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Free Government Information (FGI) is a place for initiating dialogue and building consensus among the various players (libraries, government agencies, non-profit organizations, researchers, journalists, etc.) who have a stake in the preservation of and perpetual free access to government information. FGI promotes free government information through collaboration, education, advocacy and research.

Support Independent Podcasting March 22, 2007

Dear FGI Readers,

I beg you to indulge me in a non-govinfo posting that I think touches on some of our issues anyway. Here is an appeal I’ve been making across the ‘net whereever I have a venue (except govdoc-l):

Thanks to the great business communicators/music lovers over at For Immediate Release, I’ve become aware of a great campaign calculated to show the collective power of podcasters and lovers of independent music.

Here’s the idea from the Bum Rush the Charts blog:

Podcasting gets little respect from traditional media. To them we’re little more than a joke, than amateurs. What they don’t understand is that podcasting is more than just a delivery mechanism – it’s a social movement. People are sick of the watered-down, cookie-cutter content that networks and record companies expect us to enjoy. People are tired of watching friends and loved ones get sued by record labels who only care about profits and nothing else, not even the artists they supposedly represent.

We want and deserve more. On March 22, 2007, we’re going to change that with your help.

We can do better. We can match and exceed the reach of big media, corporate media, labels, and the entrenched interests. On March 22nd, we are going to take an indie podsafe music artist to number one on the iTunes singles charts as a demonstration of our reach to Main Street and our purchasing power to Wall Street. The track we’ve chosen is “Mine Again” by the band Black Lab. A band that was dropped from not just one, but two major record labels (Geffen and Sony/Epic) and in the process forced them to fight to get their own music back. We picked them because making them number one, even for just one day, will remind the RIAA record labels of what they turned their backs on – and who they ignore at their peril.

What’s more, we’re going to take it a step beyond that. We’ve signed up as an affiliate of the iTunes Music Store, and every commission made on the sale of “Mine Again” will be donated to college scholarships, partly because it’s a worthy cause, but also partly because college students are among the most misunderstood and underestimated groups of people by big media. Black Lab has taken it up another notch – 50% of their earnings are going to be donated to the scholarship fund as well.

If you believe in the power of new media, on March 22nd, 2007, take 99 cents and 2 minutes of your time to join the revolution and make iTunes “Mine Again”. If you’re a content producer (blogger, podcaster, etc.), we’re asking you to join up with us and help spread the word to your audience. Nothing would prove the power of new media more than showing corporate media that not only can we exceed their reach and match their purchasing power, but that we can also do it AND make a positive difference in the world. If we can succeed with this small example, then there’s no telling what can do next.

I’m in. Are you? I’m even going to download iTunes again just so I can buy “Mine Again” on March 22, 2007. Will you join me? If you will, repost this message anywhere you can think of!

Go to Bum Rush the Charts’s blog and add them as a MySpace friend.

Join the Independents! Down with Alliance Media! Learn what the heck those terms might mean!


What possible connection can there be between buying an indie song on March 22 and FGI’s mission? Several, as I see them:

  • Podcasters, like libraries, break up a media/information monopoly.
  • Combined community efforts will be key to building a reliable government information system in the future, so we need practice in common effort.
  • This campaign is a sign that activists of any cause don’t have to passively wait for a large organization (RIAA, Congress, GPO) to “make things better.” We can do things ourselves.
  • Podcasting relies on Creative Commons and public domain material and most podcasters share our view of DRM!

So whether it’s your cup of tea or not, and whether or not you have iTunes, I hope you’ll join me in an action to force recognition of independent musicians and podcasters!