Shakira: Illegal Downloads a “Democratisation of Music”

It’s not often I end up on Perez Hilton, but thanks to Twitter I was pointed to this story where Shakira Ripoll (aka Shakira) seems to encourage her fans to download her songs illegally,

I like what’s going on because I feel closer to the fans and the people who appreciate the music. It’s the democratisation of music in a way. And music is a gift. That’s what it should be, a gift.

What makes Shakira unique is that her success largely came through producing her own work. But at least some of her major work is distributed through Sony Music, and it’s unlikely that the distributor would be so enthusiastic about unpaid copies of music.

Instead, this likely reflects the recognition by major artists like Shakira to discourage consumer behaviour, accepting them instead to avoid an antagonistic relationship. The inevitable tensions that will be formed with record labels may have to be addressed while entering the contract, before artists “gift-away” property that isn’t theirs to give.

But the inconsistencies are not just limited to the artist-distributor relationship. Shakira’s own official website states in the terms,

DO NOT COPY. All content available on this site and the technology used to transmit it are protected by applicable laws and regulations regarding intellectual property rights and other proprietary rights. You agree not to reproduce, publish, copy, distribute in any manner, modify, adapt, edit or create derivative works of materials or content, or technology, available on or through this site.

Although the site is created and run by third parties, I think that even when the Hips Don’t Lie, the lips might.

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