Collaboration, Music Piracy, Sharing, Radiohead, and the Kingdom of God

So Radiohead just released a website that allows users to download a song of theirs entitled “nude.” Once downloaded, Radiohead urges users to create and recreate their own remixes of the songs and then upload them to this website. While some bands would be looking for copyright lawyers if someone downloaded their music, Radiohead is urging and encouraging and rewarding those who download and upload their music.

the track “nude” is from the band’s latest album, inrainbows. Inrainbows was initially offered to the public as a download. Radiohead set up their own website and allowed users to download the entire album and simply asked that the downloader would pay whatever he or she wished. Some paid little, some didn’t, and some paid typical amounts. This project seemed to be more about getting the music to the people than about business. Sure, some speculate that this model actually made radiohead more money and drove tons of media attention to the band. But doesn’t giving away stuff for free or cheap always seem to stir up a ruckus.

My point is spelling all this out is to urge those who are growing Christ’s Kingdom to take up some of the principles. We have been entrusted with a great gift: the gift of the knowledge of Christ and his Gospel. We have the gospel. we know of the gospel. and we are the gospel.

Wouldn’t it be more important to take this gospel and get it into the hands of as many “users” as possible? Should we make sure we are taking care of our financial wants or marching forward and extending the Kingdom of heaven a little farther?

Who cares if someone steals your ideas. Let someone pick your brain. Work on sermons together. Join with other local church and put together a city youth event. share creative designs. Let your church turn into a community center. Who cares if someone spills punch on the carpet, let’s get a little messy. Let’s mix it up. Put all of your content online to allow others to have access to the time, talent, and resources God has surrounded you with.

Or did you think you did all that on your own?


3 responses to this post.

  1. Interesting. NIN did sorta the same thing with their new project – a free download or a measly $5 on amazon. And if you bought the remix of Year Zero, it came with a CD-ROM that contained all the raw tracks and an audio mixing program where you could fiddle with the music and create your own remixes at your leisure.

    Back in the day, Christian music pioneer Larry Norman used to encourage people to make copies of his albums and give them to their friends. Try doing that with a Mercy Me CD and getting their blessing.

    We are entering an age when creative content is freely being distributed, and more and more people are dipping into the vast resources on the web to come up with their own material.

    It’s a new paradigm and we need to wake up.


  2. I linked to them in the article, but I am continually blown away with and and their collaborative efforts. I just browsed through their “Open” site. They share absolutely every sort of promo video, sermon outline, illustration, design elements, etc.

    I’m wondering who made Christians think that simply meeting that standards of the law (piracy, copyright, etc) was good enough amongst God’s people. Shouldn’t we simply make our resources available to one another? Didn’t the 1st century church have “everything in common?”


  3. Barna’s next book should be “Freegan Christianity” 😉


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