The New York-based label Team Love has decided to offer up select parts of its catalog for free digital download in an effort that it’s referring to as “The Team Love Library.” The label, which has put out Jenny Lewis’ Rabbit Fur Coat and a bunch of records by the tap-dancer-assisted Tilly And The Wall, will put a smattering of its albums, as well as some rarity-type goodies, up every month for download to people who have signed up for a virtual library card. The explanation:
When Team Love started we had the simple and possibly self-defeating notion that posting all our albums on the website as free downloads would be a good detour around the wreckage of the music industry and a way to avoid getting bogged down in the number one topic of discussion and distraction: piracy, illegal downloads, P2P networks and so on.
Five years later and the debate still drones in the background, and while some bands have adopted a mutated version of the “free download” (pay what you wish, etc), we’ve decided to reshape our policy in a different direction and introduce the Team Love Library. Each month (or so) we’ll be rotating the Library’s selections, featuring different Team Love albums as well as exclusive content such as unreleased songs, live or remixed versions of TL favorites.
The library will be open to the public 24/7, and as we have an endless abundance of MP3’s (we fucked up and made too many of them), anything you take from the library is yours to keep. You will not be notified if you fail to return something on time, and you will not lose your library privileges if you share selections with friends.
A library where you never have to return anything? Man, that would have bailed my lazy ass out of many a fine back in the day! Anyway, I suppose this sort of environment, where the label can see who’s downloading what (or at least get a general gauge of it by looking at the site’s user rolls), is more advantageous as far as figuring out what releases deserve resources. And who knows; perhaps the attraction of, say, snagging Rabbit Fur Coat (available this month!) might result in lots of people being inspired to give Tilly And The Wall a chance, what with Team Love having tons of MP3s by those guys.