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For last week’s cover story, Lindsay Zoladz wrote about former NPR intern Emily White, and what it’s like to sit at the eye of an Internet shit storm. White became, as Zoladz wrote, “the most controversial D.C. intern since Monica Lewinsky” after penning a blog post for NPR titled “I Never Owned Any Music to Begin With” in which she explained how most of the 11,000 songs in her iTunes library came from sources other than purchased CDs. Charting her own consumption habits, White wrote:
What I want is one massive Spotify-like catalog of music that will sync to my phone and various home entertainment devices. With this new universal database, everyone would have convenient access to everything that has ever been recorded, and performance royalties would be distributed based on play counts (hopefully with more money going back to the artist than the present model). All I require is the ability to listen to what I want, when I want and how I want it. Is that too much to ask?
What followed was the summer’s biggest generational pile-on, with a surfeit of writers blaming White for her age group’s casual attitude toward compensating artists. White, meanwhile, had to remain silent: NPR interns aren’t authorized to talk with the press.
So what’s it like to become a meme? Is streaming the consumption model of the future, and if so, is it an ethical model? Discuss those topics—-and whatever else you’d like to bring up—-in a live chat with Zoladz and White tomorrow at noon, right here on Arts Desk.
Photo by Darrow Montgomery