Due to recent changes at Bandcamp, which I wrote about over at PublicSpaces Lab, I have seen several times where free netlabel albums were no longer free because the artist or netlabel had reached the 200 downloads for the month. Given that this blog reviews Creative Commons music that is given away for free, I will no longer recommend any albums that are solely hosted on Bandcamp.
Please don’t get confused over whether I disagree with Bandamp’s business model, my disagreement is with the netlabel curators and artists who today are “kind of” giving away their music for free at Bandcamp. Free music should be free whether is is the first or the fifteenth or the thirtieth of the month. If a netlabel or artist would like to charge for their releases, then they should do so. I have no qualms about that. However, I do not want my readers to have to pay for a release which 200 people have downloaded for free.
Curators and artists need to understand that Bandcamp is not a distribution system for free netlabels.