Back when I closed down the site in 2006, I was in touch with the Dylan folks to try to get some kind of an official status for the site. It stranded because the licencees for the sheet music sales didn’t like the idea.
My guess is that these “licencees” are just some branch of the Dylan corporation, but be that as it may: Might they be pacified if there were money in this?
So I was thinking: what about some kind of iTunes-like arrangement? A moderate subscription fee — small enough to be negligible in most people’s wallets, but enough to generate some income for the licencees? Perhaps a two-level thing: official album version available for free — everything else (outtakes — such as the NY BOTT tabs — live versions, covers, etc.) available to members?
How many of you would pay for that kind of arrangement?
What’s in it for me?
For me, there would be huge benefits. First and foremost, I could run the site without having to be constantly on the alert for the cease-and-desist letter — I could be more official about it whenever that would be an advantage.
I would also be able to dedicate myself more whole-heartedly to the undertaking. If the pace of the updates has declined drastically, it is partly because I’m basically done with the official albums, partly because I’m not as enthusiastic about his live achievement anymore, but mostly because some of the fun went out of it the more I looked over my shoulder. Much as I admire the courage of the pirates and the wikileaks folks, I’d rather not be one of them — at least not in this particular area.
And I would be a hypocrite if I didn’t add: the possibility of making, if not a living, then at least generating some revenue out of something that I believe to be of some value.
What’s in it for you?
More frequent and consistent updates, obviously. But I might also think of other benefits: a closer and more active circle of members, free access to extra material, either from me or from the licencees, etc. And, perhaps not least, the feeling of having contributed — Everybody must give something back for something they get, ya know.
Just to be clear: this post is not a warning that dylanchords is going to turn pay-per-view any time soon. I have no such plans, and I have not discussed this with Dylan or Jeff Rosen. It’s just that I’m way past sixteen, and I’d love to be legal…
So it’s purely a probe: IF dylanchords had an official seal of approval and a subscription would get you access, say, to extra material (every outtake, my newly revised tutorial, backstage tour pictures from the Dylan folks); would you —
a) consider it; and/or
b) consider it a sell-out to commercialism and a nail in the coffin of the free internet?
I’m curious to know. Please write and comment.