, apparently it is not due to the dreaded RIAA. But it is due to a huge traffic increase due to his press coverage online. Yahoo is his hosting company which according to a quote from Mr. Bolling “the option I’ve subscribed to offers unlimited bandwidth and unlimited data transfer” should not have ripped his site down. This goes to show another example of companies promising unlimited cell minutes, data transfers, and bandwidth only to go back on their word when unlimited gets to be too much for them. It is a tough battle for us normal people trying to share media we like with others. Between gangs like the RIAA and controlling internet service providers there may be a shift in the near future. There will always be sharing online but more and more people will begin trading hard drives with each other as storage devices get cheaper every day. If I were Cliff Bolling I would just transfer my domain to godaddy, make a smaller website, and upload my mp3s to places that will host for free then link to each song from his site. Filefront is a good service that I use sometimes. I don’t see that they would have a problem with any copyright stuff either.
Original article link.