I think Aaron's death hit us all differently. I felt like we weren't just dealing with the loss of an incredibly talented and driven mind, but also with having our collective future robbed of all of the things Aaron had yet to do. People wouldn't have the same access to music that they do today if it wasn't for Aaron, and I wouldn't have had the opportunities that I've had as an artist if it wasn't for Aaron. I want to celebrate what he's given us.
I'm asking artists to join me in making 100 albums free to download in Aaron's memory.
Everyone has already heard about the way Aaron was treated during the JSTOR investigation, so I'm not going to talk about that. Everyone has heard a hundred passionate opinions on suicide and mental health, so I'm not going to talk about that. There's so much of a focus on how he died, you could almost forget that Aaron Swartz also lived. He helped launch the Creative Commons, and acted as advocate and activist to help make it what it is today: An organization that has enabled artists to make their works available to audiences.
Everything Aaron worked on was in some way about making information available. And I'd like to help him do that.
What We're Doing
I'm asking musicians who have already-released albums to license those albums under the Creative Commons so that it's legal for fans to share those albums. I want to take some of the art that is out there and make it available to everyone.
I'm hoping to get 100 albums licensed. 100 albums that used to be illegal to copy, now available for fans to share forever. 100 pieces of art you don't need to pay to access.
The albums all have to be:
- Commercially available at some point (out of print is fine)
- Not already released under any prior CC/GPL/etc license
That's it. I'm not including albums that are already available under a Creative Commons license (like my own) because this is specifically about taking existing art and giving the public new rights to it.
What We Have So Far
These albums have been generously contributed by the artists:
- Acumen Nation - Anticore [website]
- Acumen Nation - Transmissions from Eville [website]
- Displacer - moon_phase [website]
- DJ? Acucrack - Sorted [website]
- DJ? Acucrack - Killing Mobius [website]
- Distorted Memory - Temple of the Black Star [website]
- Die Warzau - Engine [website]
- The Gothsicles - NESferatu [website]
- Jesse Dangerously - Inter Alia [website]
- Jesse Dangerously - Verba Volant [website]
- Jesse Dangerously - Humble & Brilliant [website]
- Endif - Meta[website]
- H.U.M.A.N.W.I.N.E. - Fighting Naked [website]
- Shane Whitbread - Tomorrow Fades Away [website]
- Sourhaze - EP1 [website]
Added on March 14th:
- Ben Arp - Surrender to the Light [website]
- RKTR - Beta Sound [website]
- C-A-T - The Great Crisis [website]
- I:Scintilla - Havestar [website]
- I:Scintilla - Optics [website]
- I:Scintilla - Optics Limited Edition [website]
- Jacob Talkington - Free 2 Play [website]
- Mister Fusty - Cloth Ears [website]
- Zach Schimpf - Comfortable [website]
Added on March 22nd:
- Brave New Girl - No One Ever Said [website]
- The First Seed - Glad 2 B [website]
- Jus Frais - C'est Cool [website]
- Mangadrive - Purge The Sky [website]
- Palko - Dreamers [website]
- Everything Goes Cold - Prepare To Be Refrigerated [website]
- Color Theory - The Thought Chapter [website]
What You Can Do
I would love to hear from artists who would be willing to release one of their albums under a Creative Commons license, as part of this project. If that sounds like it might be you, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. If that sounds like it might be someone you know, it would really help if you could share this page with them.
Once this project has run its course (regardless of if we get to 100 albums) I'll up a torrent of all the albums for easy download. If you want to know when more albums are added, you can follow my twitter or you can leave your email address and I'll let you know if/when more have been put up, and when the torrent is made.