Music is meant to be shared. Aldous Huxley once said, “After silence, that which comes nearest to expressing the inexpressible is music.” 
Music is a universal language that is instinctively understood by all people of every race and culture, in every historical era since the beginning of time. In a sense, then, music cannot be “owned”, because it belongs to all of us collectively. I am reminded of the struggle between America’s earliest European settlers, who claimed ownership of the lands on which they settled, and the Native Americans, to whom the idea of “owning” land was completely foreign. The Kickepoo prophet Kanekuk expressed this ancient philosophy beautifully.
Some of our chiefs make the claim that the land belongs to us. It is not what the Great Spirit told me. He told me that the lands belong to Him, that no people owns the land; that I was not to forget to tell this to the white people when I met them in council. 
Although on one hand you can make the argument that music cannot be “owned” because it belongs to all of us collectively, there is another equally-important side to that coin.
As a published author—and someone who has dabbled in songwriting myself—I understand the importance of the creative process and the need for copyright law to protect the rights and interests of content creators and owners. I marvel at the creative genius of those who have the gift of music, who are able to manipulate and combine the various nuances and dialects of this universal language to speak eloquently to our hearts and deeply touch our souls. Some are able to craft a song as effortlessly and instinctively as you or I put words together to craft a sentence. Their effort to add value to society through the songs they create should be honored and rewarded, because they make the world a better place through their music. The purpose of copyright law is to ensure that their work is honored and rewarded, and that their inherent rights to the music they create are protected. I have always placed a high priority on complying with copyright law, and have consistently taken a stand against the illegal copying and distribution of copyrighted music.
One of my intentions in creating this personal website is to share with you, my friends and family, the music that moves me. In order to do so—while maintaining the integrity of the creative process and complying with copyright law—I have developed a multi-tiered set of “best practices” for sharing music with you here.
- Spotify is an online music-listening service, with both ad-supported and premium memberships (I have a premium membership), and provides a widget for sharing a full song (not just a 30-second clip) on your website. Spotify has millions of songs in their library, and will usually be my first choice for sharing a song on paulorear.com. To listen to a song from Spotify, you will have to open an account and be signed in to that account. If a song is not available on Spotify, I will use one of the other methods listed below.
- YouTube – Often, an artist or label will provide an “official” music video for one of their songs on YouTube. If an official video is not available, often there will be a user-provided video of the song. YouTube also complies with the DMCA, and sometimes unofficial music videos are removed due to copyright infringement. Therefore, as a second choice when a song is not available on Spotify, I will look for a YouTube video of the song, preferably an official version. If an official video is available, sometimes it will be my first choice.
- Coffee Cup Software has a great little piece of software, called Web Jukebox, that allows a webmaster to share personally-owned copies of songs and other audio on a personal website. The following statement from Coffee Cup Software, found on their Web Jukebox page, sums up my philosophy of using Web Jukebox to share music with you here on paulorear.com as the third option when Options 1 and 2 are not available.
We feel that your website is basically an extension of your home. You are allowed to share the listening experience of your CDs with your friends as long as no copies of the music are made. Since the visitors to your website will not be downloading or copying the files, you are within your rights to share the listening experience.
- For songs that are in the public domain (or for which I own the copyright or have been given special permission to share the song), I will simply use the WordPress native media player.
So come on into my virtual living room, pour yourself a virtual cup of coffee, and join me as I share with you the music that moves me.
NOTE: Wherever possible, a link will be provided which will take you to a website (such as Amazon.com) where you can purchase a featured song or album. I strongly encourage you to purchase and download the songs you like so that you can continue your own listening experience and support the artists who have brought us such wonderful music.
- kid listening to music, ©Aaron Amat (Fotolia), Used by permission.
- Quotation #1654 from Laura Moncur’s Motivational Quotations at The Quotations Page.
- Kanekuk – Kickapoo prophet at First People.