Mudcat Café message #3989430 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #166031   Message #3989430
Posted By: Andy7
26-Apr-19 - 05:05 PM
Thread Name: Making folk club recordings available
Subject: RE: Making folk club recordings available
This discussion is very much related to the old philosophical conundrum, immortalised in Star Trek: do the needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few, or the one?

Let's take it to the extreme. Imagine that I've just given the best performance of any song, ever, in the history of the world, in a little local folk club singaround. (Not so difficult to imagine, I'll admit, if you ever have heard me sing; but that's not really relevant here!) Everyone present was moved to tears of absolute joy, and will talk about my perfect performance for the rest of their lives.

Well, unknown to me, my friend Pete just made a recording of that song on his smartphone ...

"You're going to do WHAT, Pete?"

"I'm going to go straight home and put my recording of your song on UsTube. Not for any benefit to me; but because everyone in the world MUST have the opportunity to hear your beautiful performance, Andy; it has to be saved for posterity."

"Pete, I really do not want you to do that; the song was just for the evening, for the moment. I'm absolutely delighted to hear that it brought joy to people at the singaround, that was what I hoped for; but I do NOT want a recording of it shared with the whole world. That would totally destroy the essence of what it was: one song, sung live, for one small audience, on a cold and wet weekday evening in a local pub; a special thing that belonged only in that particular time and place, and nowhere else."

"Andy, I am sorry, but I do have to do this. Your performance of that song is way bigger than you as a person. It will bring joy to millions! I really do not believe that, even though you were the performer, you have any right to deny that joy to so many people. You were given, by chance, the gift of your voice, and the skill to sing that song so amazingly. And I was given, by chance, the gift of a smartphone, in the right place and at the right time, with the opportunity to share your perfect song with the world!"

So, who holds the higher moral ground in this scenario, me or Pete? I really can't decide!