World Transformation: George Michael and the Gift Economy
 George Michael and the Gift Economy
picture 29 May 2004 @ 16:58, by ming

From Ming the Mechanic: From Synergic Earth News:
Pop star George Michael is abandoning the music business to release his songs online for free instead. The multi-millionaire singer said he will never make another album for sale in record shops because he does not need the cash and does not enjoy fame. Fans will be given the option to make donations online in exchange for downloading the tracks, and the proceeds will be given to charity. He is promoting his latest album, Patience, which he said is his last. The 40-year-old star made his announcement during an interview with Jo Whiley on BBC Radio 1. Speaking about his decision, he said: "I'm sure it's unprecedented, it's definitely unprecedented for someone who still sells records. "I've been very well remunerated for my talents over the years so I really don't need the public's money." He added that he hoped people downloading his music would donate to his favourite charities. Explaining his decision, the former Wham! frontman said: "It does two things - it takes the pressure off to have a collection of songs every so many years, which is what nearly killed me. "I'm not pretending I won't be famous any more, but in the modern world if you take yourself out of the financial aspect of things, you're not making anybody any money, you're not losing anybody any money. Believe me, I'll be of very little interest to the press in a certain number of years. I'll hopefully be a happier man, giving my music and also doing something really positive with my music if people are generous enough to donate to the site. I'll remove myself from all that negativity."
Bravo. Great idea. Now, if I only liked his music. But does that mean it will be open source and/or public domain? Such an act of gift giving would work best, of course, if anybody, on their own initiative, could decide to make a compilation of his music and distribute it in whichever way they found appropriate.


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