The greed of some record companies never ceases to amaze.
Surely the BBC offering — for a short period of time — free downloads of Beethoven’s symphonies must be a good thing?
Oh no. According to the record companies, “it is devaluing the perceived value of music.”
Actually, offering recordings of Beethoven’s symphonies is perfectly legal, because the music is a bit old now, so any copyright on Beethoven’s work expired long ago. And as mmChronic at New Links says:
Add that to the fact it was being played by the BBC Symphony Orchestra which if course we pay for via our licence fees. Then consider the fact that one of the underlying purposes of the BBC is to inform and educate the British public – I think giving away music by one of the greatest composers ever fits that purpose quite well.
Don’t forget that the music was originally available for “free” (as free as the MP3s were anyway), as they were all originally broadcast on BBC Radio 3.
Plenty of people must be put off classical music because of the ridiculous prices. And even when the prices of classical CDs aren’t bad, you know when you see one in the 99p shop that it’s going to be a duff recording. Making classical music more accessible to people is exactly the sort of thing the BBC should be doing. Offering Beethoven’s symphonies to download for free was a stroke of genius; the sort of thing the BBC should do more often. I wouldn’t buy Beethoven’s symphonies on CD. But I did download them, and now I can listen to them whenever the whim takes me.
Anyway, what about all those classical music CDs you get free with organs like The Daily Mail? Do they “devalue the perceived value of the music,” or is it okay because some record company fat cat gets some moolah from the deal?
Update: Cabalamat Journal with more on this.