William Basinski Responds to MP3 File-Sharing and Radio Discussion

Mr. Basinski has returned a response to my letter. It is as follows:

Dear Lucas,

Thank you for taking the time to respond to my note. I did not have the time to listen to your show, but as you have explained it, I will not ask you to remove the link to the segment of “El Camino Real.”

As an independent artist who has worked for years to make my music and in the last 10 years to strive to make it available for people who are interested in this kind of music, please understand that it is a full time job. Sales of CDs and now MP3s pay for me to be able to keep going and making and releasing more music for my fans to enjoy. Along with all of the hats I wear to do this, I must keep an eye out for pirating, file-sharing, bit-torrents and what not from time to time. I don’t have nor could i afford a legal team to do this…it’s just me here.

Anyway, I would, by doing this, just like young people to understand that the music doesn’t just show up on one’s desktop via the magic of the internet… there are real artists working very hard and struggling to survive who make the work and go to the trouble and expense of making it available. At the risk of looking like an old troll, I would respectfully like for young people to remember that and to support their favorite artists and to buy the music they love. I understand you are a DJ and I appreciate what you are doing and thank you for your support of the work.

Kindest regards,
William Basinski

Read what the man has said one more time and try to remember to support the musicians you hear and enjoy. I’ve posted a number of links in the sidebar that should make that very, very easy for you. Thanks again to Mr. Basinski for writing – a discussion like this can set a precedent, one that encourages the sharing of information and the proper use of MP3 and other digital media. MP3 file-sharing can hurt small labels and artists who don’t have the support of big money, but it can also benefit them greatly. With Napster lawsuits and legal chaos clouding the news, it is good to know that some musicians are taking the right step forward and acknowledging both the positives and the negatives of file-sharing.

I’ll go ahead and take this opportunity to ask if this means he’ll do an exclusive interview and/or live production on WZBC in the future.

Thanks for reading,



  1. hey luke! I actually just got around to downloading your show today, though I had the pleasure of listening to it live on monday. I reallllly enjoyed william basinski – while i was listening to your set again on the T today, I loved itt all over again (it was a very nice, de-stressing set lucas – thanks!). Basinski was one of my favorite artists that you played, and I do think I’m going to buy his album now, and if you hadn’t uploaded it onto your website I prolly wouldn’t have. I need to listen to things a few times because during the course of 2 hours I forget what I liked, since I never know half the bands anyways.

    Anyways, just wanted to say I loved your set, like always, and that I thought your response to William Basinski was very true. I think you help artists sell music, because people need to be able to listen to a little bit of an artist on their own before deciding to buy them. If I like a piece of music, I’m not going to be satisfied with the one song or part of one song which you make available, nor even a full copy off the internet. I think that’s a pretty common feeling. I really would think a struggling artist would appreciate the coverage someone could give him. Making a little of his music available through the uploading of your set is a pretty big promotion of his music. I mean, I’m not sure if this is rude to say, but I would expect Basinski to thank you for giving him exposure. I’m really surprised by his reaction.

    so yeah… nice job, all around.

    see you soon!!

  2. If it wasn’t for file sharing/mp3s, I would never have heard of Basinski.

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