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Darkfold's File-Sharing Manifesto

The last 10 years have brought incredible change to the music industry. Starting with MP3s and Napster and continuing through to the present precipice of economic collapse, it's hard to know what's going to happen next or how it will affect us as music makers and listeners.

Darkfold has a stake in this changing market, not only as a band with music to sell, but also as three music scholars who listen to music like a drowning man inhales precious oxygen. We have a lot to lose if the music industry collapses entirely, which is looking more and more likely as the economy-at-large struggles to stay afloat. What that means for music is anybody's guess, but there are some things we can control and that includes how we treat our fans.

Music, should it be free?

Technology has changed the game forever. The standard rules of supply and demand no longer apply since music can be copied online an infinite number of times with no loss of quality. This gives us all access to a greater variety of music, but it makes compensating musicians more difficult. It even raises the question of whether musicians should be compensated -- should musicians expect to make it a full time job?

We don't know the answers to these questions but we'd hate to see music revert to a patronage system or be eliminated as an industry altogether. We do know that music fans expect more upfront these days, and as a new band on a small indie label with no corporate connections we can't expect music fans to even know our name, let alone our music.

So we're giving it away for free.

Well, it's not like we have a choice; it's out there. But we're making it easy for music fans to download our album or at least a bunch of songs for free. Why? Because we believe in the quality of our songs and we believe in the essential goodness of the average music listener. If we're good, we'll get the support we need -- or at least we hope so.

Our support for file-sharing is even emblazoned onto our CDs. Many other bands have scary-sounding warnings and ominous FBI logos (how rock 'n' roll is that?!) on their discs because of label pressure, but Metaverse says simply: "Please share this album freely as long as it's for noncommercial purposes. Darkfold does not sue fans!"

It's even more important now for music fans to support the bands they love even though the music can be attained for free. Go to a show, buy a CD or a T-shirt. It's in your interest as music lovers to support your favorite bands so they can continue making music. Let us give it you straight up: If you support us, we will make more music. We'll probably attain more good vibes than ca$h-money from your support (we all have day jobs) but that will inspire us to write more tunes, to work harder, tour more and hopefully release more albums.

That's basically the deal: Give us your lovin' and we'll be able to give you even more of ours.

And you know it's not just about money. In fact, one of these most powerful things you can do for our band or any other is to tell your friends -- or burn them a CD and let the music do the talking. So please, share our music. Download our album. Seed our torrents. Tell your friends. And if you have a few bucks to spare, please send some our way. It will go into our band fund which will help us buy/repair instruments, finance tours and CD manufacturing and -- perhaps most importantly -- let us know that somebody out there cares. That's manna for fragile musician egos.

To those who have already supported us: Thank you. Without your support Darkfold isn't possible. To those who will one day support us: Here's some music for you. For free; no guilt, no obligation. Thank you for listening.

In interesting times like this we've got to support each other. If you have something you need our help with or want to partner on an exciting new project, please feel free to contact us at:

Rock on,
Darkfold (Tim, Andy & Matt)