Sunday, August 22, 2010

Stealing from Jason Robert Brown

Earlier this summer, musical theater composer Jason Robert Brown discovered that people were illegally offering his sheet music for downloads, so he engaged one of the downloaders in conversation via email and posted it on his blog. He wraps up his main argument most eloquently:
I'm sorry if you still think I'm a jerk, but what I'm talking about here is not "insignificant." The entire record business is in free-fall because people no longer feel the moral responsibility to buy music; they just download it for free from the Internet, from YouTube, from their friends. When I make a cast album or a CD of my own, I do it knowing that it will never earn its money back, that I'm essentially throwing that money away so that I can put those songs out in the world. That shouldn't be the case, and I suspect in your heart you believe that too. All of us who write music for the theater are very much concerned that the sheet music business will eventually go the same way as the record business. I'm doing my little part to keep that from happening.
The wild free-for-all in the comments is also worth a look. Congrats to Jason Robert Brown for standing up for his right to make an honest buck selling his first-rate music. I've always been a fan of JRB's music, especially Songs for a New World, The Last Five Years, 13: The Musical, and Parade (BTW those are links to legal copies of his music).

(Via Piano Addict)


  1. The Toronto theatre company, Acting UpStage, is presenting Jason Robert Brown's PARADE in January of 2011.

    I'm mad for his music, his lyrics. He's brilliant.