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GUEST,Jim Carroll Peter Kennedy Collection-moved to Halsway Manor (47) RE: Peter Kennedy Collection 02 Nov 07

'It's easier to think about giving things away when they're someone else's things.'
Dick (Greenhaus)
As far as I am concerned, they are not ours to hang on to.
We spent a great deal of time, energy and thought recording traditional singers on the basis that the songs, stories and music they had were important and we did not want to see them die. On the whole, they accepted this reason and gave them to us unconditionally. We archived them and wrote into our agreements that the material would be as accessible as possible. When we released anything 'commercially', any proceeds were donated to the archives/organisations concerned because (a) we felt that the material did not belong to us, so we did not feel that we should profit from it and (b) we did not wish to be perceived by our informants as people who were profiting from their time, effort and experience.
Our hope is that everything we have on our shelves will eventually be fully available to all (probably via the internet).
What has struck me over the time I have been involved in traditional music, has been the (often breathtaking) willingness to share, to help and to encourage. There have, of course, been exceptions to this, but I firmly believe that without this willingness to pass on, we would not have a tradition - to me, tradition means passing on. To claim ownership and to make our songs and music a commodity will destroy them.
Incidentally, it was in order to pass on the songs and music that Topic Records came into existence in the first place.
Jim Carroll
PS Once again I find myself in total agreement with the Cap'n.

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